Explore the best time travel books

Who picked these books? Meet our 466 experts.

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

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What type of time travel book?



By James A. Michener,

Book cover of Hawaii

Ken Yoder Reed Author Of Both My Sons

From the list on time travel to transport to another time and place.

Who am I?

"There is no frigate like a book"—my grade school teacher, Mrs. Gundy, liked to quote Emily Dickinson as she encouraged us to read. I became a novelist because I found imagination has the power to transport a reader across centuries and perhaps national boundaries and into a character’s heart and soul. After growing up in the Mennonite/Amish culture of Pennsylvania I published four novels, three of them three historical novels that present that culture. What do I look for in good historical fiction? An unforgettable character and a good capture of the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times in which that character lives. The five books I recommend all do that.

Ken's book list on time travel to transport to another time and place

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

Michener published Hawaii in 1959, the same year that Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state. Michener traces Hawaii’s epic history in a set of episodes that begins with the physical birth of the islands as volcanos. From there, in succession, the story follows the Polynesian seafarers who made the perilous 1,300-mile journey in canoes, then the arrival of American missionaries in the 19th Century. Further episodes include the arrival of the Chinese and then the Japanese and in the final chapter, "The Golden Men," we see how intermarriage of all of these ethnicities produces the modern ‘golden Hawaiian.'

In 1966, parts of the book were made into the film, Hawaii, starring Max von Sydow as the American missionary, Abner Hale, and Julie Andrews as his wife. The film covers the book’s third chapter, the settlement in the island kingdom by its first American missionaries and their crusade against Hawaiian…

By James A. Michener,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener brings Hawaii’s epic history vividly to life in a classic saga that has captivated readers since its initial publication in 1959. As the volcanic Hawaiian Islands sprout from the ocean floor, the land remains untouched for centuries—until, little more than a thousand years ago, Polynesian seafarers make the perilous journey across the Pacific, flourishing in this tropical paradise according to their ancient traditions. Then, in the early nineteenth century, American missionaries arrive, bringing with them a new creed and a new way of life. Based on exhaustive research and told in Michener’s immersive prose,…

Meet Me in Another Life

By Catriona Silvey,

Book cover of Meet Me in Another Life

Kimberly Packard Author Of Dire's Club

From the list on that I never wanted to end.

Who am I?

Why do I have a passion for getting lost in books? I guess it’s something that I’ve loved since I was a kid. Finding a world, a life, a life so incredibly different from mine. And, good writing that draws me in and makes me completely forget who I am. These are books that you don’t just read, but they envelop you. And, as a writer, it’s something that I strive to do for my readers. 

Kimberly's book list on that I never wanted to end

Discover why each book is one of Kimberly's favorite books.

Why did Kimberly love this book?

I’m going to try really to not spoil this one…This is the story of two people who seem to be locked in life together, and not just locked in life, but repeating life. Sometimes they are friends. Sometimes they are lovers. There’s even a life where they are parent and child. The scenarios repeat – a bit of a Groundhog Day-ness to them. Then you quickly realize this is a cleverly disguised sci-fi, but despite all that, it’s the soul-mate-like connections that make us human. 

By Catriona Silvey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Meet Me in Another Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Beautifully explored and deeply complex' Gal Gadot

Joyful, devastating, and profound, Meet Me in Another Life is a story of love and connection in every possible form that will captivate fans of Stuart Turton, Claire North, and Audrey Niffenegger.

Thora and Santi have met before...

Under the clocktower in central Cologne, with nothing but the stars above and their futures ahead.

They will meet again...

They don't know it yet, but they'll meet again: in numerous lives they will become friends, colleagues, lovers, enemies - meeting over and over for the first time, every time; each…

Book cover of A Tale for the Time Being

Victoria Costello Author Of Orchid Child

From the list on realist that use magic to say hard things.

Who am I?

Like most children growing up with fairy tales and Bible instruction, I believed in miracles and magic. But it was the death of my father at age eight, then having his spirit return to my childhood bedroom to comfort and reassure me, that planted in me a core belief in dimensions beyond material reality. Other influences, including living as a neurodiverse woman and raising a neurodiverse son, working as a science journalist, and reading quantum physics, helped me re-embrace the liminal as part of my adult worldview. The most interesting novels to me often carry subtle messages and bring awareness to underrepresented people and issues, and many do this using magic and the fantastic.

Victoria's book list on realist that use magic to say hard things

Discover why each book is one of Victoria's favorite books.

Why did Victoria love this book?

On a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, a Hello Kitty lunchbox washes up on a beach.

Tucked inside is the diary of a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl. Ruth, the auto-fictional protagonist of this novel, is a writer who finds the lunchbox and suspects it’s debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami. Thus ensues a dual storyline in which each of these characters seeks out the other and, in the process, reckons with family, fate, and ancestral heritage.

I chose this National Book Award finalist from 2014 for its subtle use of the two main characters liminal realities to wrestle with the possibility of how two people living at a vast distance apart and even in different times might be connected to each other.

As a writer I was blown away by this passage which comes late in the novel. “[Ruth] thought back to the mystery of the missing words. Had she somehow…

By Ruth Ozeki,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Tale for the Time Being as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness

Finalist for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a…

Book cover of Fear Of Mum-Death and The Shadow Men

Danny Noble Author Of Shame Pudding: A Graphic Memoir

From the list on comics that let you sneak into someone else’s brain.

Who am I?

I was a funny little anxious kid, and still remember the relief of coming across friends who opened up and told their darkest thoughts and silliest moments. This is what I seek out in books and try to show in my own stories. To say...Look! We’re all deeply weird! You are not alone! Comics and graphic novels have such a unique and immediate way of whispering into your heart and it amazes me that so many people haven’t yet discovered what a wonderful art form they are. 

Danny's book list on comics that let you sneak into someone else’s brain

Discover why each book is one of Danny's favorite books.

Why did Danny love this book?

Wallis Eates is the master of picking scabs and upturning stones to see what scuttles beneath. And often among all the dirt and bugs, she finds such amazing treasure. In this book, she has such vivid and detailed memories I found myself staring into her wonderful pencil marks and time travelling back into the mind of my own little self and feeling all the fear and awe of those years. I was going to write, it's like happening upon someone’s secret diary, but it's so visceral, it's more like being Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap and suddenly, wonderfully finding yourself in someone else’s body for a minute.

By Wallis Eates,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fear Of Mum-Death and The Shadow Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

The Corridors of Time

By Poul Anderson,

Book cover of The Corridors of Time

Susan Price Author Of The Sterkarm Handshake

From the list on that shake fantasy and history up together.

Who am I?

I was seven when our headmaster told us about Stone-Age people using stone tools and living in caves. This seemed so unlikely that I checked with my Dad before believing it, but after that, I loved history. I adored the idea of time machines: a day trip to Ancient Rome! A selfie with a saber-tooth! Writing allowed me to time-travel to whenever I liked and to use what I learned about how people lit and warmed their homes, cooked their food, and worshipped their gods. It was inevitable that I would write a time travel book, and it’s a real pleasure to revisit some books that inspired me.

Susan's book list on that shake fantasy and history up together

Discover why each book is one of Susan's favorite books.

Why did Susan love this book?

I read this classic sci-fi way back when I was a teenager and I think, over the years, it has been a quiet, persistent influence on my own writing.

Two groups of time-travellers go back and forth along ‘the corridors of Time,’ fighting to influence history their way. The protagonist is taken from a prison cell to join one group and has to catch up with what’s going on as he’s taken to the future, the seventeenth century, and the Bronze Age.

What stayed with me most vividly was Anderson’s recreation of the Danish Bronze Age and the fact that the main character chooses to give up his own time in order to remain in the Bronze Age with the people he has come to love.

By Poul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A young man from the twentieth century is recruited to fight in a war that rages throughout time in this classic science fiction adventure from a multiple Hugo and Nebula Award–winning master.

College student, ex-marine, and martial artist Malcolm Lockridge is in prison awaiting his trial for murder when he receives an unexpected visit from an extraordinarily beautiful woman named Storm. Claiming to be a representative of the Wardens, a political faction from two thousand years in the future, Storm offers the astonished young man a proposition: freedom in return for his assistance in recovering an unspecified lost treasure. But…

Jackie & Me

By Dan Gutman,

Book cover of Jackie & Me

Madelaine Healey

From the list on sport for 8-12 year olds.

Who am I?

I am an expat Australian freelance writer living in Silicon Valley, and also the mother of two boys aged ten and seven. My boys are avid readers and it is an accepted rule that no one in our family speaks at breakfast. I have a bad habit of reading books over their shoulders, but my boys are still willing helpers on some current writing projects on kids’ fiction and circumnavigating the horribly sad “decline at nine”. I also have a PhD in South Asian Studies and have worked in commercial research and marketing.

Madelaine's book list on sport for 8-12 year olds

Discover why each book is one of Madelaine's favorite books.

Why did Madelaine love this book?

Kids who love the minutiae of sport - collecting the cards, following the stats, learning the teams and their star players - are often drawn to history as well. Dan Gutman gets this, and the Baseball Card Adventures is a brilliant series for giving young readers a way into a nuanced US history. In Jackie and Me, the hero, Stosh, is thrown out of Little League for attacking a pitcher who mocked his Polish heritage - “You know you can’t hit me, Stoshack. Because you’re a big, slow, ugly, dumb Polack!” Back at school, Stosh elects to write a book report on Jackie Robinson, and uses his magical baseball card to travel back in time. Stosh experiences Robinson’s first Major League game and the breaking of the color bar in baseball, finding a new perspective on difference and discrimination. Gutman writes colorful dialogue that kids really respond to, and…

By Dan Gutman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jackie & Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With more than 2 million books sold, the Baseball Card Adventures bring the greatest players in history to life! 

Like every other kid in his class, Joe Stoshack has to write a report on an African American who's made an important contribution to society. Unlike every other kid in his class, Joe has a special talent: with the help of old baseball cards, he can travel through time. So, for his report, Joe decides to go back to meet one of the greatest baseball players ever, Jackie Robinson, to find out what it was like to be the man who…


By Julian May,

Book cover of Intervention

J.C. Gemmell Author Of Tionsphere

From the list on future history with a glimpse of what might happen.

Who am I?

There were 3.7 billion people on Earth when I was born. By November 2022, there will be 8 billion. I am fascinated and terrified by this growth. I love stories that address this issue head-on, be it colonisation of other planets, compulsory euthanasia, or uploading consciousness into machines. When I started writing, I didn’t realise how I was bringing these themes together—I was writing a book I’d love to read. Now I can see those influences, and I am grateful for the authors who have shaped my thinking and my work.

J.C.'s book list on future history with a glimpse of what might happen

Discover why each book is one of J.C.'s favorite books.

Why did J.C. love this book?

I have given copies of the Galactic Milieu Trilogy as gifts more than any other book. This is the bravest near-future sci-fi series I have ever read. Intervention, published in 1987, follows events from 1945 through to 2013 when the five races of the Galactic Milieu embrace humanity. I love the merger of historical events with future possibilities in a story centred around a dynasty of ‘operant’ human beings.

As a teenager, I was fascinated by stories of telepathy, etc., but I found most books that dealt with ‘higher mind powers’ were in the fantasy or horror market. But this series is perfect sci-fi, technically plausible while politically powerful—and again, with a large, diverse cast.

By Julian May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For 60,000 years, the worlds of the Galactic Milieu have observed Earth, waiting for humanity to evolve sufficiently to join them. Now, humanity is almost ready for Intervention. Across the world, children with unusual mental powers are being born, known as operants. One such is Rogi Remillard, humble book dealer. Helped by an entity he labels the family ghost, Rogi will inadvertently steer his family - and so all mankind - into the future.

Rogi's journey starts with his nephew Denis, as he guides his strong metapsychic abilities. The young man's irresponsible father certainly isn't interested, focusing instead on his…

The Twilight Zone

By Martin Harry Greenberg (editor), Richard Matheson (editor), Charles G. Waugh (editor)

Book cover of The Twilight Zone: The Original Stories

Harrison Demchick Author Of Reptiles: A Short Story

From the list on short horror stories on why my brain works this way.

Who am I?

I'm perhaps the inevitable result of a lifetime spent on a steady diet of magical realism, literary fiction, science-fiction, and Spider-Man comics. Fortunately I’ve been able to channel my simultaneous loves of storytelling and structure into a life as a developmental editor. And where my own work is concerned, I’ve been able to do a lot of those things my childhood self might have hoped for: a novel in The Listeners, a feature film in Ape Canyon, and a litany of strange and usually distressing short stories. These days I do those things from my Washington, D.C. apartment with my wife and our two cats with a combined seven legs.

Harrison's book list on short horror stories on why my brain works this way

Discover why each book is one of Harrison's favorite books.

Why did Harrison love this book?

The Twilight Zone, again? Yes, The Twilight Zone again. There are tons of great stories here, but I'm highlighting Lynn Venable's "Time Enough at Last," which is arguably even more iconic than "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." While most would regard it as a science-fiction story more than a horror story, I think it’s one of the best examples ever put to paper of the principle that horror is personal. One person’s inconvenience is another’s world-ending nightmare—and vice versa. Lynn Venable’s broader body of work is not especially well known, but with this one story dropped into a genre dominated by men, Venable turned out one of the greatest and most memorable genre stories there would ever be. So check it out—you know, while there’s still time.

By Martin Harry Greenberg (editor), Richard Matheson (editor), Charles G. Waugh (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Collects thirty fantasy and science fiction short stories which were the basis for episodes of the Twilight zone television series


By Ayn Rand,

Book cover of Anthem

Tracy Lawson Author Of Counteract

From the list on young people oppressed by dystopian societies.

Who am I?

In dystopian societies, which are nothing more than twisted versions of perfection, people are often treated as slaves or children. They are kept from reaching their full potential by the rules and regulations designed to curtail their freedoms in the name of safety. It’s not just fiction anymore. We saw dystopia unfold in 2020. People beat each other up over packages of toilet paper. College kids staged rebellions…I mean spring break…on the beaches. That got me thinking—what does it really mean to grow up? How do young people determine what is responsible behavior and what is selfish? How do they know when to protect themselves, and when to stand up and reclaim their inalienable rights?

Tracy's book list on young people oppressed by dystopian societies

Discover why each book is one of Tracy's favorite books.

Why did Tracy love this book?

When you read the opening pages of Anthem, you don’t realize what’s missing from the narration. Neither does the main character, Equality 7-2521. More than anything, he wants to be assigned to the Home of the Scholars and study science. When he is assigned to be a Street Sweeper, he is crushingly disappointed. But he is unable to keep his thoughts strictly collective. When he meets Liberty 5-3000, his desire for her equals his yearning to learn and achieve as an individual.

Anthem is the only book my brother ever read cover to cover in one sitting. Dystopian stories push boundaries to see just how much the characters will endure. This collective society downgrades the worth and the desires of the individual, and as an individual, I find that extraordinarily distressing. 

By Ayn Rand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Anthem is Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a dystopian future of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of a name or independence—that anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

They existed only to serve the state. They were conceived in controlled Palaces of Mating. They died in the Home of the Useless. From cradle to grave, the crowd was one—the great WE.

In all that was left of humanity there was only one man who dared to think, seek, and love. He lived in the dark ages of the future. In a loveless world, he dared to…

The End of Eternity

By Isaac Asimov,

Book cover of The End of Eternity

Robbie Sheerin Author Of Tales From Another Dimension: A Sci-Fi Collection

From the list on sci-fi from the 1950s.

Who am I?

For many people, reading has been a lifesaver for their mental health. I didn't begin reading until my 20s. But I wish I had had those windows into other realities when I was younger. Having a difficult childhood molds our adult lives, and therefore we can still be haunted by childhood memories. Reading can help us see other worlds and other people, and it can ignite our imagination. Growing up in a small fishing town in Scotland is the perfect backdrop for imagination, with coastlines lined with dark, boisterous waters and castles steeped in battles, folklore, and intrigues of the past. All this has given way to my writing. 

Robbie's book list on sci-fi from the 1950s

Discover why each book is one of Robbie's favorite books.

Why did Robbie love this book?

Sci-fi has always been my favorite genre for the simple reason that every other genre can be explored under the blanket of science fiction.

End of Eternity is a fine example of this, in that it is both a love story and a thriller. Like modern-day sci-fi writers such as Andy Weir (Computer Programmer), Alister Reynolds (PhD in Astrophysics), and Liu Cixin (Computer Engineer), Asimov always leans on his scientific knowledge as a biochemist when writing.

Although End of Eternity does involve much biochemistry like some of Asimov’s other books, it does try to explain and navigate the complexities of time travel, which sometimes requires the mechanics of scientific thinking. I find time travel is always fun to read, and when there’s jealousy and love involved, it’s a recipe for a great story.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The End of Eternity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A spellbinding novel set in the universe of Isaac Asimov’s classic Galactic Empire series and Foundation series

Due to circumstances within our control . . . tomorrow will be canceled.

The Eternals, the ruling class of the Future, had the power of life and death not only over every human being but over the very centuries into which they were born. Past, Present, and Future could be created or destroyed at will.

You had to be special to become an Eternal. Andrew Harlan was special. Until he committed the one unforgivable sin—falling in love.

Eternals weren’t supposed to have feelings.…


By Edward Aubry,

Book cover of UnHappenings

Larry A. Brown Author Of Temporal Gambit

From the list on time travel resulting in alternate realities.

Who am I?

I have read SF, starting with the classic Jules Verne, since I was a young teenager. Soon I discovered Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Ellison, Zelazny, Dick, all of whom lit up my mind with wondrous and sometimes dangerous visions of possible futures. During the COVID shutdown period, when our university went to online instruction, my wife convinced me to try my hand at writing in my favorite genre. Previously I had written a textbook, How Films Tell Stories (listed here at Shepherd), but never any fiction, so I wrote Temporal Gambit, a time-travel adventure combined with themes of first contact, artificial intelligence, and alternate history. I then followed it with a sequel. I hope you enjoy. 

Larry's book list on time travel resulting in alternate realities

Discover why each book is one of Larry's favorite books.

Why did Larry love this book?

One of the best SF novels I’ve read in the last 25 years.

The story takes you on a journey through multiple, shifting realities as different time travelers compete to change history to their advantage without wiping out everything and everyone they know and love.

Unlike so many books these days, this one never drags or bores with unnecessary background details but keeps moving from one catastrophic change to another. Highly recommended. 

By Edward Aubry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Nigel Walden is fourteen, the UNHAPPENINGS begin. His first girlfriend disappears the day after their first kiss with no indication she ever existed. This retroactive change is the first of many only he seems to notice.

Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. But the enigmatic young guide shares very little, and the haggard, incoherent, elderly version of himself is even less reliable. His search for answers takes him fifty-two years forward in time, where he finds himself stranded and…

Must Love Breeches

By Angela Quarles,

Book cover of Must Love Breeches: A Time Travel Romance

Jessi Gage Author Of Wishing for a Highlander

From the list on time travel romances that leave you feeling light.

Who am I?

“We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” Wayne and Garth said it best. This is how I felt when I read my first time-travel romance almost twenty years ago. It was a masterpiece, and it’s since gone on to sell in record numbers and become a Starz network TV series. You know the one. I enjoyed this immense tome full of gritty history and realistic romance, but for my next read, I found myself gravitating toward lighter fare. If, like me, you prefer the literary equivalent of fluffy, buttery popcorn to the steak dinner of heavier stories, you’ll love my bestselling time-travel romance series, starting with Wishing for a Highlander.

Jessi's book list on time travel romances that leave you feeling light

Discover why each book is one of Jessi's favorite books.

Why did Jessi love this book?

Do you like smart writing with lots of humor? How about historical accuracy with a nod to science fiction? Characters that speak to your soul? Must Love Breeches has all this and more. This romance pairs a modern woman with brains and an indomitable spirit with a rakishly handsome, revenge-seeking nobleman. The backdrop is an 1834 London so realistic you’ll be checking your pockets to make sure they weren’t picked.

By Angela Quarles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Must Love Breeches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A USAToday bestseller. She's finally met the man of her dreams--too bad he lives in a different century!

A devoted history buff finds the re-enactment of a pre-Victorian ball in London a bit boring...until a mysterious artifact sweeps her back in time to the real event, and into the arms of a compelling British lord.

Isabelle Rochon can't believe it when she finds herself in the reality of 1830's London high society. She's thrilled to witness events and people she's studied. But she may also have to survive without modern tools or career--unless she can find a way to return…

Time Machines

By Paul J. Nahin,

Book cover of Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction

Craig Callender Author Of What Makes Time Special?

From the list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking.

Who am I?

I am a philosopher of science who has an obsession with time. People think this interest is a case of patronymic destiny, that it’s due to my last name being Callender. But the origins of “Callender” have nothing to do with time. Instead, I’m fascinated by time because it is one of the last fundamental mysteries, right up there with consciousness. Like consciousness, time is connected to our place in the universe (our sense of freedom, identity, meaning). Yet we don’t really understand it because there remains a gulf between our experience of time and the science of time. Saint Augustine really put his finger on the problem in the fifth century when he pointed out that it is both the most familiar and unfamiliar thing.

Craig's book list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking

Discover why each book is one of Craig's favorite books.

Why did Craig love this book?

I’ve never met Nahin but I recognize in him a kindred spirit of someone similarly obsessed with time. If you want to know about time travel, here it is in all its glory. The “tech notes” at the end show that this is a labor of love. Not only will you encounter some of the most fascinating physics (in the works of Godel, Novikov, Thorne, Tipler, and dozens more), but you’ll also learn about early science fiction, the threat of fatalism, the history of the idea that time is the fourth dimension, and more.

By Paul J. Nahin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book explores the idea of time travel from the first account in English literature to the latest theories of physicists such as Kip Thorne and Igor Novikov. This very readable work covers a variety of topics including: the history of time travel in fiction; the fundamental scientific concepts of time, spacetime, and the fourth dimension; the speculations of Einstein, Richard Feynman, Kurt Goedel, and others; time travel paradoxes, and much more.

The Master Key

By Masako Togawa, Simon Grove (translator),

Book cover of The Master Key

Hugh Greene Author Of Murder and Malice

From the list on puzzling murder mysteries.

Who am I?

I’m an academic who has written medical textbooks and medical research papers, but I also have an enduring passion for murder mysteries. As Hugh Greene I have written the bestselling Dr. Power mystery series which follows forensic psychiatrist Dr. Power and Detective Lynch solving murders and exploring the minds that executed these crimes.

Hugh's book list on puzzling murder mysteries

Discover why each book is one of Hugh's favorite books.

Why did Hugh love this book?

I love the mosaic of characters and the feeling that time has stood still in this 1962 novel, set in a female-only apartment block, the K Apartment for Ladies, in 1950s Tokyo.

It’s a world away from the settings of the last few books in places like Devon and Cornwall. I love Masako Togawa’s vignettes of the denizens of the 150 rooms; they are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – separate but interacting with each other in surprising ways.

Only by considering all the multiple portraits of the puzzle – the compelling secret lives of the widows, teachers, eccentrics, professors, violinists, and receptionists who people the apartment block – can the reader assemble a coherent picture of what has been going on.

It’s a unique and stylish accomplishment by an author who also mastered the entertainment world as a chanteuse, TV star, and nightclub owner, drawing on her experience…

By Masako Togawa, Simon Grove (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A building full of secrets. A key that will unleash them all
The K Apartments for Ladies in Tokyo conceals a sinister past behind each door; a woman who has buried a child; a scavenger driven mad by ill-health; a wife mysteriously guarding her late husband's manuscripts; a talented violinist tortured by her own guilt. The master key, which opens the door to all 150 rooms, links their tangled stories. But now it has been stolen, and dirty tricks are afoot.
For a deadly secret lies buried beneath the building. And when it is revealed, there will be murder.


By Dean Koontz,

Book cover of Elsewhere

A. R. Silverberry Author Of Shadow House

From the list on mind-bending dystopian science fiction.

Who am I?

Realms of the imagination have always called to me. My father had shelves of Astounding Science Fiction and Galaxy magazines. The covers alone were enough to streak me to far-off worlds, aliens, and spaceships. Here, I discovered Robert E. Howard, creator of sword and sorcery. A walk in the woods was a quest to find pixies in a magic kingdom. And a much-loved babysitter read every Oz book to me, easing me to sleep. With all this to get lost in, it’s a wonder I earned a PhD in psychology. Or not. The mind is a limitless universe. Who knows what we might discover in our dreams?

A. R.'s book list on mind-bending dystopian science fiction

Discover why each book is one of A. R.'s favorite books.

Why did A. R. love this book?

Dean Koontz has influenced my writing more than any other author. For decades, his books have been at the top of my reading list. Year after year, he consistently writes top-tier, inventive page-turners. His villains are evil. His heroes and heroines are likable and easy to relate to. He gets that one can’t traverse a frightening world without humor, and by analogy, neither can we. Elsewhere is one of his best in a long time. Equal parts bone-chilling, creepy, nerve-racking, and sinister, balanced by love, compassion, loyalty, and second chances, it doesn’t get better than this. 

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The fate of the world is in the hands of a father and daughter in an epic novel of wonder and terror by Dean Koontz, the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

Since his wife, Michelle, left seven years ago, Jeffy Coltrane has worked to maintain a normal life for himself and his eleven-year-old daughter, Amity, in Suavidad Beach. It’s a quiet life, until a local eccentric known as Spooky Ed shows up on their doorstep.

Ed entrusts Jeffy with hiding a strange and dangerous object—something he calls “the key to everything”—and tells Jeffy that he must never…


By Kurt Vonnegut,

Book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five

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

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Gigi's favorite books.

Why did Gigi love this book?

Slaughterhouse-Five was the first book I read that showed me that science fiction and fantasy can truly go to unexpected places. I was head-over-heals charmed by Vonnegut’s voice and his unassuming protagonist bouncing around through time and space and nutty adventures—but what an amazing thing: the way Vonnegut worked his sci-fi premise into a masterpiece of satire that, at the bottom of it all, was about the very real firebombing of Dresden in World War II, something he had witnessed first-hand. One of my favorite books of all time.

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Slaughterhouse-Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had…

Book cover of The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

Devri Walls Author Of Magic Unleashed

From the list on not requiring a genealogy chart to track the story.

Who am I?

As a bullied teenager I wanted to escape and fantasy was my drug of choice. (My parents may have grounded me from the library, which by the way—not cool.) I love working within fantasy worlds and magic systems but my true passion lies in the story itself. I write character based books focusing on the inner workings of all of us. Occasionally when writing a battle scene in a gladiator arena with three levels, multiple characters with magical abilitiesm and a secondary magical system in the background, I wonder why I can’t just tell a story in freaking Chicago for goodness sake! But fantasy is where it's at for this girl! 

Devri's book list on not requiring a genealogy chart to track the story

Discover why each book is one of Devri's favorite books.

Why did Devri love this book?

This book is an effortless blending of fantasy with the modern world. Frankly, a lot of urban fantasies fall flat for me. ( I know, I know, unpopular opinion) I think it probably comes from my desire to escape the modern world completely when I read fantasy. But Garth Nix manages to create characters that are both living in the modern world while being so ridiculously fantastical themselves you can’t help but love it. And did I mention it has a handsome, young, cross-dressing wizard? What’s not to like?

By Garth Nix,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Left-Handed Booksellers of London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A girl's quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world. From the bestselling master of fantasy, Garth Nix.

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn't get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

By Toshikazu Kawaguchi,

Book cover of Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Ash Watson Author Of Because Japan

From the list on nostalgic stories set in Japan.

Who am I?

I’m a British Author who spent two years living and working in Tokyo. I have always had a strong love for the country, and while there I observed and experienced daily life while navigating many hardships and overcoming even more life lessons. Upon reflection, I am able to look back on the things I gleaned with a sense of proud nostalgia. The list of books I have compiled all centre around the same warm and familiar theme of nostalgia—with a heavy focus on life in Japan. 

Ash's book list on nostalgic stories set in Japan

Discover why each book is one of Ash's favorite books.

Why did Ash love this book?

This book is a collection of small, powerful but sentimental stories around serious and personal themes that will tug at your heartstrings. Each story left me wanting more as the characters are forced to wrap up their quick journey into the past before their coffee gets cold. The sense of longing, loss, nostalgia, and community are central themes of this book, and it certainly made me reminisce about people and memories dear to my heart. 

By Toshikazu Kawaguchi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Before the Coffee Gets Cold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?




If you could go back in time, who would you want to meet?

In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time.

Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of making that journey. But time travel isn’t so simple, and there are rules that must be followed. Most…

By Bizarre Hands

By Joe R. Lansdale,

Book cover of By Bizarre Hands

K.V.T. Author Of There Are Stranger Things

From the list on unconventional horror.

Who am I?

I was six years old when I found myself getting up for a drink of water and watching a brutal dismemberment in a Sam Rami classic starring Bruce Cambell. I was transfixed. I saw The Terminator at five, most of Fulcci’s work before I could pee alone and worshiped Craven and Carpenter long before I could appreciate that I was their target audience. Horror is to me what oxygen is to every other mammal on the planet. Without it, I wither and die.

K.V.T.'s book list on unconventional horror

Discover why each book is one of K.V.T.'s favorite books.

Why did K.V.T. love this book?

I should not have to recommend the president of the Horror Writers Association, but if you are unfamiliar to Lansdale, this is a great introduction. He is a caustic voice with no pretense, or subtlety. I love him for his sincerity, his abruptness, and his ability to make me feel really bad for laughing.

By Joe R. Lansdale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked By Bizarre Hands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Up the Line

By Robert Silverberg,

Book cover of Up the Line

Seth Chambers Author Of Little Bird

From the list on time travel and the paradoxes that arise.

Who am I?

I've been an avid reader of SF in general, and its sub-genre of time-travel, for most of my life, and have tackled this topic in my own writings as well. Time-travel tales often deal with inherent paradoxes, such as the Grandfather Paradox, which asks: If you go back in time and kill your grandfather, would you then never be born and therefore never commit the murder? If so, then your grandfather lives and you were born and . . . Such paradoxes boggle the mind and provide fascinating territory for SF authors to explore. 

Seth's book list on time travel and the paradoxes that arise

Discover why each book is one of Seth's favorite books.

Why did Seth love this book?

This is a novel that explores all the complexities and paradoxes and oddities associated with time travel. It takes place in a future world in which time travel is a part of life, and so must be monitored and regulated like any other technology. Because time travel holds such a huge potential for disaster, strict rules must be established and enforced. But what happens when somebody flaunts those rules for their own personal enjoyment? This novel explores these concepts in a wild, and often erotic, fashion. 

This book really perpetuated my love of time-travel tales and all the complexities involved in a society where time travel is an accepted norm. It's a totally fun novel that deals with some truly existential concepts in an entertaining way and inspires that sense of wonder that fans of SF crave. It's one of those stories that stick with you for many, many years…

By Robert Silverberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Up the Line as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Time travel spelled problems for the couriers of the Time Service. Shuttling backwards and forwards over the centuries they had to be wary of creating paradoxes - like meeting themselves watching the sack of Rome, or sleeping with their own ancestors.

Of course, it also gave them the chance to amass wealth by the discreet use of their prior knowledge. The penalties were fierce and the Time Police implacable in their pursuit of lawbreakers. But it was still worth taking the risk.

Jud Elliot took it when he met the marvellous transemporal paradox called the Pulcheria. He couldn't resist her…