About the author: 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. Visit Allen on Twitter or on her website.
About the book: 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.
Review: As an avid reader, I love talking about books. Sally Allen’s Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers comes off as a conversation with a fellow avid book lover about a shared passion. She doesn’t judge each book or tear them apart; rather, she shared the reasons why and how they contributed to making her life better.
The introduction goes a long way in introducing us to the author’s mindset both when it comes to books in general but also and most importantly to the way she approached writing this book. She wasn’t looking for the book with the best language or the most complex and layered narrative. As one of her professors told her, “if a reader has these experiences [the characters seem like real people and the reader misses them after the book is over; the narrative is complex; the story stays with the reader; the language is beautiful] with a book, then that book is literature for him or her.”
This makes of the reading experience a personal one, a concept that resonates deeply with me. After all, we humans are such unique creatures; could the same book really have the same effect on all of us? While some books do have a more universal appeal, no book will please all of us, and that is normal. Allen sets the tone for an exchange rather than a fight, something which I deeply appreciate.
If you love reading and love talking about books, then this book will make a great addition to your collection. I have a feeling that it might also be a great addition to a book club’s selection, a source of unity amongst book lovers and a conversation generator.
Purchase link: Amazon