I chose this book because I love Ann Beattie's writing, and I found the theme — of people paying visits, traveling to see old friends, or receiving visitors themselves — intriguing. Despite the fact that these were collected from a range of publications, I found the theme especially apt, and enjoyed discovering the connection to it in each story I read. I feel like I have grown up with Beattie's writing, and this collection is one of her best. The characters have flaws but so much soul, and I would guess that, given the subjects she tackles, they will appeal to a wide audience. Told with compassion and humor, this is definitely recommended.