The best books if you want to escape this reality for a little bit

Why am I passionate about this?

I thought of the idea for The Infinite-Infinite and I knew I needed to read more and more in the time travel/multiverse/alternate reality genre to make sure I wasn’t about to copy something inadvertently. I’ve always loved time travel movies (Back to the Future) and shows (Timeless). I find these kinds of adventures to be so fascinating and I have read so many books in this genre, I can tell you these are the best to escape to another reality (similar to ours or wildly different).


I wrote...

The Infinite-Infinite

By M.K. Williams,

Book cover of The Infinite-Infinite

What is my book about?

Imagine waking up one morning to a better life: a beautifully stylized home, an elevated position at your job, a cleaner society. Oh, there’s a catch – your boyfriend may be a murderer with access to the most powerful invention in human history.

This is exactly how Nina Marks woke on August 8th. Kidnapped across the multiverse, Nina has to navigate her way home. An action-packed journey that will transport readers across several stops in the multiverse, this is a thrilling read for fans of Michael Crichton and the Sci-Fi Genre. If you have enjoyed other alternative history thrillers like The Man In The High Castle and Underground Airlines, then The Infinite-Infinite should be at the top of your must-read list.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Space Between Worlds

M.K. Williams Why did I love this book?

Even after I wrote my first book about the multiverse, I found myself drawn to reading more and more in this very niche genre. So it takes a lot to surprise me or show me something new in this space. This book had an amazing twist and I couldn’t put it down. The book had several great layered elements which I really enjoyed and I loved seeing the different alter-egos. Seeing such disparate versions of the different characters was really fun and shows the author’s creativity. 

By Micaiah Johnson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Space Between Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times bestseller. Winner of the Kitschies Golden Tentacle award.

A stunning science fiction debut, The Space Between Worlds is both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.

'My mother used to say I was born reaching, which is true. She also used to say it would get me killed, which it hasn't. Not yet, anyway.'

Born in the dirt of the wasteland, Cara has fought her entire life just to survive. Now she has done the impossible, and landed herself a comfortable life on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley…


Book cover of The Midnight Library

M.K. Williams Why did I love this book?

I’ve read several of Matt Haig’s books which focus on the topic of time, timelessness, and alternate realities. This is the ultimate “what if” book exploring more than just one iteration of a life. I really liked the very different realities explored and the potential for infinite variety in one’s decisions. 

By Matt Haig,

Why should I read it?

35 authors picked The Midnight Library as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon

Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year

"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."-The Washington Post

The dazzling reader-favorite about the choices that go into a life well lived, from the acclaimed author of How To Stop Time and The Comfort Book.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of…


Book cover of A Darker Shade of Magic

M.K. Williams Why did I love this book?

This was the first book I read from Schwab and it got me hooked on her entire catalog. I liked the novel way of exploring different versions of London and the potential for magic in the world (or another world.) I got lost in this series and wanted to stay in the Red London even longer. I love finding a book and a series that I can get lost in. I highly recommend checking out this series (and the associated comics) to escape for a little while. 

By V. E. Schwab,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked A Darker Shade of Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A stunning collector's edition of the acclaimed novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab.

With an exclusive metallic ink cover, this edition will feature:

* End papers of London
* Fan art
* A glossary of Arnesian and Antari terms
* An interview between author and editor
* Original (never before seen!) tales from within the Shades of Magic world

Kell is one of the last Antari-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons. There is Red London, where life and magic are revered, Grey London, without magic and ruled by mad King…


Book cover of The Other Me

M.K. Williams Why did I love this book?

This was the first alternate reality book I read the incorporated the idea of a start-up business and a phone app as a means of visiting or revising a reality. (Oops… spoiler.) It was a unique way to imagine a world where a select few could revise their days, weeks, or even years and the consequences to those who they know and the ripple effect in their lives. 

By Sarah Zachrich Jeng,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Other Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Who hasn't wondered what alternate versions of their lives might look like?...As relatable as it is suspenseful cleverly exploring adulthood, identity, and shifting realities.”
—Margarita Montimore, USA Today bestselling author of Oona Out of Order

An inventive page-turner about the choices we make and the ones made for us.

One minute Kelly’s a free-spirited artist in Chicago going to her best friend’s art show. The next, she opens a door and mysteriously emerges in her Michigan hometown. Suddenly her life is unrecognizable: She's got twelve years of the wrong memories in her head and she's married to Eric, a man…


Book cover of Dark Matter

M.K. Williams Why did I love this book?

If you have ever thought about “what if?” in terms of your own life decisions then Dark Matter will give you even more questions to ponder. It is the pinnacle of the multiverse and alternate reality fiction. I wanted to read this book and be able to say “ugh, overrated.” But not, it is appropriately rated, it is excellent! 

By Blake Crouch,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Dark Matter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Brilliant. . . I think Blake Crouch just invented something new' - Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series.

From Blake Crouch, the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human - a relentlessly surprising thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of, perfect for fans of Stranger Things and Ready Player One.

'Are you happy in your life?'
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakes to find…


You might also like...

A Theory of Expanded Love

By Caitlin Hicks,

Book cover of A Theory of Expanded Love

Caitlin Hicks Author Of A Theory of Expanded Love

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

My life and work have been profoundly affected by the central circumstance of my existence: I was born into a very large military Catholic family in the United States of America. As a child surrounded by many others in the 60s, I wrote, performed, and directed family plays with my numerous brothers and sisters. Although I fell in love with a Canadian and moved to Canada, my family of origin still exerts considerable personal influence. My central struggle, coming from that place of chaos, order, and conformity, is to have the courage to live an authentic life based on my own experience of connectedness and individuality, to speak and be heard. 

Caitlin's book list on coming-of-age books that explore belonging, identity, family, and beat with an emotional and/or humorous pulse

What is my book about?

Trapped in her enormous, devout Catholic family in 1963, Annie creates a hilarious campaign of lies when the pope dies and their family friend, Cardinal Stefanucci, is unexpectedly on the shortlist to be elected the first American pope.

Driven to elevate her family to the holiest of holy rollers in the parish, Annie is tortured by her own dishonesty. But when “The Hands” visits her in her bed and when her sister finds herself facing a scandal, Annie discovers her parents will do almost anything to uphold their reputation and keep their secrets safe. 

Questioning all she has believed and torn between her own gut instinct and years of Catholic guilt, Annie takes courageous risks to wrest salvation from the tragic sequence of events set in motion by her parents’ betrayal.

A Theory of Expanded Love

By Caitlin Hicks,


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in decision making, magic-supernatural, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about decision making, magic-supernatural, and presidential biography.

Decision Making Explore 81 books about decision making
Magic-Supernatural Explore 604 books about magic-supernatural
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography