I’m sure Miles won’t be so easy to amuse as time goes by but I’ll try to enjoy this while I can. We spent the weekend in Chicago for a surprise birthday party for Ethan, who apparently spotted us before he was supposed to (“How weird. I could swear I just saw Dad and Roger walk by”) and got to spend an afternoon with this newest Asch boy. Also got to have lunch with Hymie and Hazel Rochman, who showed us the apartment in their building where Barack and Michelle lived before they got so famous and all, and perusing the shelves of the most excellent Unabridged Bookstore I met librarian and YA writer James Klise, who was demonstrating excellent taste by way of the Sarah Waters books he was holding. I was supposed to be reading Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply (well, I was really supposed to be reading the books I’m assigned to review for the November issue and I’m paying for that now) but Frank, our host for the weekend, had a copy of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth hanging around and I became hooked and was foraging for a copy of my own. Why do I even bring books on vacation? I always find something waiting.