The Best Time Travel Books To Escape Real Life

The Best Time Travel Books To Escape Real Life from

Escape reality with my favorite time travel books. Don’t miss this stack with time loops, parallel lives, Groundhog’s Day themes, and multiverses.

If there is one genre I’m a sucker for, it is time travel, and I’m not the only one obsessed with books about time.  

From H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” to Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” time travel books have been a popular genre in literature for a long time. In these books, authors explore the idea of traveling through time, either backward or forwards, and the potential consequences of it. 

On the Book Gang podcast, we invited our first time travel writer to share the challenges of writing time travel.  Cesca Major decided to tackle the trickiest literary time machine genres to write- the Groundhog Day story. 

She shares her strategies to keep readers engaged and how she used her background writing thrillers to build in a clue sequence. You can learn more about her debut novel below! 

Listen to the full episode (the show notes are located here) below and subscribe to the Book Gang podcast for more episodes like this one.

Over the years, I’ve taken so many thrilling adventures through time, exploring the history and alternative timelines. Whether you’re a fan of science fiction, historical fiction, or romance, there’s a time travel book out there for you. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare to embark on a journey through time!

This month we will be delving deeper into the world of time travel books and exploring some of the best titles written on the subject, including my favorite under-the-radar book gems I’ve found for you. 

One important note that I want to stress about today’s list is that I have read EVERY SINGLE ONE of these books. As this list is updated, it will only highlight my list of tried-and-true selections.  At the end of today’s post, I’ve also included our book club member favorites for browsing today.

Time Loop Books or Groundhog Day Time Travel Books (For Adults and Young Adults)

Do you love a good time loop story? In this time travel story, the characters are trapped in a repeating cycle of events that they cannot escape. They may be aware of the repetition or unaware of it, and their efforts to break the cycle may only serve to reinforce it. These are often called Groundhog Day stories and are among the trickiest to keep readers engaged.

With these repetitive sequences, how do you prevent a lag in your story or keep a reader from skimming the pages? Few have ticked the right boxes for me, but this is my short list of Groundhog Day books I’ve adored from start to finish.

Multiverse Books and Parallel Lives Time Travel Books

If you loved Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, you might love a good multiverse time travel story. In this type of time travel story, the characters travel between different parallel universes, each with its own timeline and set of events. They may encounter alternate versions of themselves or others, and their actions in one universe may not affect another.

Although we often think of a multiverse as science fiction, Sliding Doors embraces a parallel universe, also known as a parallel dimension, alternate universe, or alternate reality. Gathered as a sum, they can be referred to as a multiverse, so I am grouping them together today.

Here are a few of my favorite parallel lives and multiverse time travel stories.

Forward Time Travel Books

Do you love to imagine the future in your stories? In forward time travel stories, the characters travel to a future that is often vastly different from their own time. The characters may be trying to prevent a catastrophe or simply exploring future possibilities. Here are a few books to check out from these forward-moving narratives.

Reverse Time Travel Books

Revisiting the past is something we often discover in classic time travel stories. In reverse time travel stories, the characters travel back in time, but they often cannot change the past or interact with it meaningfully. They may be observers of historical events or cannot alter their past actions. Here are a few of my favorite books, time traveling to the past.

Looking for more time travel books? Here is a short list of our book club member favorites:

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

Just One Damned Thing After Another (Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book 1) by Jodi Taylor

I’ll Stop the World by Lauren Thoman

The Little Shop of Found Things Series by Paula Brackton

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

The Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie by Rachel Linden

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Searle

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

This is How You Lose the Time War (novella) by Amal El-Mohtar

What is your favorite time travel story? I’d love to expand our list with your favorites too!

Love this post- don’t miss these other fun book lists!

The Best Time Travel Books To Escape Real Life from

Published March 17, 2023 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

comments powered by Disqus