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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books About Time Travel

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is a "freebie", meaning we can choose whichever topic tickles our fancy.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned how much I love time travel books.  I don't think we'll ever actually be able to travel through time, but I love the idea of it, so I chose to do my list on my favourite time travel books.  When compiling the list, however, I realized that I hadn't actually read that many books on the subject, so I consulted the master - my dad - who gave me a few suggestions.  The last few weeks I've been in time travel heaven reading a few books to augment my list.  Without further ado, Maggie's Top 10 Time Travel Books:

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells:  To be honest, I didn't love this book.  I found whole morlock/eloi conflict creepy, and I much prefer the idea of traveling to the past or to the near future, rather than thousands and thousands of years ahead.  Wells' book, however, has to get credit for capturing the imaginations of many.  The whole idea of a time travelling machine in popular culture stems from this one novel, so I couldn't leave the book off my list.

PS  Does anyone else remember the old Lois and Clark episodes when H.G. Wells visited and took Lois and Clark through time.  So fantastic! 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger:  This book was on the top of both my and my dad's list.  It's the story of a man named Henry who has a genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel through time, and of his life-long romance with Clare.  (Readers should be aware, however, that there are some pretty racy passages in this one.)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling:  If I had to pick a favourite of the HP series, it would be this book.  I love how the time travel is worked on, and also how it was portrayed in the movie.

11/22/63 by Stephen King:  The story of a man who discovers a portal into the 1950s, so he goes through it in order to stop the Kennedy assassination.  I love the attention to the small details of the 1950s and 1960s; King must have done a whole lot of research for the writing of this book.  It was great that he covered the good aspects of the period as well as the negatives (racism, women's rights, etc.)  I especially enjoyed seeing Jake's little flubs when he hums songs that haven't been written yet.

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma:  I found this by accident at the library a while back and of course had to pick it up.  It has three intersecting stories of time travel during H.G. Wells' time, but there's a twist...  which of course I can't reveal if you haven't read it.  :-)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:  This one is possibly a debatable item on the list; does Scrooge actually travel through time, or is it all a dream?  Still, it's difficult to leave out, as it's a classic, and asks the question of what we would do differently if we had the chance to go back.

The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov:  This one is a bit different from most in that it doesn't spend a lot of time in different time periods, but rather in Eternity, a construction that allows people - called Eternals - to go through time and enact small changes for the good of mankind.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis:  My dad recommended this book to me and I couldn't put it down.  It's the story of a student who goes back in time to the Middle Ages, and something goes terribly wrong.  The story goes back and forth between the 1300s and the 2050s.  I found the portrayal of the 2050s somewhat amusing.  The book was written in 1992, and while Willis didn't make the mistake of having the near-future be some ridiculous construct with flying cars everywhere, she obviously didn't anticipate the telecommunications revolution.  It made me laugh to see all these people in 2050s using land telephones and complaining the the "lines went down".

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle:  Featuring characters from L'Engle's famous book A Wrinkle in Time, this book involves Charles Wallace traveling back to the 1200s to make a change that will prevent nuclear war 800 years later.

The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn:  A lonely orphan at her aunt's country home discovers that at a certain time of day, the root cellar turns into a portal into the 1860s.  She ends up traveling through post-Civil War America to find a lost Canadian soldier.  I loved this when I was a child, and recently re-read it.

Do you like time travel books?  What are your favourites?  Did you love or hate some of the ones on my list?  Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment!


  1. Ohhh I love this list - especially the HP reference! I have to say Azkaban and Time Traveler's Wife are my absolute FAVORITE time travel books, as well as making the list of my all-time favorite books in general!

    Great list! :)
    My TTT

  2. I love time travel books, too, even though you made me realize I haven't read many of them either! So, thanks (to you AND your dad) for the list. I'll definitely be looking some of these up.

  3. Awesome list! I love books about time travel so I've saved this list so that I can check out the other titles you mentioned (enjoyed reading The Time Traveller's Wife, The End of Eternity and The Time Machine =) Oh, and PoA) =D

  4. I didn't even think of Christmas Carol! Good Idea.