It’s daylight savings time and we know you’re hurrying to find a book for the upcoming extra hour of reading. Well, you’re just in time! We’ve got a list of wonderful books revolving around the concept of time. Whether traveling ahead, visiting the past, or asking questions like “Is time travel possible?”—these books are the perfect reads for when we turn the clocks back.
Reads that Span Decades:
Leaving Time by Jodi Piccoult
For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.
The Last Time She Saw Him by Jame Haseldine
Julia Gooden remembers nothing about the worst night of her life. Thirty years ago, her beloved nine-year-old brother Ben was abducted from the room they shared. No matter how hard she tries, there is only a black hole where Julia’s memories should be.
Now a crime reporter at a Detroit newspaper, Julia lives in terror that her brother’s abductor is coming back. Nowhere feels safe. Then, on the anniversary of Ben’s disappearance, Julia’s deepest fears come true. Her two-year-old son is snatched from his bed.
Convinced the crimes are related, Julia struggles to piece together her final day with Ben. Are the sudden reminders of him clues, or coincidence? Only one thing is certain: with every passing hour Julia comes closer to losing her son forever—and unearthing a battle more brutal, and personal, than she ever imagined.
Crossing the Borders of Time by Leslie Maitland
On a pier in Marseille in 1942, with desperate refugees pressing to board one of the last ships to escape France before the Nazis choked off its ports, an 18-year-old German Jewish girl was pried from the arms of the Catholic Frenchman she loved and promised to marry. As the Lipari carried Janine and her family to Casablanca on the first leg of a perilous journey to safety in Cuba, she would read through her tears the farewell letter that Roland had slipped in her pocket: “Whatever the length of our separation, our love will survive it, because it depends on us alone. I give you my vow that whatever the time we must wait, you will be my wife. Never forget, never doubt.”
Investigative reporter Leslie Maitland grew up enthralled by her mother’s accounts of forbidden romance and harrowing flight from the Nazis. Her book is both a journalist’s vivid depiction of a world at war and a daughter’s pursuit of a haunting question: what had become of the handsome Frenchman whose picture her mother continued to treasure almost fifty years after they parted? It is a tale of memory that reporting made real and a story of undying love that crosses the borders of time.
Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich
In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what it’s like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacres—but also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The revolutionary novel that catapulted readers into the future, from the father of science fiction, H.G. Wells.
“I’ve had a most amazing time….”
So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey eight hundred thousand years beyond his own era. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes . . . and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of tomorrow as well.
Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century and the First World War.
The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow’s imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence.
Paradox Bound by Peter Clines
Eli Teauge is waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who’s roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who’s a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model-A Ford.
So when the mysterious traveler finally reappears, Eli’s determined that this time, he’s going to get some answers. But his hunt soon yields far more than he bargained for, plunging him headlong into a dizzying world full of competing factions and figures straight out of legend.
To make sense of the mystery at its heart, he must embark on a breakneck chase across the country and through two centuries of history—with nothing less than America’s past, present, and future at stake.
Empire of Time (New Pompeii 2) by Daniel Godfrey
This second book in the New Pompeii series is classic time-travel sci-fi with an extraordinary alternate history twist.
For fifteen years, the Romans of New Pompeii have kept the outside world at bay with the threat of using the Novus Particles device to alter time. Yet Decimus Horatius Pullus—once Nick Houghton—knows the real reason the Romans don’t use the device for their own ends: they can’t make it work without grisly consequences.
This fragile peace is threatened when an outsider promises to help the Romans use the technology. And there are those beyond Pompeii’s walls who are desperate to destroy a town where slavery flourishes. When his own name is found on an ancient artifact dug up at the real Pompeii, Nick knows that someone in the future has control of the device. The question is: whose side are they on?
In Real Time:
Time in a Bottle by Howard Falco
Time is perhaps the most precious and highly coveted resource at our disposal. Yet spiritual teacher Howard Falco has encountered hundreds of people whose limited notions of time have been the primary cause of suffering and disempowerment in their lives. This book shows readers how adjusting their perspective on time will empower them to realize their greatest hopes and dreams.
Whether you desire greater abundance, better health, or more meaningful relationships, you have the power to collapse time, thereby actualizing your intentions faster than you ever imagined possible. Falco shows how personal awareness, thought patterns, feelings, and actions affect when our dreams become a reality. By broadening our understanding of time, we open the doors to an ocean of possibility.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Published more than two decades ago to great critical acclaim and commercial success, A Brief History of Time has become a landmark volume in science writing. Stephen Hawking, one of the great minds of our time, explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?
Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.
How to Build a Time Machine by Paul Davies
With his unique knack for making cutting-edge theoretical science effortlessly accessible, world-renowned physicist Paul Davies now tackles an issue that has boggled minds for centuries: Is time travel possible? The answer, insists Davies, is definitely yes—once you iron out a few kinks in the space-time continuum. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, Davies explains the theoretical physics that make visiting the future and revisiting the past possible, then proceeds to lay out a four-stage process for assembling a time machine and making it work. Wildly inventive and theoretically sound, How to Build a Time Machine is creative science at its best—illuminating, entertaining, and thought-provoking.