The best books about dreamers travelling to (and creating) new worlds

Lauren Hillman Author Of Outcast
By Lauren Hillman

The Books I Picked & Why

The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern

Book cover of The Night Circus

Why this book?

Some books just speak directly to a person’s soul and this one speaks to mine. This is a world in which I want to live. The actor in me loves the spectacle of the circus, the artist in me loves the beauty of magical tents (the ice garden being my favourite), and the writer in me loves the way it’s all described in such a poetic and lyrical way. Its biggest critics whine about it being slow but for people like me, I could have been happy if it lasted forever. It’s the only book I ever wanted to put down so I could continue daydreaming about being there.

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Strange the Dreamer

By Laini Taylor

Book cover of Strange the Dreamer

Why this book?

I think it’s actually this book’s sequel, Muse of Nightmares, that really captured me. While I love the magical world Laini Taylor creates and her hero, the dreamer Lazlo Strange, from the first book I really fell in love with this story when we begin to enter actual dreams. I think the idea of meeting your soulmate in a dream is a truly romantic notion and something my younger self might have believed possible.

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January

By Alix E. Harrow

Book cover of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Why this book?

Thousands of magical worlds all wrapped into one. The hero of this story is from a world where words have real power and she is able to make things true by writing them. What writer wouldn’t love that concept? It’s hard to read this and not be dreaming of the things I would write into reality if I could.

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His Dark Materials

By Philip Pullman

Book cover of His Dark Materials

Why this book?

This children's classic had a huge effect on me. It’s one of those stories I read a long time ago but has always stuck with me. First, it’s the daemons, our souls that live outside our bodies as animals that best reflect who we are, that captured me. That concept alone was enough to make me love this story. But I think ultimately the reason this story still lives in me after all this time is because it’s really about children being able to view the world differently from adults, a concept I firmly believe in as a teacher.

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Alice in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer

Book cover of Alice in Wonderland

Why this book?

Curiouser and curiouser. What's not to love about the story of a girl who travels down a rabbit hole and discovers a Wonderland? But my love of this story comes down to the funny observations of Alice. Her simple remarks on the absurdity of Wonderland translate so well into wise critiques of our own world. One of my favorites being her response to the caterpillar’s question of who she is. Alice replies, “I—I hardly know, Sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” How true, Alice, how true.

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