Dec 162015


Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers by Sally Allen

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.

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.


dc86b420-240a-442b-8769-5eecfbaf866c Award winning writer and teacher Sally Allen 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. She teaches writing, literature, and communications, leads book group discussions, and is the founder and editor of Books, Ink at HamletHub.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble


 Posted by at 12:08 AM

  8 Responses to “Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers
by Sally Allen & Giveaway”

  1. Vicki, I like the idea of this book, and your enthusiastic review is truly wonderful. I will add a link to your giveaway to my blog’s sidebar.

  2. I love books about books and I love lists of books.

    So many things sound interesting about this book.

    I love the concept of doing things to remember and understand books better. Since I have been blogging this is no longer an issue however. My blog is a chronicle of everything that I read.

  3. This sounds like a beautiful book! I love books about books and all the lists and quotes sound like such fun to look through. This is definitely a book I’ll be adding to my Christmas list. Thanks for hosting the giveaway! This and the journal are definitely books I’d like to have!

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my book! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, and I also hope you enjoy “My True Love Gave to Me.” I discovered it last year around this time and am thinking about rereading it. Thanks for the reminder!
    P.S. I’m definitely planning on writing more books of this kind. 🙂

  5. I read this book as well and thought it was fabulous!
    Enjoyed your review and would love to win a copy of the book to gift and the journal to keep track of all of my favorite reads!

  6. I love lists, especially book lists! I always find some great reads.

  7. What?! We can’t read all the books? Yes, I suppose that is true.
    The title on this is intriguing and I think a group of recommended lists would be interesting and perhaps helpful to find similar books.
    Thanks for sharing about this and for sharing the giveaway.

  8. This looks great! And I know so many people who would love to receive it too 🙂

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