The best time travel books for people keen to change the past

Who am I?

Why do I have a passion for time travel? Maybe because I am a time traveler. Just like we all are, moving forward in the temporal stream one instant at a time. Like many of us sometimes I wish I could reverse that stream, and live parts of my life over again, maybe do things a little differently the next time around, or the third. Or fourth. This first time around I’ve mostly been a broadcaster, working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, making radio, helping run the place. Married, with kids, and dogs and cats, writing in my free time. On second thought maybe I wouldn’t change anything after all…     


I wrote...

A Time and a Place

By Joe Mahoney, Robert Runte (editor), Arleane Ralph (editor)

Book cover of A Time and a Place

What is my book about?

In a rousing tale by turns comic and tragic, Barnabus J. Wildebear must rescue his 15-year-old nephew when the boy is recruited by an enigmatic alien to fight in a war halfway across the galaxy. Forced to evade armies, survive telepathic assaults, and inhabit the minds of alien beings, Wildebear will come to question the nature of free will and his own sanity. But he cannot fail. Doing so would mean failing not only his nephew and humanity, but Wildebear himself. 

"Thoughtful, eloquent, and messy." - Publishers Weekly

The books I picked & why

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11/22/63

By Stephen King,

Book cover of 11/22/63

Why this book?

This is my favourite Stephen King book. It’s just a lot of fun, a book that I couldn’t wait to pick up and continue reading. It’s more fantasy than his usual horror. It’s not just the time travel component that intrigues; it’s revisiting that unique time in America’s history. King makes you experience it for yourself. And then, once he has your complete attention, he takes you along for a gripping ride as Jake Epping tries to save the 35th President of the United States.  

11/22/63

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked 11/22/63 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major TV series from JJ Abrams and Stephen King, starring James Franco (Hulu US, Fox UK and Europe, Stan Australia, SKY New Zealand).

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . .

King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of…


The Time Traveler's Wife

By Audrey Niffenegger,

Book cover of The Time Traveler's Wife

Why this book?

I wasn’t sure I’d like this book. I thought it might be more of a romance, not really my cup of tea. And certainly there were romantic elements. But really it was just a great story about a guy with an unusual problem: flitting through time when he least expected it, and woman with a related problem: falling in love with a guy living their life together out of order. A terrific concept expertly executed. 

The Time Traveler's Wife

By Audrey Niffenegger,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Time Traveler's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a series on HBO starring Rose Leslie and Theo James!

The iconic time travel love story and mega-bestselling first novel from Audrey Niffenegger is "a soaring celebration of the victory of love over time" (Chicago Tribune).

Henry DeTamble is a dashing, adventurous librarian who is at the mercy of his random time time-traveling abilities. Clare Abshire is an artist whose life moves through a natural sequential course. This is the celebrated and timeless tale of their love. Henry and Clare's passionate affair is built and endures across a sea of time and captures them in an impossibly romantic trap…


Replay

By Ken Grimwood,

Book cover of Replay

Why this book?

Replay is one of my all-time favourite books. It’s probably the book I’ve reread the most. I expect I’ll read it again one day. And the weird thing is every time I’ve read it, it’s been a slightly different book. Of course, it’s no doubt me that’s changed, not the book. Or… is it? Anyway, what if you could live your life over again? And again, and again? What would you do differently? Such an intriguing question is one of the many charms of this terrific book. Utterly gripping from start to finish, I may not wait, and go read it again right now… 

Replay

By Ken Grimwood,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Replay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At forty-three Jeff Winston is tired of his low-paid, unrewarding job, tired of the long silences at the breakfast table with his wife, saddened by the thought of no children to comfort his old age. But he hopes for better things, for happiness, maybe tomorrow ...

But a sudden, fatal heart attack puts paid to that. Until Jeff wakes up in his eighteen-year-old body, all his memories of the next twenty-five years intact. If he applies those memories, he can be rich in this new chance at life and can become one of the most powerful men in America.

Until…


To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

By Connie Willis,

Book cover of To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

Why this book?

To Say Nothing of the Dog is a fairly brilliant time-travel novel about a temporal historian named Ned Henry. Whether you like it will probably come down to taste. It made me laugh out loud more than once. I loved Cyril the dog. I loved Baines the butler. I may have developed a bit of a crush on Verity. (That has never happened to me with a character in a book before.) This book, which has been described as a symphony of a novel, radiates intelligence and good humour and belongs on your reading list, at the very top, if not slightly higher. 

To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

By Connie Willis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked To Say Nothing of the Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ned Henry is a time-travelling historian who specialises in the mid-20th century - currently engaged in researching the bombed-out Coventry Cathedral. He's also made so many drops into the past that he's suffering from a dangerously advanced case of 'time-lag'.

Unfortunately for Ned, an emergency dash to Victorian England is required and he's the only available historian. But Ned's time-lag is so bad that he's not sure what the errand is - which is bad news since, if he fails, history could unravel around him...


The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

By Claire North,

Book cover of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Why this book?

There must be some part of me that wants to live my life over again because I’m drawn to books that explore that idea. I’d like to write such a book myself one day. Maybe I already have. But I’d be hard-pressed to write one as good as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Claire North makes it look easy, marrying a compelling concept to stellar plotting and great characterization in a book difficult to put down.   

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

By Claire North,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'ONE OF THE FICTION HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DECADE' Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy Book Club

Featured in the Richard and Judy Book Club, the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club
Winner of the John W. Campbell Award
Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award

SOME STORIES CANNOT BE TOLD IN JUST ONE LIFETIME

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before.

Nothing ever changes - until now.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in time travel, life satisfaction, and reincarnation?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about time travel, life satisfaction, and reincarnation.

Time Travel Explore 202 books about time travel
Life Satisfaction Explore 134 books about life satisfaction
Reincarnation Explore 43 books about reincarnation

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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