James Owens and The World is Just a Book Away

The World is Just a Book Away is an anthology that represents a 15-year journey by USC professor James Owens to capture the stories of how books and reading inspired some of the world’s most prominent people. Owens’s earliest memory is of reading The Encyclopedia of World Travel with his mother. The many books they shared opened his eyes to the wonders of the world. The legacy of literacy and love of books his mother left behind after her tragic death by suicide when he was just 9 years old provided the guiding hope in his life that ultimately led to The World is Just a Book Away.

Recognizing the life-changing nature of reading, Owens set out in 2002 to create this unique and deeply moving book. At first glance, the 60 people in this anthology may not seem to have much in common—yet they all share their personal love of books and reading in The World is Just a Book Away. This book provides readers with unique insight into the personal stories of 5 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, actors, royalty, world leaders, scientists, humanitarians, and many more, including:

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • Liam Neeson
  • Natasha Richardson
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jude Law
  • Miep Gies
  • Jane Goodall
  • President Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  • Susan Sarandon
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Lisa Ling
  • Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
  • Jane Fonda
  • Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan
  • Ted Turner
  • Buzz Aldrin

About the Author: 

James J. Owens is a professor of management communication at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. James is Founder and CEO of the international children’s charity The World is Just a Book Away (WIJABA), which promotes literacy by developing libraries and educational programs. Since its inception in 2008, WIJABA has built 90 libraries, touching the lives of more than 70,000 children in 3 countries. James collected and edited the 60 essays in this book over the course of 15 years. His profit from this book will benefit the charity. James is also a writer, a corporate leadership coach, and a motivational speaker. He lives with his son Alexander in Santa Monica, CA. For more information please visit www.wijaba.org.

Event date: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115