The best books that will immerse you into another time and place

Sharon Ledwith Author Of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis
By Sharon Ledwith

Who am I?

Escape to the past and have a blast is definitely my motto as a Canadian young adult author. With a penchant for escapism fiction, I’ve always loved books that pull me into different places and adverse time periods. Enter time traveling and original storytelling. Legends, myths, and mysteries of the unexplained thrill me. A lover of anything arcane and ancient mysteries, I delve into our written past to give my fiction the facts I need to immerse readers into my imaginary universe—one book at a time.


I wrote...

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis

By Sharon Ledwith,

Book cover of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis

What is my book about?

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown backyard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial—Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

The books I picked & why

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Outlander

By Diana Gabaldon,

Book cover of Outlander

Why this book?

If you’ve never heard of Outlander, then my friend, you must’ve been hiding under a rock for the last twenty years. Author Diana Gabaldon weaves an incredible time travel love story that spans three hundred years, with a proposed ten-book series. Filled with mouth-watering descriptions and unforgettable characters, the story begins post-World War Two, as protagonist Claire Randall falls through an ancient standing stone she discovers while vacationing with her husband in Scotland. Unaware that she has arrived in the eighteenth century, Claire is caught in a web of treachery between the Scots and English, and somehow must survive to get back to the standing stone and return home to her century. What Claire doesn’t count on is falling in love with young Scotsman Jamie Fraser, who will do everything in his power to keep her safe, and keep his word to not only his clan, but to her. 


The Time Keeper

By Mitch Albom,

Book cover of The Time Keeper

Why this book?

After reading The Time Keeper, I found Albom truly has a gift for words. He has a unique brand of storytelling, which made this book flow easily. The tale is original and inspirational. At first, I wasn’t quite sure how to read Albom’s prose, but soon I found that I couldn’t put it down. I’d get to the end of one chapter, then was hooked into the next one. Although Albom’s spiritual convictions shine through, he’s not preachy, and leaves room for his readers’ imagination to percolate throughout the story. I loved the way certain myths were introduced into the mix—the Tower of Babel and Father Time—to give the story an air of familiarity. All and all, this book is worth the investment of your time, whether on vacation or cozying up on the couch at home.


Unintended

By Justine Alley Dowsett, Murandy Damodred, Sara Biddle (illustrator)

Book cover of Unintended

Why this book?

This hilarious Shakespearean-style romantic romp hooked me from the moment the main character, Kenzie en Shareed marries the wrong guy. Filled with faux pas from the get-go, I found the cast of Unintended trying to right wrongs in the most hysterical and sometimes disturbing ways. I also loved the way the pair of imaginative authors created their fantasy world of Ismera. Sprinkled with the nostalgic feeling of Old World Scotland and Britain, coupled with their use of modern-day language to bridge the gap of the past and present, readers of this type of genre (think Outlander meets a Shakespearean comedy) won’t be disappointed. This tale ends with a few surprises, leaving me feeling satisfied and ready for the next sojourn to Ismera.


Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

By Rick Riordan,

Book cover of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Why this book?

Riordan had me at Norse mythology. Love it! Written in the usual tongue-in-cheek humor I’m used to with the author’s style, I loved the way he rebranded Norse myths to fit into the young adult genre he’s so famous for writing. It begins as homeless Magnus Chase (cousin to Annabeth from The Lightning Thief) is plucked from the real world (he literally dies) and taken to Hotel Valhalla, where he’s put through the gantlet over and over again (and dies many times in the process) until he teams up with an unlikely (and likable) diverse cast of characters who embark on a journey to recover his birthright—the Sword of Summer. However, what Magnus doesn’t count on is finding out the truth about who he really is, and his place in Asgard. 


Fifteen Dogs

By André Alexis,

Book cover of Fifteen Dogs

Why this book?

Imagine a bet between the Greek gods Hermes and Apollo who both agree to grant human intelligence to a group of dogs staying overnight in a veterinary clinic. The wager? If the dogs end up more unhappy than humans with their newfound consciousness, then Hermes must bow to a year of servitude to Apollo. The catch? When the dogs find they’re more capable of complex thought, the pack is split between the old ‘dog’ ways, and those who embrace the change. Not used to human thoughts and feelings, the dogs become divided while struggling between their old familiar world and a strange new one. Though I found this fantasy novel disturbing at times, Alexis proves that you can indeed teach an old genre new tricks.


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