The Best Time Travel Books of All Time


I read a lot of books. I do not read a lot of books twice. Actually, I read VERY FEW books more than once. Aside from the Chronicles of Narnia (when I was a child) and the Percy Jackson series (when I was – OKAY FINE – last year), two of the only books that come to mind as second-readers both happen to be time travel stories.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I am a sucker for anything time travel. Sometimes – as in the case of Deja Vu, a less-than-successful Denzel movie from a few years ago – I even resort to drawing pictures to demonstrate how the story was or was not plausible.

Yep. Because time travel can be plausible. Mm-hmmm.

ANYWAY. If you haven’t heard, a new TV show premiered last weekend about time travel. Based on the very popular series by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander airs on Saturdays on Starz.

Now, I’m a big wimp when it comes to graphic…anything. So shows on Starz – time travel or no, really great trailer or no – don’t fit into my regular television viewing schedule. I am slowly working through the first Outlander book, however. So far I really like it – but I’m only 100 or so pages in. I’ve read reviews that make me a little nervous about what’s to come…but then again a lot of people love this series. And, well, time travel.

Since I’ve recently read a few other books featuring time travel, I thought I’d do a little research. What I found was a great list of the time travel books I’ve read – and quite a few more I hope to read soon. And just in case you all are big time travel dorks like me, I figured I’d share.

[Side note: These may or may not be the BEST time travel books of ALL time. In other words I reserve the right to use blog post titles that are clever but possibly not quite 100% accurate. Possibly.]


22 of the Best Books About Time Travel

  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: A woman reunites with her husband after World War II, and they take a trip to Scotland…where she accidentally trips through a portal to 1743. I like the strong, sassy voice of the main character. Full review to come soon.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: This is a time travel love story. I read it a long time ago, but a few years after it was super popular. (And I haven’t seen the movie.) If I remember correctly, I loved it and hated it. Both. At the same time.
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King: A high school teacher’s dying friend shows him a portal back in time – and a way to potentially change history. Amy from MomAdvice recommended this one, and I checked it out of the library earlier this year. It was a huge book, really long – and I didn’t make it halfway before the thing was due. I blame that on the 8-10 feedings a day (and very few consecutive hours of sleep) that were happening then, and I’m determined to try this one again soon.
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton: A group of young scientists travel to medieval France. I LOVE THIS BOOK. It’s the one I’ve read twice. Except, actually, I’ve read it at least three times and plan to read it again this year. I don’t know. I just love it.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle: Time traveling teens! Secret government work! WHY do I not remember more of this book?!? I know I read it as a child, but clearly I need to give it another read since I don’t remember much of it at all.
  • Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren: In the first book of the River of Time series, a teenage girl travels to 14th century Italy. I’ve read this whole series…AND own it. That way I can read it again when I finish reading all these other books on my to-read list!
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut: I read this book just a few years ago, when some of my co-workers at the ad agency and I formed a book club. I did read it. And it was good. I remember that part. But I cannot recall a single other thing about it – even after reading the book’s description three times. So – I got nothing.
  • A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux: You guys. I just…I just can’t. When I started researching time travel books, this one showed up on everyone’s list. I even saw it called a classic…more than once. So I got it from the library. And I read it. (Then I remembered that I’d read it before. *sigh*) It is definitely classic romance novel – woman is sad, man from the past hears her crying and travels through time to heal her broken heart, blah, blah, blah. I debated including it on this list, but full disclosure and all…
  • Timebound by Rysa Walker: A teenaged girl’s grandma tells her their family has time traveling abilities. The Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 is involved, as well as a serial killer murder and some time-traveling villains. I read this right after Adrienne was born and loved it – and am really looking forward to the sequel this fall.
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: There’s a witch and a vampire and a book. And to solve their problems, they have to travel through time. So, okay, fine. When I first read this, I said I didn’t see what the big deal was. But then I read the second book. And I realized that even after I was finished with them, I kept thinking about them. So, obviously I liked them a bit more than I first believed. I have the third book in the trilogy from the library right now.


And then there are the time travel books I haven’t read. Several of them are on my to-read list, and one is already on my bedside table. Others I may never read, but maybe they’re your cup of time travel tea. Or not. But they are about time travel. So. Here they are.

So – am I alone? Or do you like time travel stories, too? What’s your favorite?

This post includes affiliate links.

What I’m Into :: July 2014


August! It’s AUGUST! And school starts in 12 days! (Not that I’m counting. But I totally am.) July went by fast, as evidenced by my shorter-than-usual lists of books read, recipes tried and hours worked. But it was still a good month, and I’ve got a few things to share.

How did YOUR July go? I hope you’ll tell us all about it in the comments!

What I'm Into July 2014

What I’m Reading:

  • Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson – suspense that’s kind of like What Alice Forgot meets Sleeping with the Enemy. And it’s being made into a movie. EXCELLENT.
  • Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen – YA retelling of Robin Hood, if Robin and his men were teenagers and not all men. I really enjoyed it but the dialect of the main character got on my nerves.
  • The Target by David Baldacci – Corrupt government and assassins doing assassin things. It’s the same old, same old for Baldacci, but darn it, I love it every time.
  • The Cure for the “Perfect” Life by Kathy Lipp and Cheri Gregory – I’ve just started this one, but it’s fantastic so far. More to come.
  • How I Fall by Anne Eliot – This is a self-published YA novel about a sixteen-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and the super cute boy she likes. I’m not going to be able to write a description that makes it sound good, I know, because it didn’t sound good to me either. But I’ve read Eliot’s other two books and they were really good. This one was, too. Just believe me. I wouldn’t lead you astray!

What I’m Watching:

Well, basically all the same stuff I was watching last month: So You Think You Can Dance, Suits, Covert Affairs, Perception and Chasing Life. Most importantly, though, we’ve finished the first season of Friday Night Lights and are DYING for season two to come in at the library.

So, I have to ask those of you who watched FNL a million years ago (or Breaking Bad, I guess) – don’t you think Jesse Plemons looks JUST LIKE Matt Damon? In a, I don’t know, Ron Weasley sort of way?


Finally. Tell me you saw this video. IT IS BRILLIANT.

So, spill it: What were you into last month?

I’m linking up with my friend Leigh. Check out other What I’m Into posts over there!

Spring TV Makes Me Feel Feelings


It’s true. Those tears leaking out of my eyes cannot be blamed on allergies. They are simply the result of springtime television.

First there are the finales. The cliffhangers and the bombshells. The end of seasons and, sometimes, the end of series. This year, we even saw the end of a television website – which, to me, feels much more like the end of an era than saying goodbye to the long-running How I Met Your Mother or Psych.

Then there are the upfronts. This is where we learn about the new shows – the ones that may never make it to a screen near me, the ones that will start out with so much potential and just break our hearts, the one that will become must-watch after that second episode even though you don’t have time for another show.

And this year, the upfronts came with an added twist when several networks announced shows that would be over after next season. So on one hand, the writers have plenty of time to prepare and write conclusions and closure for our favorite shows. But on the other hand, we now have extra time to grieve the loss of our favorite characters and stories.

Finally, there’s summer TV – or the lack of it, depending on your preferences and the whims of the networks.

So, let’s talk it all out, eh? I’ll give you my take – and then you give me yours. That’s how it works, okay?!

The Finales

Well, you already know how I feel about How I Met Your Mother (although, feel free to head over there and discuss amongst yourselves a bit more…). And I haven’t watched the Castle finale yet, so there will be NO talk of any surprise ending or cliffhanger or ANYTHING. Capice?

So, moving on…


New Girl and The Mindy Project both consummated a will they/won’t they relationship just to break them up. Both breakups ticked me off, but at least The Mindy Project fixed its couple and ended with Danny and Mindy getting back together at the top of the Empire State Building. I can’t say the same about New Girl. Strangely enough, though, much as I love romantic comedies, the blatant homage of The Mindy Project’s finale left me a little cold.

I don’t know, guys. Maybe I was grouchy when I watched the last few episodes of these shows? What did you think about how they ended this year?

Arrow had a huge, intense run to its season end. I love action and superhero-type stuff, but holy violence, Batman! The last few episodes were SO intense and SO dark that it was hard for me to enjoy it as much as usual. I did like almost all the character development, though – with the exception of Thea’s storyline and the death of Moira. Ugh. I wish I hadn’t thought of that, because now I’m sad all over again. (However. Oliver and Felicity in that last episode – ???!!!)

Parks & Recreation is, hands down, one of my very favorite shows. Every single character is unique and outstanding in his or her own right, and the one-hour finale this year? Perfection. Honestly, the show could have ended right then and there, and though I’d be sad, I would have been satisfied, too. (I actually felt a bit of that after the episode when Ann and Chris left, too. Maybe the writers were just being prepared in case the show was canceled?) Thankfully, we have one more season left to enjoy the weirdo and sweethearts of Pawnee.

Hart of Dixie. Well, I know. Some of you jumped ship a while back, when we had Joel and Tansy and I don’t even remember because I erased all those pointless and annoying storylines from my memory. But I stuck with it. Because if there’s one thing I am, it’s loyal to my CW shows. ANYWAY. I’ve been Team Wade for a long time, so I’m all for the way they ended this season…even if my more logical side points out that their renewed love kinda, sorta came out of nowhere. Whatevs. Team Wade! (Although, UGH. Why can’t Lavon just go be happy with Annabelle? COME ON.)

Once Upon a Time is ridiculous. It really is. I know this. And yet? IT IS MY FAVORITE AND I LOVE IT AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME. You might think this is purely because of Captain Hook, but it’s not. Not completely. No, I just continue to love the way they twist traditional fairy tales and stories and tangle them all up. (Oh. No pun intended there. The vague Rapunzel storyline this season was lame.) Are you still watching? What did you think of the whole Wizard of Oz twist? Do you remember Peter Pan and that crazy business? How glad were you for it to be over? How do you feel about them adding a Frozen character for next season? And how much do you love or hate Captain Hook?


The Cancellations & Endings

This year, in addition to my regular shows, I added a few sitcoms to my already-long list of shows-I-watch. Mainly because a half-hour show was the perfect diversion while feeding Adrienne. And since she insists on eating several times a day, I had lots of half-hour slots to fill. I watched – and ended up loving – Trophy Wife, Enlisted, The Crazy Ones and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. All but the last one were canceled, and that bums me out.

Of course, as long as they keep making Hollywood Game Night (my new favorite thing), I’ll probably survive.

{Oh, also. I almost forgot this one. The CW – I know. Okay? I know. – had a new show called Star-Crossed. It was about teenagers and aliens and *SIGH* of course I watched it. It was pretty lame, but I watched all 13 episodes. And then breathed a sigh of relief when it was canceled.}

So. This year several of my favorite shows ended for good: Psych, Warehouse 13, Suburgatory and Community. Although, now that I look at that little list, it turns out I’m okay with all of them. I’d gotten a little bored with each of those shows. And as Shawn and Gus mentioned in a “this is our last season” commercial, there’s always syndication. As long as I can watch reruns of Psych and Community, I’m good.

Oh, yeah – here’s a list of shows ending next year (if you want to be pre-emptively sad). Parks & Rec is the only one I’ll miss, although knowing it’s the last season might be enough to make me watch Cougar Town again. Maybe.

The New Shows

Okay, so it’s too soon to really dive into the fall schedule and all the new shows. I mean, we shouldn’t talk about it all day. Right? Except this one:

How funny and delightfully bizarre does that look?!? SO FUN. (And probably canceled after half a season. But we’ll cross that bridge later.)

I’ve also been sucked in by the trailers for these shows (links go to their trailers):

suits tv show

The Summer Shows

Okay, here’s what I know…

So You Think You Can Dance starts next week, and the cable shows start in a few weeks. Suits comes back on June 11, and Covert Affairs returns on June 24. I don’t know when White Collar will air its final, shortened season; I suppose it could be later this fall. Perception (and Rizzoli & Isles, which I usually end up watching not really on purpose) comes back on June 17, but Franklin & Bash doesn’t return until August 13.

And that is all I know about summer TV. I think I need to find something to watch on Netflix or Hulu. Any suggestions?

Now it’s YOUR turn. How are YOU feeling about springtime television?

{TV photo source}

HIMYM Finale: Major Disappointment?


All right, you guys. We have to talk about this. We’re a week two weeks past the series finale of How I Met Your Mother. General consensus has been NOT GREAT. Even after critics have panned the past several seasons and this final, gimmicky one in particular, almost every recap and review I read screamed disappointment.

Major disappointment! {Major Disappointment! *salute!*}

Much as I love TV critics (because, HELLO, DREAM JOB!), I don’t completely agree. I didn’t hate the HIMYM finale, and I actually loved parts of it.

Now, angry fans, don’t start throwing popcorn at me (or, you know, your screens)! OBVIOUSLY the show and its ending had a ton o’problems. But like Lily said to Robin at the beginning of the finale, “Once you’re in [our gang], you’re in for life!”

I’ve quit shows before, I have. Not many, but a few. (So sorry, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s not me, it’s you.) But for the most part, once I start watching a show, I’m in for life. Through the ups and downs, the Emmys and the internet hate-watching. Once I declare a show “mine,” there’s no separating us.

Unlike Barney and Robin, apparently. We’ll get THERE in a minute.

So I love my shows, and I will watch Every. Single. Episode. to the very bitter or sweet end. Then add to that the fact that I LOVE FINALES? As in, I will start – or re-start – watching a show when I hear it’s on its last legs? Well, despite all the foreshadowing and predictions and low, low expectations? I was ALL IN for this final episode with Ted, Marshal, Lily, Barney and Robin.

HIMYM finale cast

I’ve been trying to write this for several days now and I’m actually watching the finale again as I write now. And while my feelings about the show and its finale run deep, my thoughts are so scattered I think I’d better just stick to bullet points. Here goes…

The things I loved:

  • All the callbacks to past seasons – the cockamouse, the Halloween party and Ted’s hanging chad costume, robot wrestling, “Murder Train” playing during robot wrestling, the blue French horn (NOT the circumstances, just the fact that it was brought back), Marshall paying Lily for their bet over whether Ted and Robin would end up together.
  • Ted’s salt and pepper hair (Although, it’s weird. Usually as men and women age – especially on TV – the men get better looking while the women get older looking. Not so much in the case of, well, Marshall. Sorry, Judge Fudge, but time was not kind! Robin, on the other hand? Looked AMAZING – and so did Lily and The Mother.)
  • Ted wanting to get married in a castle, but doing it in the courthouse instead. [Edited to add: Okay, I remember on a second watch that it wasn't technically the courthouse. But it was short notice and basically the same concept. So the bullet point stays.]
  • The tired new parents! (Of course.)
  • Barney meeting his baby (Barney may be totally gross, but NPH nailed this scene.)
  • The Mother convincing Robin to come to their wedding
  • Not dwelling on The Mother’s disease and death. Those details weren’t the point, and I was fine with it being vague.
  • Remembering the episode where Ted breaks down about how he wished he would have met The Mother just 45 days sooner. It killed me then, even when I was unsure what it meant for The Mother’s future (and lifespan). It kills me even more now.
  • Ted finishing the story with, “And that, kids, is how I met your mother.” (If only it had ended there…)

What totally killed me:

  • “We have to be here for the Big Moments!” THIS. Lily’s increasingly desperate attempts to keep the gang together rang true to me. These characters who I’ve watched nearly every week (and certainly every episode and sometimes multiple times a night once reruns began airing) for the past nine years, they were so different than me – and yet, not so different. They are almost the exact same age I am, and they faced a whole lot of the same things I have in those same past nine years: job frustrations, weddings, new babies, dealing with friends who breakup, loss of loved ones, home-buying woes. I may never set foot in an Irish bar in Manhattan, but still, HIMYM got me and my life. Still, nothing lasts forever. So…
  • “It’s never going to be how it was. It can’t be.” Shut up, Robin. I know, but I like to pretend it’s not true.
  • “It’s great…great….great…great…” Who hasn’t tried to convince themselves and their friends that their marriage, their job, their LIFE is just GREAT when it’s not-so-much?
  • “Much of what I do does not make me cry.” Oh, Marshall. I have been there, and it sucks. So glad your phone finally rang!
  • “It’s not a business, Barney. It’s a blog!” Hmph. Whatevs.

What I hated:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT ENDING??? After we forced ourselves to be okay with the BIZARRO way Ted let go of Balloon Robin just a few weeks ago? After we swallowed the last-minute jitters that made Robin temporarily decide she should be with Ted after all – and TED SAID NO THANKS? After all the back and forth, after you convinced us Barney had changed, after you made us fall in love (SO MUCH LOVE!!!) with the adorable, funny, killer musician and Renaissance faire fan Mother?

No. No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. [Cue flashback to the episode where Robin and Ted break up after the not-real proposal makes them realize they have an expiration date.]

I don’t mind that The Mother died. Sometimes these things happen, even though we wish they wouldn’t. And while I typically want all happy endings, all the time, this is one show that presented the hard realities of life in such a beautiful way that I didn’t hate it.

But to give us such severe emotional whiplash — first with the season-long build-up to Robin and Barney’s wedding leading to a marriage that ended just minutes into this last episode and then, THEN! with the series-long journey of Ted getting over Robin and finding The Mother ending in the kids and Ted blowing off any sense of grief to run back to Robin (who, BY THE WAY, totally blew off the gang for journalistic fame)?


So, I’m choosing to forget those last few minutes (I didn’t watch them the second time around) and remember all the other many, MANY great episodes of one of my favorite shows.

What made it worth it:

  • Every moment of Ted and The Mother together, especially this one:

HIMYM finale

Okay, your turn!
What did YOU think of the HIMYM series finale?


(And in case you want to read what other people thought of the finale [in case you hated the whole thing and need more validation for those feelings than I gave you...], here are a TON of links to articles:

And, finally, Bradley Cooper just wanted a happy ending, you guys.
[Language warning.] {But it’s funny because it’s true.}

What I’m Into :: March 2014

Mainly this:

Adrienne March 2014

and this, too:

Annalyn March 2014

As you can see, we’re not lacking in personality at the Carver house. I don’t know who they get it from. Based on Adrienne’s [ADORABLE] cooing, we’ll never be lacking in words here, either. That girl is going to love talking as much as her sister (and, FINE, her mom and dad)!

One way she IS different than the rest of us is the way Adrienne faces mornings. She just LOVES to wake up. It doesn’t matter how many – or few – hours she’s slept overnight. When we go into her room in the morning, she has The Biggest Grin on her face. She is just THRILLED to greet the day! Not so much the other three people living in this house. So, you know, maybe she’ll make us all pancakes when she’s older.

I’m having a hard time keeping track of time and holding onto moments, which is why posts like this one are a good thing! Here’s a quick roundup of my March:

  • We re-listed our house for sale. We’ve had four showings so far, so I can’t complain. I have high hopes for this new agent and warmer season.
  • In related news I’ve had my house professionally cleaned and staged (the latter courtesy of our agent – how cool is that?!), and yet still, nobody else is offering to clean the cats’ litter box. It’s a hard life.
  • Spring has arrived (in between cold snaps and snow storms, as per the usual March in Missouri), and with it come Big Time Allergies. I’ve lost my voice, Annalyn has suffered from dizzy spells, and Mark has been snuffly. We’re a fun bunch, yo.
  • Medical bills have arrived, too. This, of course, has led me to say repeatedly (in regard to the insurance plan we chose last year when we weren’t sure I’d make it full-term and have my baby in 2014), “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
  • The girls and I attended my mom’s third annual tea party. My brother catered it, and though I remain fully committed to hating scones, the rest of the food was delicious. Even more delicious was letting other people hold my baby girl for a few hours and enjoying adult conversation with friends and family.
  • I returned to my position as Praise Parkway coordinator in my church’s children’s ministry. I missed those kids and was so glad to get back to leading and serving with them!
  • I got a sweet surprise in the mail when I received a copy of ParentLife magazine – with my first article in print!
  • Both my plans for a date night and a girls night out were foiled by a cranky newborn, but thankfully, Adrienne is mostly a content sweetheart. She’s also begun sleeping for several hours in a row at night, which makes a world of difference!

And in the big news department (NO, I’m NOT PREGNANT, shut your mouth!), I was cast in Kansas City’s Listen to Your Mother show, I decided to attend the Orange Conference and host an (in)RL gathering next month, and I talked with a literary agent several times (more on that to come soon!).

I also had more than one emotional breakdown (thank you, hormones and sleep deprivation), spent way more time apologizing for mistakes at work than I ever dreamed possible, decided I’m completely tired of every meal I make and refused to cook (at least for a night or two), struggled mightily with a six-year-old with attitude problems, realized that the diaper blowouts were a result of the baby outgrowing the size 1 diapers – after buying a giant box of them, and hid dishes in my oven before a showing – and forgot when it was time to pre-heat said oven.

Still, March was a good month. A really good month! Here are a few other things I’ve been into:

What I’m Reading:
Well, here’s the thing, friends. I’ve reached the point in this Having-a-Newborn Life where my books must meet two criteria. First, they must be electronic and on my Kindle Fire. Holding a book while feeding a baby (the only time I read these days…which is fine because, well, I do that several times a day) is just too cumbersome. And second, they must be easy reads.

I have several amazing non-fiction books just waiting for my attention span and brain capacity to return. And as soon as they do, I’m going to be all over those books! Until then, though, it’s pretty much all fluff, all the time.

There are exceptions, though! I’ve just started reading Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Love Idol and Lisa-Jo Baker’s Surprised by Motherhood, but both are FANTASTIC. Just lovely, challenging, encouraging, inspiring heart stories.

LJB and JLD books

What I’m Watching:
Say what you will about shows past their prime, it’s a special kind of television torture to have the series finales of both How I Met Your Mother AND Psych air in the same week. *Big. Sad. Sigh.*

Luckily I have American Idol to cheer me up. Because though the contestants are not all that impressive, the judges are just the best. I love them. So much. Except when they perform their own songs and their own song is called, “I Luh Yah, Papi.” C’mon, J-Lo. C’MON!

vmars movie poster

Though I didn’t get to re-watch seasons two and three of Veronica Mars, I did watch the movie. And I loved it!! I read somewhere that it was a love letter to the fans, and it was that. It was a strange thing, though, because it both answered all my questions about what happened to all the characters AND left me wanting so much more. I think it’s because I’m used to the relationship craziness and mysteries taking an entire season to solve, but two hours just wasn’t enough. Guess I’ll just have to console myself by watching the movie again…

What I’m Eating and Cooking:
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m sick of pretty much every meal I cook. However, I am not tired of cookies. Or brownies. Or rice krispy treats. Because those things? I WILL EAT THEM ALL THE DAY LONG.

I think this craving for sweets is a hormone thing (sorry to the three guys who read this blog) and will hopefully take a hike soon. If not, I’ll be returning to Weight Watchers sooner than I anticipated. Because, really, I have No Control when it comes to a pan of anything sweet sitting on my kitchen counter.

In Case You Missed It:

And my favorite video from the past month comes from, of course, Jimmy Fallon. And, fine, it was actually from February. But it’s so good that if you didn’t watch it, you need to see it. Now. You’re welcome. (Email subscribers, click here to see the video of Paul Rudd’s lip sync battle with Jimmy Fallon. Because yesssssssss.)

That’s what I’ve been into. What about you? What were YOU into in March?

This post will be linked up with Leigh’s What I’m Into, and it does include affiliate links.