Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway - Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers by Sally Allen

I received Unlocking Worlds for free to review from iRead Book Tours.

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

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Guest Post:
If you could live in a novel, which one would it be?
by Sally Allen, author of Unlocking Worlds

As a little girl, I often wished I could jump into the books I was reading and live in them. A Little Princess, Time at the Top, All-of-a-Kind Family, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – Each of these books featured characters so alive to me that they felt like real friends. I wanted to meet and hang out with them. I wanted to know what it was like to walk in their shoes – to experience Victorian London, or discover a secret time machine, or walk the streets of my hometown of New York circa the early twentieth century, or live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For me, books still stimulate this longing to meet the characters I’m reading about and live in their worlds. Admittedly, this is more true with some books than others. Books I wouldn’t be terribly keen on living in include Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. You can see why, right? It’s not that I wouldn’t want to meet the characters … necessarily. It’s just that these books are not the most appealing as lifestyle choices.

Ironically, one book series that I’m constantly saying, “I want to jump in these books and live there!” is a murder mystery series: The Hamish Macbeth books by M. C. Beaton. Obviously, I wouldn’t want to find myself on the wrong end of one of the murders, as that would quite defeat the point. So let us proceed on the assumption that I wouldn’t. The series is set in the Highlands of Scotland and follow Police Constable Hamish Macbeth, who is adorable. He can be surly and has an independent streak that gets him into hot water from time to time, but he’s kind and loyal and funny. I’m a little bit in love with him. He’s the reason I fantasize about moving to Scotland.

How about you? If you could live in a book (or book series), which one would you choose?

My Thoughts:
Reading Unlocking Worlds is like visiting a book blog and looking through all the book reviews. Most chapters have a list of 10 books each on a specific subject like children's books, time and space, and times of war. I have only read a couple of the books that Sally Allen writes about and I did find a few more I would like to read but the majority of them I am not interested in reading. They all sound like great books but the time traveling books are what I would probably enjoy reading the most. 

What I liked best about Unlocking Worlds was the way Sally Allen added her own personal stories while telling us about the books. I love the way she tells us what a book is about without spoilers. That is very hard for me I sometimes say too much (oops) but usually not enough because I don't want to ruin the book for anyone. 

If you are looking for a new book to read Unlocking Worlds might help you find one. I give this book 4 stars.

Author's Bio:

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


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5 winners will each get a copy of Unlocking Worlds & a copy of
Book Life: A Book Lover's Journal

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review my book.