Currently reading

There’s a lot of great writing out there these days. Here’s a sample:

1. I cleaned out the William Maxwell novel section at my favorite bookstore – Magers & Quinn in Uptown Minneapolis – and stacked them up on my desk. So far I’ve made my way through “So Long, See You Tomorrow” and “They Came Like Swallows.” I have to stop sometimes as I read this man’s work, it’s so painfully beautiful.

2. A new novel by a novelist named Rebecca Lee, called “The City Is a Rising Tide.” Amazing book. If I tried to describe the plot it would sound mundane, so I won’t. The magic of this book is in the writing, and in Lee’s ability to capture in one sentence emotional undercurrents that would take others entire books to describe.

3. “The Madness Equation,” by Mary Spalding, which is an essay/memoir in the September issue of The Sun Magazine. The writer draws a connection between fractals (as in math and physics, both subjects I love reading about) and  “madness.” Fascinating.

4. The Ramona books, by Beverly Cleary. Ever read these when you were little? I just read them all, one again and the rest for the first time. They’re great.


  1. Katherine Tillotson · October 9, 2006


    I, too, love William Maxwell’s work. I grabbed as much as I could find from the bookstore. I also discovered A William Maxwell Portrait, Memories and Appreciations, which pleased me because it included pieces by Charles Baxter and Paula Fox.

    What a writer and person he was….



  2. Chance · December 17, 2006

    “Snap”. A book of sadness and a touch to the heart. “All Rivers Flow To The Sea” unfinished but soon to be finished and will be expectedly good. But can’t beat snap.


  3. Kylee Morrell · June 17, 2007

    I finished reading “Snap” and it left me feeling as if I had found

    a special treat. The characters seemed completely real and honest.

    thank you, Alison. I am going to check out the William Maxwell collection.



  4. Susan · September 25, 2007

    I have to thank you so much for writing “Someday.” I recently met my daughter (in a far away country) who we will be adopting. . . someday. As I was looking for books on adoption at my local bookstore, I ran into yours. While it wasn’t about adoption, it said everything I wanted to say to her. I stood there in the book store, tears springing to my eyes. I had to close it up, buy it, and finish it when I got home. I loved it so much, I sent a copy to my own mother. Thank you. Thank you. A thousand times, thank you.


  5. Alison · January 12, 2008

    Susan, one of my own children is adopted too. I’m glad that Someday spoke to you. Blessings on you and your new daughter.


  6. Joan McClellan · March 19, 2008

    Alison, I read Shadow in two days. It would have been one day but I wanted to cherish it longer. I hate it that I finished. Like saying goodbye to an old friend who you understand and who understands you. Thank you for Shadow Baby.
    Best To You,


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