Top Ten Tuesday: Time Travel

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

This week’s topic was

August 7: Books You’d Mash Together (pick two books you think would make an epic story if combined) (Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

But I wasn’t really feeling it, so I decided to do my own thing and look at some favorite time travel stories.

51usp91evll-_ac_us218_1. The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis– This novel is the first in Willis’ Oxford Time Travel series dealing with time traveling Oxford historians. It’s the only one I’ve read so far, but the others are very much on my TBR. Set in the near future, historians often time travel to observe the past. Kirvin, a historian specializing in medieval history goes to the year 1320. But she gets sick as soon as she gets there and is moved from her “drop point”  by rescuers from a nearby manor. Shortly after Kirvin travels, Oxford suffers an influenza epidemic. While she was traveling back time, a technician (who was ill) input the wrong code, sending Kirvin to the year 1348, during the Black Death. With illness overwhelming people in both timelines, a rescue mission is attempted to get Kirvin back where she belongs.

51xphws9jdl-_ac_us218_2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon– When WWII ends, British combat nurse Claire Randall and her husband Frank take a second honeymoon. They’ve been apart for most of the war and need to reconnect. When Claire goes to pick some flowers near a circle of standing stones, she somehow ends up in 1743. She meets up with the Mackenzie clan, a group of highlanders traveling back to their home, and provides some much needed medical care. Suspected of being a British spy, the Mackenzies bring her back with them to their home. But when Frank’s ancestor, the sadistic redcoat, Jack Randall, wants to take Claire, prisoner, the only way to escape his reach is to marry a Scot. Enter Jamie Fraser. He’s got a price on his head and a back full of scars (both thanks to Jack Randall) and he’s willing to help her out.  Claire is conflicted (is it technically bigamy if Frank hasn’t been born yet?)  but desperate. She marries Jamie, planning to return to the stones and the twentieth century as soon as she can get away. What she doesn’t anticipate is the soul-deep connection she and Jamie form. By the time she finds herself back at the stones, she must decide where she really belongs.

51541s04lal-_ac_us218_3. Time and Again by Jack Finney- Si Morley is a thirty-something advertising artist, who is recruited to join a secret government experiment in time travel. Aside from the chance to get away from his fairly dull life, Si’s friend, Kate, has a half-burned letter from 1882 and he wants to find out the truth behind it. Si has no intention of changing the past, but he finds himself drawn into the lives of the people in the boarding house where he’s staying. Especially Julia, a young woman who is marrying a fellow whom Si suspects might be a nasty piece of work. While the government in the twentieth century is having conflicts about how time travel should be used, Si finds himself amidst ethical and romantic conflicts in both centuries. This book has a sequel called From Time to Time, which I haven’t read, but this book can definitely work as a standalone.

51brip0dil-_ac_us218_4. Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson– Just to avoid confusion, this novel was originally titled Bid Time Return. The title was changed when it was adapted for a film (which is very different from the book, but I also recommend it). Richard Collier is a playwright who is staying in a historic hotel in San Deigo. He sees a picture of an actress, who performed at the hotel in 1897. Something about the photograph strikes him and he begins to research the life of the actress, Elise McKenna. As he learns about this woman’s life, he becomes sort of obsessed with her and travels back in time via hypnosis. He meets Elise McKenna at the hotel, and they fall in love, to the dismay of her manager who just can’t believe that Richard doesn’t object to Elise continuing to work as an actress after she marries Richard. But can Richard stay in the past forever?

51cmzm27jl-_ac_us218_5. Replay by Ken Grimwood– Jeff Winston is a forty-three-year-old man, who is a little bored with his life. Until he has a fatal heart attack and wakes up again at the age of eighteen. He still remembers his life until the age of forty-three, even though that hasn’t happened yet. So Jeff decides to live his life over again. He makes some very good bets on sports and in the stock market and becomes wealthy.  He rectifies previous mistakes. And then he reaches the age of forty-three, dies again, and wakes up at the age of eighteen. On each go-round, Jeff gains something that he’s reluctant to lose. Even more so when he discovers that he’s not the only person on this weird little carousel. In other hands, this could feel redundant, meeting the same characters and seeing the same events over and over. But Grimwood wisely keeps his focus on Jeff as a character and how he changes in each incarnation; the new understandings he gains and the things he can’t bear to leave behind.

51pclzvhwel-_ac_us218_6. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger- Henry suffers from Chrono-Displacement Disorder. Occasionally he finds himself pulled to moments in his life that have a strong emotional significance. He falls in love with Clare and they get married. Clare and Henry try to live normal lives with steady jobs and children, in spite of Henry’s condition.  A lot of Clare’s time is spent waiting for Henry. She meets a thirty-six-year-old Henry when she is only a child because Future Henry traveled back in time. She spends much of her childhood waiting to meet him in her own timeline. Though each chapter has the date on which it takes place, we often encounter Henry at a different age than the age he would be at that date. In some cases, we also encounter duplicate Henrys (his current self, meeting his future self) which can get a bit confusing. But if you give it time and thought it’s very much worth the effort.

51tyxvqweyl-_ac_us218_7. The House on the Strand by Daphne DuMaurier– Professor Magnus Lane is spending the summer in London, so he gives his friend, Dick Young his Cornwall house to stay in. Dick arrives a bit before the rest of his family and Lane persuades him to take an experimental drug that will send him back in time. When Dick takes the drug, he witnesses a drama in the same Cornwall location 600 years earlier. This drama is compelling enough for Dick to disregard the danger and take the drug again and again, in order to see more. His addiction begins to take a toll on his twentieth-century life. Eventually, he comes to confuse the two eras, which has a destructive effect on Dick’s marriage and his family. The reader is aware that the drug is detrimental, but we’re in a similar position to Dick. We also want to know how events in the 14th century will play out, so we want Dick to take it “just one more time” to see what happens.

51t3kmsupxl-_ac_us218_8. The Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon– In 1975, single mother Lux Lysander is overworked and underpaid. When her five-year-old son goes to visit his grandparents Lux decides to take a vacation herself. She goes to Sonoma Valley. One night, she sees a point of light in the distance. She goes to see what it is and finds herself in a sunlight field. The people she meets dress and speak like they’re from another time. Because they are.  Greengage is cut off from the rest of the world and from time itself. They are stuck in the early twentieth century. Unlike the residents of Greengage, Lux seems to have the ability to come and go. She is drawn to Greengage and the people who live there. It’s the only place she’s ever really felt completely at home. But her beloved son is very much a child of the modern world.

51islkdgaql-_ac_us218_9. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgeway– In 1815, Lord Nicholas Davenant dies on a Napoleonic battlefield. Or so it seems. He actually went forward in time 200 years, and finds himself in the early 21st century, being taken care of by a secret society called The Guild. Told that he can’t return to his own time, Nick makes a life for himself. But several years later, he’s contacted by The Guild again and told that he needs to return to his own time and find a mysterious enemy who has a device that controls time. In the nineteenth century, Nick’s childhood acquaintance Julia Percy’s grandfather dies. Julia’s grandfather had a secret. He could stop time, and Julia seems to share that ability. This will bring her back into Nick’s life as they find themselves caught up in a historical conspiracy.

51uj1ebhu0l-_ac_us218_10. Lightning by Dean Koontz– Laura Shane was born on a  dark and stormy night in 1955. A mysterious stranger showed up and prevented a drunk doctor from attending the difficult delivery, thereby indirectly saving Laura’s life. This same stranger turns up at several points during Laura’s life, saving her each time. When she grows up, the man, whose name is Stefan, once again saves the widowed Laura and her young son, Chris. Now he tells Laura who he is and where he’s come from. She and Chris and the world they live in are in terrible danger. At first, the explanation seems like a letdown (it did to me at least) but the time travel paradoxes provide an additional twist, that made things more interesting.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked But Don’t Remember Much

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

January 23: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

There are a lot of these. Including many whose names and authors I can’t remember! But these I do remember reading and liking:

51cmzm27jl-_ac_us218_1. Replay by Ken Grimwood– This was about a middle-aged man who dies and wakes up one morning and is 18 again. Then he dies again and the same thing happens. So he relives his life in many different ways. Don’t ask me about any of those ways though, because I don’t remember!

 

 

51kqcjspqwl-_ac_us218_2. City of Dreams by Beverly Swerling– I remember that is was about Manhattan when it was still the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam.  There were a brother and a sister who somehow ended up as enemies and the feud extended through their descendants. Apparently, it’s the first in a trilogy about historical NYC. I can’t remember if I read the other books.

 

51ujrgneuml-_ac_us218_3. City of Light by Lauren Belfer– I remember how this book ended, though I won’t spoil it here. It’s about the headmistress at a school for girls in upstate NY. There’s a hydroelectric power plant near the school and when someone dies at the plant, it brings up secrets about the headmistress’ past.

 

 

41yuqyv000l-_ac_us218_4. The Circus of the Earth and the Air by Brooke Stevens– A man’s wife volunteers for a magic act at a circus. The magician makes her disappear, but she never reappears. He goes backstage after the show, to try to find her, and no one working at the circus seems to remember her taking part in the act. Don’t ask me what happened to the wife though, because I don’t remember!

 

510o1wih4jl-_ac_us218_5. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood– I read this while I was on a Margaret Atwood kick, and while I liked it, it blends in with a lot of the other work I read at that time. But I want to revisit it because Atwood wrote two sequels to it that I’d like to read. It took place in a dystopian future (somewhat familiar ground for Atwood) and was about one of the last humans, Snowman and his involvement with the title characters.

 

41tu5mjgful-_ac_us218_6. Woman at the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy– The main character in this book is in a mental hospital because she thinks she can communicate with someone from the future. It turns out she’s very sane and she can really communicate with the future. I remember there was a point where if she makes one choice the world turns into a utopia. But if she makes the other choice it turns into a dystopia. But that’s about all I remember!

 

51h1fidmd9l-_ac_us218_7. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith– I was obsessed with this for a while when I was in middle school. It was actually two separate books then, and they were later published as a single volume. It was about a fantasy world where a young girl leads a rebellion against a corrupt king. I remember that it went into what happens after the rebellion which was one of the first times I can remember an author going past the “natural” ending point.

 

51jmlaov-el-_ac_us218_8. Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier– I love Juliet Marillier and I remember liking this book. I remember it was about a land that was under the rule of an evil king who had outlawed magic, but the heroine had something magical about her. I think I read this book at the same time that I was reading a lot of the genre and it gets mixed up with some others in my memory.

 

51ft9lt9c-l-_ac_us218_9. Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan– This took place in an English country house between WWI and WWII. I think there was a love story. I remember that I found it reminiscent of The Secret Garden in some way, but I can’t remember how.

 

 

41q3nn-asxl-_ac_us218_10. Devil Water by Anya Seton– Anya Seton wrote some really good historical fiction. This is included in that category, I think. Unfortunately, all I can remember is that it’s about the daughter of a man who was executed for taking part in a Jacobite uprising. I think she goes to America.