The most recommended time travel books

Who picked these books? Meet our 561 experts.

561 authors created a book list with time travel books, and here are their favorites. 

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Book cover of Every Anxious Wave

Gigi Little Author Of City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales

From my list on sci-fi & fantasy that take you to unexpected places.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a sci-fi and fantasy fan ever since my childhood when I thought looking for spaceships and dragons in the night sky was just a normal kid nightly activity and not, you know, fiction. When seeking stories for my anthology City of Weird, I reached back into my childhood obsession with all things out of or beyond this world, but I found that I wanted tales that took my favorite themes and slanted them. Went to unexpected places, not only in time and space, but also in theme and approach. Like these five books, which I hope you will enjoy.

Gigi's book list on sci-fi & fantasy that take you to unexpected places

Gigi Little Why did Gigi love this book?

I love time travel stories—and Every Anxious Wave is my favorite. What would you do if you discovered your own personal wormhole that would allow you go anywhere, anywhen? Well of course you’d set up shop as an agency that takes clients through time and space to… see their favorite bands play! From this unique premise, Daviau’s novel widens into not only a heck of a musical time-travel good time but also a moving story of human connection. Oh, and some great commentary on climate change to boot. A deceptively deep but thoroughly fun wild ride.

By Mo Daviau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Every Anxious Wave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Karl Bender is a good guy whose life lacks love and meaning. When he stumbles upon a time-traveling worm hole, Karl and best friend Wayne develop a business selling access to people who want to travel back in time to listen to their favourite bands. It's a pretty ingenious plan, until Karl, intending to send Wayne to 1980, transports him back to 980 instead. Though Wayne sends texts extolling the quality of life in tenth century "Mannahatta," Karl is distraught that he can't bring his friend back. Enter brilliant, prickly, astrophysicist, Lena Geduldig. Karl and Lena's connection is immediate. While…


Book cover of Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth

Deborah Kalb Author Of George Washington and the Magic Hat

From my list on classic time travel books for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former journalist, currently a freelance writer and editor, book blogger, and author. I’ve spent my entire life voraciously reading. I majored in history in college and spent many years covering Congress and politics in Washington, D.C., before turning to writing books.

Deborah's book list on classic time travel books for kids

Deborah Kalb Why did Deborah love this book?

I remember really enjoying this book as a kid. Jason and his talking cat, Gareth, embark on a series of time travel adventures, from Ancient Egypt to the Revolutionary War. Alexander was probably best known for his Chronicles of Prydain fantasy series, but Time Cat is less a fantasy story than a series of time travel episodes. I’ve always been more interested in stories that involve time travel back to the past rather than into a hypothetical future, probably because I love history.

By Lloyd Alexander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Gareth doesn't have nine lives, but he is definitely not an ordinary cat. For one thing, he can talk. For another, he has magical powers that Jason never dreamed of. "Anywhere, any time, any country, any century"―Gareth tells Jason he can take them traveling through time. And in the wink of a very special cat's eye, they're off. From ancient Egypt to Japan, from the land of young Leonardo da Vinci to the town of a woman accused of witchcraft, Jason and Gareth are whisked from place to place and friend to foe. This fantastic tale grabs the imagination and…


Book cover of A Traveller in Time

Gwyneth Jones Author Of Kairos

From my list on classic tales of mysteries beyond the veil.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I knew why I'm attracted to ghost stories, spooky stories; “mysteries from beyond the veil”, it wouldn't be a mystery, would it? My brother was the same. We can (or could) suddenly find the streets where we lived as mysterious as a lost world. We used to call it “The Land of Ghosts and Witches”. Did we imagine this feeling? Did we make it up? I don't know. But there is a long name for a condition, a little kink that matches my experiences. I found an article in New Scientist about it once, but I've forgotten what it was.

Gwyneth's book list on classic tales of mysteries beyond the veil

Gwyneth Jones Why did Gwyneth love this book?

Sent off to the old Derbyshire farm to convalesce, Penelope Taverner opens a door, steps into the world of the tragic stand-off between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth of England, and hardly notices she's time-travelling.

She's just there, among people who dress a little strangely: accepted as exactly what she is, the daughter of an old family connection, come to stay for a while. Nothing can be done. Mary of Scots can't be saved; nor can the courageous Babingtons. It's intense and a bit voyeurish in a way, because the time-traveller is always going to walk away unharmed from tragedy, if not untouched.

I loved this story when I was a child, but what I notice most as an adult writer is Alison Uttley's method with the time travel: a real innovation. No clunky explanation, no clever rationale. It's all about hints and glimpses, haunting fragments; drifting into each…

By Alison Uttley, Phyllis Bray,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Traveller in Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A TRAVELLER IN TIME by Alison Uttley is a much-loved time-slip novel which vividly captures life at the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. Penelope lives in the 20th Century, and it is only when she visits Thackers, a remote, ancient farmhouse, that she finds herself travelling back in time to join the lives of the Babington family, and watching helplessly as tragic events bring danger to her friends and the downfall of their heroine Mary, Queen of Scots, whom they are seeking to rescue.


Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

By K.R. Wilson,

Book cover of Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

K.R. Wilson Author Of Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist Reader History enthusiast Occasional composer Sometime chorister

K.R.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When King Priam's pregnant daughter was fleeing the sack of Troy, Stan was there. When Jesus of Nazareth was beaten and crucified, Stan was there - one crossover. He’s been a Hittite warrior, a Silk Road mercenary, a reluctant rebel in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, and an information peddler in the cabarets of post-war Berlin. Stan doesn't die, and he doesn't know why. And now he's being investigated for a horrific crime.

As Stan tells his story, from his origins as an Anatolian sheep farmer to his custody in a Toronto police interview room, he brings a wry, anachronistic…

Call Me Stan: A Tragedy in Three Millennia

By K.R. Wilson,

What is this book about?

Long-listed for the 2022 Leacock Medal for Humour

When King Priam's pregnant daughter was fleeing the sack of Troy, Stan was there. When Jesus of Nazareth was beaten and crucified, Stan was there - one cross over. Stan has been a Hittite warrior, a Roman legionnaire, a mercenary for the caravans of the Silk Road and a Great War German grunt. He’s been a toymaker in a time of plague, a reluctant rebel in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, and an information peddler in the cabarets of post-war Berlin. Stan doesn't die, and he doesn't know why. And now he's…


Book cover of The Frequency of Us

Karen Osman Author Of The Perfect Lie

From Karen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist Writing coach Mother Expat (currently living in the US) Reader

Karen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Karen Osman Why did Karen love this book?

This story is about love, but it also has an element of mystery. It’s beautifully written and I actually missed the characters after I’d finished the book! I also love historical fiction, but this is a little bit different in that there’s a sprinkling of the supernatural.

The author brings so much emotion to the characters and the story; it stayed on my mind for a long time afterward. 

By Keith Stuart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Frequency of Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*** A BBC2 BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB PICK ***
*** BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME ***

'A fascinating, beautiful, heartwarming novel. It kept me gripped from the very first chapter' -- BETH O'LEARY

In Second World War Bath, young, naive wireless engineer Will meets Austrian refugee Elsa Klein: she is sophisticated, witty and worldly, and at last his life seems to make sense . . . until, soon after, the newly married couple's home is bombed, and Will awakes from the wreckage to find himself alone.

No one has heard of Elsa Klein. They say he was never…


Book cover of Trailer, Get Your Kicks!

Diane Winger Author Of Ellie Dwyer's Great Escape

From my list on proving you’re never too old for fun adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an active senior who seeks outdoor adventures and who cringes whenever I hear someone say, “I’m too old to [fill in the blank]…”, I love both writing and reading books with older characters who believe instead, “You’re never too old.” I’m drawn to stories where older folks defy stereotypes and continue to relish new experiences, especially those involving the things I most enjoy: camping, hiking, and climbing. Toss in some fun and laughter and I’m there! 

Diane's book list on proving you’re never too old for fun adventures

Diane Winger Why did Diane love this book?

What a great combination – time travel and an adventure in a classic RV!

In my opinion, this book is the best of Nortman’s fun Time Travel Trailer series, combining suspense, nostalgia, and time travel with a delightful trip down memory lane – or I should say, a trip along the original Route 66.

By Karen Musser Nortman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trailer, Get Your Kicks! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lynne McBriar swore her vintage trailer would stay in a museum where it would be safe from further time travel. But when a museum in Texas wants to borrow it, she determines that she must deliver it herself. Her husband Kurt convinces her to take it along Route 66 for research he is doing. What starts out as a family vacation soon turns deadly. Travel can be dangerous any time, but when your trip involves the Time Travel Trailer, who knows where (or when) you will end up?


Book cover of Wander Dust

Christy Sloat Author Of The Wordsmith

From my list on time travel you probably haven’t read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a sucker for a good time travel novel. So when I started writing my Librarian Chronicles I quickly learned that there is just so much you can do with the theory of time. My characters have gone to many places and times and in order to perfect these locations and eras that required tons of research. For my first novel, The Librarian, I researched for nearly a year before I wrote the book. I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy my Librarian Chronicles and I look forward to writing more in the series. Each novel is unique and they can all be read in any order.

Christy's book list on time travel you probably haven’t read

Christy Sloat Why did Christy love this book?

I was lucky enough to read this book when it was first released in 2011. I had just gotten my first eReader, a Nook, and downloaded this book based on the cover. I won’t lie, I am a cover fanatic. Once I read it though, I quickly realized this book was more than the cover. It is well-written and pulled me out of a pretty deep reading slump.

Even better, it's an independently published book and I love to support Indie’s. But let’s get into why I love this book so much. Wander Dust dances that line between fantasy and time travel, and has all the allure of romance that I just love about a book. There is a lot of information thrown at you from the very beginning about the society in which our young character is thrust into, which for me is just what I need when I…

By Michelle Warren, Pam Berehulke (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wander Dust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ever since her sixteenth birthday, strange things keep happening to Seraphina Parrish.

The Lady in Black burns Sera’s memories.

Unexplainable Premonitions catapult her to other cities.

The Grungy Gang wants to kill her.

And a beautiful, mysterious boy stalks her.

But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose…


Book cover of Fortunately, the Milk

Callie C. Miller Author Of The Hunt for the Hollower

From my list on whimsical fantasy romps for middle grade and YA.

Why am I passionate about this?

After a lifetime of reading fantasy, I have a career professionally writing fantasy! Whether it’s for animation, video games, or children’s books, crafting adventures in worlds of whimsy and wonder is a treat. Writing has sharpened my senses to recognize and appreciate well-crafted stories in all their forms, and the books on this list are some of the very finest romps.

Callie's book list on whimsical fantasy romps for middle grade and YA

Callie C. Miller Why did Callie love this book?

Silliness is one of my favorite things, and it doesn’t get much sillier than when a run-of-the-mill trip to buy milk turns into a madcap adventure.

There are dinosaurs! And pirates! And aliens! This book is a delightful escape, and Skottie Young’s illustration perfectly capture the romp of it all.

By Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Fortunately, the Milk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

From multi-award-winning Neil Gaiman comes a spectacularly silly, mind-bendingly clever, brilliantly bonkers adventure - with lip-smackingly gorgeous illustrations by Chris Riddell. Mum's away. Dad's in charge. There's no milk. So Dad saves the day by going to buy some. Really, that's all that happens. Very boring. YAAAAAAAAAWN. There are absolutely none of the following inside: GLOBBY GREEN ALIENS! INTERGALACTIC POLICE! PIRATES! And most definitely NOT a time-travelling hot-air balloon piloted by the brilliant Professor Steg ... Don't miss this gloriously entertaining novel about time-travel, dinosaurs, milk and dads.


Book cover of Lord John and the Private Matter

Fenna Edgewood Author Of The Bluestocking Beds Her Bride

From my list on a pride-filled summer of LGBT reading.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a religion and family where being gay was most definitely more than frowned upon. Now as a queer author and parent (and former academic who studied queer lit and video games!), I’m thrilled to be bringing a “book baby” into the world during Pride Month that is pure historical romantic fantasy in which two women embrace who they are and one another. When I first started reading queer fiction, much of it was gritty and realistic, sure, but also extremely grim. I think we desperately need a balance of the grim and the gleeful and that is what I hope this little list gives you! Happy endings are possible in fiction and reality. Happy Pride Month, dear readers! 

Fenna's book list on a pride-filled summer of LGBT reading

Fenna Edgewood Why did Fenna love this book?

So, making this list has rather reminded me that there is a major dearth of queer books in historical romance. Especially of the happy variety—and it’s not a true romance if it doesn’t have an HEA.

I could easily have included The Song of Achilles or Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café or Patience and Sarah, but they wouldn’t have fit the Regency/Victorian time period I was aiming for and they also either have very hidden/obscured queerness (e.g. Fried Green Tomatoes) or no HEA (Song of Achilles, obvs).

I’m going with Lord John even though he’s Georgian era because 1) he has a happy and fulfilling life despite his One True Love ultimately being unrequited, 2) he has some great love affairs and adventures, and 3) best of all this is a series. And a series is almost as good as an HEA!

If…

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lord John and the Private Matter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Diana Gabaldon weaves a dazzling tale of history, intrigue, and suspense in this first novel featuring one of her most popular characters from the Outlander saga: Lord John Grey.
 
The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: The Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder…


Book cover of The Sleeping Angel

Nel Ashley Author Of Dandelion Time: A Romance Through Time

From my list on transport you into mystery, adventure and romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a fascination with the past and how it interacts with the present. I grew up playing in the house and grounds of a spooky old house that was a convalescent home for World War One soldiers and had stood there for centuries before that. At university my essays always strayed into the supernatural. I studied time slips and gothic fiction in English Literature and my history dissertation was about people who believed their children were fairy changelings. When I’m not combining my passion for historical mysteries and ghostly goings on in my writing, I collect old postcards and explore crumbling cemeteries for inspiration.

Nel's book list on transport you into mystery, adventure and romance

Nel Ashley Why did Nel love this book?

Highgate Cemetery is a place I have always wanted to visit, and through this book you get to see it in its newly built Victorian splendour, and its wild and overgrown beauty of today, making this a must-read novel for me.

This standalone novel combines a Victorian mystery with a modern-day murder mystery and a real-life incident that occurred at Highgate in 1970 which was reported in both newspapers and on television at the time – The Highgate Vampire. All of the reports the author uses in the book can be found in contemporary newspapers of the time. There are even Facebook groups devoted to discussing the event. Having read about The Highgate Vampire from the reports of those involved I was intrigued to see how Morris would incorporate this event into her time slip.

 It is very unusual for an author to use an event that occurred within living…

By Margarita Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sleeping Angel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Something is astir in Highgate Cemetery. The dead want justice and so do the living.

January 1870: Isabelle Hart has a secret. It lies buried in Highgate Cemetery, beside the statue of the sleeping angel. The enigmatic medium, Madeleine Fox, seems to offer Isabelle hope, but is it all a terrible lie?

March 1970: Strange happenings of a sinister nature are reported at Highgate Cemetery. Who or what is lurking amongst the gravestones? A teenager discovers an obsession that will consume him for the rest of his life.

July, present day: Lauren reluctantly participates in a séance only to discover…


Book cover of Throwback

Nancy McCabe Author Of Vaulting Through Time

From my list on contemporary young adult on time traveling teens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been obsessed with time travel, which transcends science fiction and offers ways to experience and reinterpret history, explore philosophical ideas, comment on the past, and imagine the future. I love the possibilities for humor and character development and plot twists across every genre and audience. One feature of all of the books I’ve chosen for this list is that they’re about contemporary young people and grounded in real lives, and time travel happens in all sorts of ways: through magical, mysterious forces, an app, tap shoes, a diary, a rideshare vehicle. I’m less interested in imaginary worlds and more fascinated by the way time travel can shed light on our own times.

Nancy's book list on contemporary young adult on time traveling teens

Nancy McCabe Why did Nancy love this book?

This book was released a couple of days before my list was due, but I was captivated by the description of it as “Back to the Future meets Joy Luck Club.And Throwback engaged me immediately.

I sped through the story of Samantha Kang who, unable to connect to her mom and worried about her grandmother’s health, finds herself thrown back from 2025 to 1995. There, she gets to know her teenage mom and her grandmother in a whole new way.

The contrasts between the post-pandemic gender-fluid TikTok generation and the regressive attitudes of the analog 1990s are brilliantly highlighted, Sam’s social-media savvy voice pitch-perfect, her observations about race, class, gender, pop culture, and being the child and grandchild of immigrants incisive and provocative, humorous and relatable.

I was glad I waited for this novel before I completed my list!

By Maurene Goo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Throwback as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

"No one can blend family, humor, satire, and love into a single perfect story like Maurene Goo can . . ." - Marie Lu, No.1 New York Times bestselling author

Samantha Kang has always butted heads with her mom, Priscilla, who is a first-generation Korean American, a former high school cheerleader and expects Sam to want the same all-American nightmare. Meanwhile, Sam is a girl of the times who has no energy for cliched high school aspirations. After a huge fight, Sam is desperate to get away from Priscilla, but instead, finds herself thrown back. Way back.

To her shock,…