Award-winning writer and teacher Sally Allen knows that good books don't just draw us in; they talk to us, shape us, and transport us to times, places, and minds different from our own.
In Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, Allen deftly weaves personal stories with fifteen thematized, annotated, and illustrated reading lists for what to read next. By sharing some of the treasures in her library and the secret lives they reveal, she gives us permission to embrace the shameless book lover inside each of us. Unlocking Worlds is a testament to how reading passionately-and compassionately-can unlock the world beyond our back yard. Celebrating books and those who read them, Allen shows how the solitary act of reading can be a powerful thread that creates community and connection.
Thought-provoking and eloquent, Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers is a must-have for anyone who can't leave the house without a book in hand.
|Product dimensions:||5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.52(d)|
About the Author
Sally Allen is an award-winning writer and teacher. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University in English Education, with an emphasis in writing and rhetoric, and a M.A. in English Language and Literature. The founder and editor of Books, Ink at HamletHub, she leads book group discussions and teaches writing and communication.
About the Illustrator
Ha Pham is a designer and illustrator. Since graduating from Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts in Vietnam, she has worked as a freelancer for authors around the world.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Unlocking Worlds is a book about books that will appeal to any bibliophile but could also be useful for encouraging more reluctant readers to pick up a book or two. Sally Allen talks very eloquently about her love of reading and books and adds little humorous anecdotes. There was a lot I could easily relate to: Don't ever leave the house without a book? Yup, definitely. "Books and reading can be galvanizing forces for community and connection." Again, easy to agree with. Anybody who actively uses Goodreads or similar services will probably quickly relate to this statement. Allen draws up 15 reading lists covering a good variety of themes. There are chapters on children's books, books about time and space travel, travelers' tales, books set in times of war, books exploring university life, novels about the American Experience as well as classic and contemporary British novels. Some of the listings were a bit too obvious, for example, the "Reads for the Fall and Winter Holidays" and the section on British novels didn't deliver any surprises either. But I suppose reading lists like this are always going to be very personal. For example, for my part, I had no interest in the section on exploring "Russian Life before and after the Soviet Revolution" but I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on "Novels in Letters and Multiple Perspectives". There is sufficient variety here for everybody to find something interesting, and Allen's mini reviews of the books she has picked are appealing. It is very difficult to not add more books to your reading list once you have read Allen's summaries and analyses. I found some new books and I've also decided to prioritize some books that have been sitting on my shelves for ages. I also enjoyed the quotes about books and reading at the beginning of each chapter. So all in all, this has been a useful and enjoyable reading experience for me. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
I love this book! It’s a book I think every booklover would enjoy. It brought back memories of books read and introduced me to many new books. There is a long list of chapters, but a few of my favorites were Let Reding Change You, Novels About Connection, Community and Family, Novels About The American Experience, Novels That Thrill, Chill, and Keep You Guessing, Novels and Memoirs About the Reading Life, Books For Book Lovers, and Reconciling with the Inevitable: We Can’t Read All The Books. There are literary quotes at the beginning of each chapter, and my favorite one was “Books are not made for funiture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house” (Henry Ward Beecher). Also, at the end of the book the author talks about the ways she makes sure she remembers what she’s read. She says she writes down the authors name, number of pages, genre, subject, and what version of the book she read. She also takes note of how she discovered or acquired the book, where and when she read it, intellectual/emotional experiences she had while reading the book, favorite lines/quotes, basic plot, setting characters, point of view, and whether she would recommend the book, and to whom. I’ve added quite a few books to my tbr list, and I’m starting with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins which I’m getting from the library today. This is a book I’ll add to the ones I keep close by to refer to from time to time. I seriously hope the author writes another book like this.
This is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it. I love books about books so for me it was a no brainer that I would have to check it out. Of course I agree with the author that good books don't just draw you in they transport us to times and places different from our own and she did this for me. It was interesting to read how she took personal stories and paired them reading lists. The author's writing style was very nice and for me this make the book easy to read. Of course I list of books that I want to check out has now grown even more thanks to her lists. Another neat thing was the cartoons used in the book. I thought some of them were spot on with avid readers like me. I had to laugh when the author was trying to decide if she should take her book in with her when meeting someone for lunch, I myself have thought at times should I take my book. The answer is yes, I always have a book with me no matter what. This is a must read for lovers of books like myself.