In honor of GroundHog Day, my favorite time travel books!
Of course everyone has seen “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray who is forced to wake up every day to Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe” and relive February Second over and over again.
I love a good time travel book. My favorite in the genre of the Groundhog Day movie is “Replay” by Ken Grimwood. Jeff feels himself dying at age 43, only to regain consciousness as himself at age nineteen, in the 60’s. He does “die” again, same date, and wakes up again, as himself, a few years older. He chooses to live out each “life” in a different way.
My favorite time travel book is “Doomsday Book” by Connie Willis. Set in the near future, the University regularly sends scholars back in time to study history. Kivrin is set to go back to the middle ages, when she gets sent back to the wrong decade, the start of the bubonic plague. The book flashes between Kivrin’s dealing with this horrific sickness, and her professor trying to get the equipment and people in place to go rescue her, in the middle of their modern influenza crisis. The first time reading this, I couldn’t put it down as I got to the end.
Another book where the protagonist deliberately goes into the past is 11/22/63 by Stephen King. King novels have gotten way too wordy for me, but I actually read this entire book of his. After Jake’s first visit to the past of 1958, he fins t hat he can keep going. He goes back again and again to try and prevent the assassination of John F Kennedy.
Two books where the protagonist has no control over their time travel: “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Kindred”.
Time Traveler’s Wife: Imagine being married and in love with a man who pops up in and out of your life and leaves you. He has no control over this! A beautiful written book.
Kindred by Octavia Butler was a new book to me as I surfed for time travel books. Dana is yanked back in time in order to save a young white boy from drowning in the mid 1800s. It turns out that this young man is an old ancestor of hers. Dana is a young black woman from the 1970s. She is involvontarily brought back to the plantation where her ancestor lives, in order to save his life over and over. She has to spend time on the plantation, living life as a slave, until she can be sure her future generation is born, therefore knowing her own life will continue.
A very popular time travel book series (and now TV series) is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon Claire travels back in time, meets Jamie, a Scottish highlander, and eventually has to choose between living in her time, the 20th century, and his time. There are now many books in the series now and it’s a fun romantical adventure. These tomes do become a bit wordy over the years, but I still like reading them. I have watched the HBO series and will probably watch the upcoming season too.
Do you have any time travel book recommendations? Let’s hear them!