6 Time-Travel Books That Will Shake Up Your Reading List

From love stories to tales about the consequences of altering history, these time-travel books aren't just for sci-fi lovers.

Sometimes I close my eyes and I let my imagination take me to another place and time. One day, I can be a cowboy in the West, chasing after bandidos in the Nevada desert on my white horse. Other times, I see myself as a spaceship pilot dodging meteors and shooting laser bullets at evil aliens. I can be a Greek philosopher debating about the meaning of life, or a 1970s rock star jamming with a guitar. There are no limits for imagining yourself in another time, so my question is: would you like to travel in time? There are no machines for this yet, but you can grab one of these titles instead, and let them take you in different adventures, places, and settings in history.

H.G Wells: The Time Machine (1985)

If you aren’t familiar with Wells’ works, just know that he is considered the father of science fiction, and some argue that this novel was responsible for creating the whole idea behind the time-travel machine concept. Thus, this is not only a classic to own, but also a must-read, if you are into time-travel books and science fiction stories. In this book, Wells imagines a future beyond his reality, 800 thousand years, to be precise. In this future, humankind has changed, as well as the world, which is slowly dying, and two main races have emerged: the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks. There is a well-painted picture of the future of our world in Wells’ book, as well as a conflict that will keep you flipping through the pages.

Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)

Love sees no age, and this is the main theme behind this novel in which a married couple has to overcome an illness that keeps pulling their ages apart. Clare and Henry love each other, and are willing to do anything to overcome their age restriction, which is constantly changed by a new illness called chrono–displacement disorder. The disorder resets a person's genetic clock, and they can wake up in a year one day, and another decade the next. For example, Henry was 36 when he first met Clare at the age of 6. Later, when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31, they got married. A fascinating and original novel that will take your breath away.

Stephen King: 11/22/63 (2011)

You probably associate King’s works with horror, but in this novel, he takes readers back to November 22nd, 1963, when three bullets took the life of President John F. Kennedy. The story revolves around the life of high school English teacher, Jake Epping, who is introduced to a time-travel portal by his friend Al, who was hiding it in his diner. The portal is a door to 1958, where Jake takes on the mission of preventing Kennedy’s assassination under the pseudonym of George. In this story, you will find a lot of 1960s imagery related to Elvis, diners, milkshakes, and of course: JFK.

Dexter Palmer: Version Control (2017)

Although this book isn’t really taking readers to another time or place in specific, it does talk about the consequences of messing with time and the chain of events that could unfold in a near future, if time-traveling machines are invented. In this novel, the main character, Rebecca, just can’t seem to cope with her current reality. Everything feels odd to her, and when I say odd, I mean time wise: the president is not the one she remembers being elected, the people who she used to talk to are now different, the places, the dates, and everything is out of place. It is all caused by a time-travel machine invented by her husband, which he prefers to call a “casualty violation device.” In this novel, you’ll find a good read about physics and the butterfly effect.

Emily Henry: The Love That Split The World (2017)

What would you do if, all of a sudden, a person from the future came to you with a warning?: “You have three months to save him!” Save who? This is a romantic novel with a twist in time reality that is constantly breaking due to the changes these character s are causing in history. Natalie risks her own existence in order to save Beau, a boy she just met and fell in love with.

Isaac Asimov: The End of Eternity (1955)

A mix of thriller mystery, time-traveling jumps, and social-engineering problems. In his book, Asimov sees a future where an elite time-policing organization (living outside of time) called “Eternity” monitors time and makes sure that the chapters of history are written as they wish in order to ensure human happiness. The main character, Andrew, is an Eternal member, and his mission consists of making sure his own organization is founded in history. However, things change when he falls in love with a woman who is not an eternal, and the organization is threatened by this event. This is a masterpiece by the writer who became one of the “Big Three” of his time.


If you are ready to be taken to another era and place in time, any of these books will do the trick. In addition to that, you’ll also be enjoying a romantic tale about lovers who overcome their obstacles, or an intriguing adventure from a time jumper whose actions will alter reality as we know it. Whatever the case is, these books are a great way to fuel the imagination.


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