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Anne Tyler and Appointments

For 4 days into the new year, I didn’t have an appointment book and faced each day with no schedule. If I had an appointment, I didn’t know about it. I haven’t graduated to the electronic calendar yet – so, no notebook – no reminders.

Did I miss anything? Probably not, but I’m not sure. It was a relief to have a friend give me a 2010 appointment book that fits neatly in my pocket. Maybe it’s just that routine and scheduling are so comforting. Maybe when you need to park in the same place at the mall to remember where your car is parked, having a little book telling you where you need to be is assurance.

With the new year come the ubiquitous recommendations for starting over: eat better, exercise more, take time to breathe. One suggested writing down appointments for yourself. Make an appointment with yourself to exercise. Does taking a walk when there’s nothing good on TV count? Probably only if you are crossing out “watch TV” and penciling in “walk.” Do we need appointments to enjoy what we like to do? Do you make appointments to eat chocolate?

Anne Tyler has a new book – the first in two years. In an interview, she said she is getting older (68), so maybe that is slowing her down. She laughingly worried how long it would take until the next one. But maybe she isn’t slowing down; maybe she forgot to pencil in “write” in her appointment book.

Tyler is an author who is comfortable to read. At the same time, she wakes you up to your own life journey. The book bunch read Digging to America together. We all know about Accidental Tourist (there’s a movie), but have you read Ladder of Years? If you ever felt like walking away from it all, you might relate. How about Back When We Were Grownup? Ever wonder what your life would have been like if you had made another choice or had a second chance? Amateur Marriage, The Breathing Lessons, Saint Maybe, Celestial Navigation, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant,, A Patchwork Plant, and more. We can forgive Anne Tyler for taking a break for two years.

Her latest is Noah’s Compass – just came out so the library still doesn’t have a copy – but worth checking.  Write it in your appointment book.