The Best Time Travel Books of All Time

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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.]

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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.

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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

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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?

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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!

What’s Your Road Trip Routine?

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I was in the middle of writing a long, detailed post telling you all about my weekend (AKA, the reason I haven’t posted in several days). It was going to include lots of great photos and some bullet points, a few humorous asides and a deep thought or two.

In short, it was going to be great.

Then I got up to refill my giant cup with ice water and promptly dumped it all over my living room floor.

As I mopped up the mess I glanced at the clock and decided I was done. That post? It’ll wait. My bedtime, though? It will not. So instead, let’s talk about a very important matter: road trips.

What’s your road trip routine?

What do you…

…pack?
…listen to?
…eat?

How fast do you drive? Do you use cruise control? Take the back roads? Plan your pit stops?

And do you prefer to road trip alone – or with others? If others, who?

Here’s my Road Trip Rundown:

  • I pretty much always pack the morning of a trip. Partly because I procrastinate and partly because my wardrobe isn’t that big so I’m usually washing the clothes I want to wear and take at the last minute. Because I just wore them.
  • If I’m alone, I like to eat Cheez-Its and M&Ms. And drink Coke. I’m healthy like that. AS YOU KNOW.
  • Because I tend to drive too fast (or, strangely, too slow at night), I definitely use cruise control. Every mile I can.
  • Back roads? Pit stops? Whew – too many possible answers here! It depends on where we’re going and who’s going with me.
  • As for what I listen to, well, I use these things called CDs. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? In a history class? Heh. Seriously, my car doesn’t have a way for me to hook up my phone or iPod, so I really do listen to the radio and CDs. On the way to Arkansas last weekend, I listened to loud, kid-unfriendly pop music on the radio until the stations turned into static. Then I jammed to my Mamma Mia soundtrack and most of Mark’s Guns ‘N’ Roses greatest hits CD. I have confusing taste.
  • Last but not least, these days I really, REALLY enjoy the solo road trip. In the past, however, I’ve had great road trips with Annalyn – and I look forward to the day when Mark and I can hit the open road together, alone, again. (But…yeah…for now? Seven hours all by myself in the car? PURE BLISS.)

So, how about you? What’s your road trip routine?

(And now I’m going to peel off some wet socks that, apparently, absorbed more of that spilled water than the seven towels now sitting next to the washing machine.)

{Photo source}

Let’s All Be Brave :: Book Giveaway

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I don’t jump off the high dive.
I don’t ride big roller coasters.
And you’d have to pay me good money to get me on a motorcycle.

I’m not brave.

I didn’t audition for choir in college.
I’ve never lived further than a couple hours away from my hometown.
And one time I thought about starting a business…but didn’t really.

Definitely not brave.

Except . . . what if being brave isn’t about big gestures and reckless acts? What if it’s not skydiving and singing in a ballpark? What if being brave is simply saying yes when you’re called, taking the next step – even when it’s scary?

When I think about it that way, well . . .

I did apply to grad school even when I didn’t know how to pay for it.
I did quit my job without having a new one so I could “follow my dreams.”
I did help plant a new church.
I did go to a blog conference even though I didn’t know anything about it.
I did decide to be a stay-at-home mom even though I didn’t know how.
I did submit a book proposal. Twice.

And I’ve applied for a billion jobs and agreed to marriage counseling {again} and sung karaoke and had that tough conversation and agreed to lead a small group – and so many other big and little steps and yeses.

So maybe I’m a little bit brave after all. I bet you are, too.

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My friend Annie has written a book about being brave. It’s available today, and I want to tell you about it. Here’s the blurb:

How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person—it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward—even when it’s scary.

This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage—nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.

Let’s All Be Brave has great stories in Annie’s easy-to-read and always-funny style, but she also includes God’s answers to finding courage and challenging questions for the readers. It’s one of my favorite books of this year, and I’m excited to give away a copy to one of YOU today!

Enter to win Let’s All Be Brave by leaving a comment here by telling us one brave thing you’ve done. I’ll choose a winner randomly after the giveaway closes at midnight (CST) on Friday, July 17.

How have YOU been brave?

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Spring TV Makes Me Feel Feelings

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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…

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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?

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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):

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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}