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More Notes from Chicago & Boston

I returned home yesterday from a week in Chicago and Boston and I feel like it’s going to take me just as many days to recover as I was gone. It was a fantastic trip, and had I not been pregnant and toting a husband and toddler with me, it probably wouldn’t have been as tiring. But by the time I dragged myself off the airplane yesterday I was sure I was going to go into labor at any minute. That said, I couldn’t be more grateful for the entire experience. I got to catch up with so many friends and family members and blog readers (!) and bookstores and familiar favorite spots, and find new favorite spots.

In my last Notes from the Book Tour post I had just come off my AWP panel and a fantastic reading at Women & Children First in Chicago. The very next night, my sister-in-law Sara hosted an incredible reading for me at her neighborhood bookstore in Winnetka, and I’m still reeling from all the thought and effort she put into it. One of my biggest fears about publishing this book was about how Greg’s family would react, but they couldn’t be more supportive or excited for me. Seriously, Greg’s parents are about to get kicked out of their local Barnes & Noble for visiting my book there so often. And Greg’s sister has gone above and beyond — getting in touch with libraries and reaching out to local bookclubs on my behalf.

Here is Sara introducing me at the Book Stall in Winnetka:

And here I am that night (looking enormously tall & pregnant) with Sara and her husband, and Greg:

Chicago was just so much fun to visit. Yes, it was cold and dreary and Vera kept asking why all the grass was brown and why the trees didn’t have leaves, but I just loved catching up with everyone. We had a really fun brunch on our last day with friends…

Vera caught up with her cousins. And with a milkshake.

The next morning the three of us hopped a flight to Boston. Don’t you love how I used the word hopped, as though traveling with a toddler is no big deal.

It was great to be in Boston. I’m always flying in there, but only as a way of making my way to the Cape. It was nice to actually enjoy the city a bit. We went to the New England Aquarium, the Children’s Museum, and took a few chilly walks.

On Monday night my extended family descended on Brookline for my reading at the Booksmith. It meant so incredibly much to be with them during part of this book tour.

The reading itself was great. What a cool bookstore! And I got to meet a couple of blog readers too, which always makes my day.

Then early the next morning we all headed home to Los Angeles. It was a LONG flight. But not as long as Australia’s gonna be!

In two weeks I head out for the last couple of stops on my book tour — both in San Francisco. I would love, love to see any and all of you who are in the area!

Reading & Signing
Books Inc, Palo Alto, CA
March 20, 2012 7:00pm

Reading & Signing
Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
March 22, 2012 7:00pm

I also just added another Southern California reading:

Reading & Signing
Pages Bookstore, Manhattan Beach California
April 26, 2012 7:00pm

Finally an assortment of things:





An interview with me was featured in the Metro this week. Read it here.

I have a pretty intense essay about Grief + Sex up on the popular Australian site MamaMia this week. Read it here.

Some exciting news: This week Korean rights to Rules were sold. Love that my book will be coming out there!

I was on WAMC Public Radio this morning. Listen to the interview here.

Are you in a book club? Did you know that I’d be happy to skype with your group if you choose to read my book? Think about it!

This afternoon I watched a really incredible video about a terrible situation happening in Uganda, and I’m so glad that I am now informed. I think you should watch it too. View it here: KONY 2012

Powell's Books Penguin Indie Bound
Amazon Barnes & Noble
Want to buy my book? Do so at any of the above!


  1. I’m so glad you had such a rewarding trip, surrounded by your family and loved ones to support you! Can’t wait to check out the links! xoxo

    Comment by Ron Stempkowski on March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

  2. I love the idea of “hopping a flight” to Boston, pregnant and accompanied by a toddler! I will keep that phrase in mind this weekend when I fly with my two and three year-olds from Phoenix to Hailey, Idaho. It will make me smile, even if it’s a slightly pained smile. Thanks!

    Comment by Betsy Andrews Etchart on March 8, 2012 at 4:25 am

  3. Haha…good luck, Betsy!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on March 17, 2012 at 8:43 am

  4. Thanks, Ron! xo

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on March 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

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