New York Times best-selling novelist Alice LaPlante lives so close to our office, we can meet for lunch every day. Of course that rarely happens, but this week it did. Alice loves magazines because they offer “such a smorgasbord” of interesting material. She says that, with an iPad loaded with magazines, she’s never bored waiting for meetings or appointments.

Alice is an award-winning fiction writer and university creative writing instructor. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and teaches creative writing at both Stanford and San Francisco State University. The author of five books (and counting), Alice includes among her publications a writing textbook, Method and Madness: The Making of a Story, published by W.W. Norton in 2009, and the best-selling novel Turn of Mind (Grove Press, 2011).

Her most recent murder mystery, A Circle of Wives (Grove Press, 2014), was reviewed by People  in the March 17, 2014 issue. You can read the full review in the archived issue on Next Issue, where reviewer Ellen Shapiro says the book is, “a smart, intricate tale about murder and the elusive mysteries of marriage.” It’s a whodunnit that More magazine says you shouldn’t read after dark.

Her current reading recommendations certainly have us turning the pages. Thank you, Alice.

Alice's Picks

Managing Up: What Holds Women Back


Tired of articles lecturing women to match the huffing and puffing of men if they want to get ahead? This refreshing piece points out that women’s reticence to claim that they know it all already is actually a desirable trait in a corporate leader. It gives advice on how companies can guard against insidious practices that can hold women back—and detract from their competitiveness.

How He Met Himself

Rolling Stone

Who doesn’t love Neil Patrick Harris? And now he’s starring on Broadway as a transgender German rock star. New York, here I come.

Benghazi and the Bombshell

New York Magazine

This scathing profile of Lara Logan, the 60 Minutes correspondent who spectacularly got rooked by a security contractor looking to promote his book on Benghazi, concludes that she’s unlikely to return to CBS’ flagship news show this fall.

What's Hot in San Francisco

Food & Wine

Always glad to see my (adopted) hometown featured as a place of gastronomical delight. Love that they feature the Spanish tapas bar Coqueta on Pier 5.

Pure Evil

The New Yorker

I was delighted to read a full-length feature of the kind only The New Yorker can do, on one of my literary heroes, the Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo. His work is dark, strange, and grabs you from the first paragraph. Yet you never feel like you’re reading pulp. He’s the real thing.

What You Need to Know About Long-Term-Care Insurance

Ladies' Home Journal

With a family history of Alzheimers, and having watched my mother suffer 10 long years with the disease, this article caught my eye. So did the news that after 131 years, this flagship women’s magazine will be publishing its last issue in July.

B+A Kitchen: Family Friendly

This Old House

We own an old finca (farmhouse) on the island of Mallorca, in Spain that is in desperate need of a new kitchen. This feature showed how even a cramped dark space can be modernized to be fully functional and full of light. Inspiring.

The Price of Water


I won an international literary prize last year and we sunk it—literally—into a well on our Spanish property. This article informed me that it takes 926 gallons of water to produce one cheeseburger. A sobering thought in a world in which demand for water will soon outstrip supply.