November 17, 2015

Unlocking Worlds by Sally Allen - Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

I received this book from iRead Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: September 2, 2015
Number of pages: 248
Genre: Fiction

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

What did I think of this book:
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. 

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.

Connect with the author: Website Twitter

Guest Post:
Three books to bring to a deserted island
by Sally Allen, author of Unlocking Worlds

Because I keep reading new books, I find that my “books to bring to a deserted island” list never looks quite the same from year to year … or even month to month. Of course, what I would really want with me on a deserted island is my e-reader and a solar power charger thus enabling access to all the books (in my virtual library).

However, if I could only have three paper books, here is how I would go about choosing them:

First, I will need at least one book that is extremely long, like David Copperfield by Charles Dickens or White Teeth by Zadie Smith or IQ84 by Haruki Murakami. This is because I’m assuming being stranded will necessitate frequent rereading. In this case, all other relevant qualities being equal, longer equals better.

Next, a book that makes me laugh is absolutely essential. Being stranded on a deserted island – and here I can only guess, as I have never actually been stranded on a deserted island – seems likely to present many challenges. Maintaining a sense of humor (which can also be about maintaining a sense of proportion) will be required. A book in which characters find ways to laugh even through difficult times might be especially relevant. And since I’m still thinking about long books that will take me a few days to reread, any one of the last four Harry Potter novels would do nicely.

Finally, life on a deserted island may become somewhat monotonous, so it would be helpful to have a book that subsumes me, preferably into an entirely different world. For this, it might be nice to have a Russian classic, preferably one that isn’t utterly depressing. This narrows the list considerably. I’d probably go with The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov or maybe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, as translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

What books would you want with you on a deserted island?

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

Tour Schedule:
Nov 16 - Corinne Rodrigues - review / author interview
Nov 16 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 16 - Leigh Anderson Romance - review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 17 - The Bookish and the Romantic - review
Nov 17 - Griperang's Bookmarks - review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 18 - The Novel Life - review / guest post
Nov 19 - View From the Birdhouse - review / giveaway
Nov 20 - Laura's Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 20 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Nov 23 - Thistles and Whistles - review / author interview
Nov 23 - booklovercircumspect4 - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 24 - Kinx's Book Nook - review / guest post
Nov 25 - - review / giveaway
Nov 26 - Readers' Muse - review / author interview
Nov 27 - Italophilia - review
Dec 1 - Worth Getting in Bed For - review / giveaway
Dec 2 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
Dec 3 - 3 Partners in Shopping - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 3 - Keenly Kristen - review
Dec 4 - Puddletown Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 7 - Sahar's Reviews - review
Dec 8 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - review
Dec 8 - alwaysjoart - review / guest post / giveaway
Dec 9 - Lovely Reads - review / guest post / giveaway
Dec 10 - Essentially Italian - review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 11 - misty103 @ HubPages - review / author interview
Dec 14 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - guest post
Dec 15 - Story Matters - review / giveaway
Dec 16 - I'd Rather Be At the Beach - review / giveaway
Dec 18 - Jorie Loves a Story - review / guest post
Dec 18 - Create With Joy - review


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful review! It's so great to hear that you enjoyed the illustrations, and I'm always happy when I can make someone laugh. :)

  2. What a beautiful book and I don't mean just the cover even thought that is beautiful as well. It is beautiful in the sense that it would transport my mind and let me use my imagination . Ah bliss !