book round-ups, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: Time Travel-y books

After Friday’s Series I Love post about The Chronicles of St Marys, this week’s Recommendsday is on Time travel-y books – so called because it is a little bit more of a if you like x then try y post, as there are not a lot of directly similar books out there!

I’m going to start with time travel-y caper comedies and I have two for you. Firstly there’s To Say Nothing Of the Dog by Connie Willis. This was a book of the week five (!) years ago and back then I mentioned that you should read it if you like the Chronicles of St Marys – so I’m delighted to see that past me and present me are so consistent! This features a time traveller called Ned with a bad case of Time Lag (like jet lag but with time) who is sent to the nineteenth century to recover from the demands of an American Benefactor, but can’t remember what the job is that he was sent to do there. As an added bonus there’s stacks of Golden Age Crime references – my Goodreads review sums it up as: Time travel + history + humour + Peter Wimsey references galore = right up Verity’s street.

Then there’s the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. They’ve had a Series I love post before, but it was nearly two years ago, so it’s just about within the rules. Thursday’s not so much travelling through time as travelling through literature, but as she’s trying to stop people from changing literature, it’s a similar sort of feel to St Marys in a way. And it’s very, very funny. Although the fact that the Victorian-era Crimean War hasn’t ended in Thursday’s alternate reality 1986 feels a bit different in 2022 than it did when I first read then in 2013! Another one to start at the beginning – which is The Eyre Affair.

Moving on to less comedy, and less time travel-y but still moving through time is How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. Our hero in this, Tom, has lived for an insanely long amount of time – we see him at various points in history from Elizabethan era Britain to Jazz Age Paris to his currently life as a history teacher in modern day London. The most important thing is that he can’t fall in love. Except of course he does. I read this 5 years ago and really enjoyed it – writing this has made me think that I should go for a reread – or maybe read the other Matt Haig book I have sitting on the tbr shelf.

Now is the point where I should mention Terry Pratchett. You’re aware of my love for him, but actually Thief of Time is one of the Discworld books that it’s been ages since I read, which is nice because writing this post has started me on a reread. Or rather listen because I’ve gone for the audiobook this time. Anyway this one has Death, Death’s granddaughter Susan, the History Monks, an attempt to build the world’s most accurate clock which will actually cause the end of the world and more. Enjoy!

I’m going to finish with some children’s stuff – because there’s loads of time travel or messing with time in kids books. Firstly Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, which features a little boy who hears the clock strike thirteen one night while he’s staying at his aunt and uncles. When he gets up to see what’s happening he discovers that the back door now leads to the garden as it was in the 1880s – and it all goes from there. Then there’s A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – which is is an adventure story about children looking for their parents that happens to involve other planets and alien-y beings – I liked it, but I know some people have issues with this in the same way that they have issues with the Narnia books if you know what I mean. And then not so much time travel as ghosts is the Green Knowe series by Lucy M Boston, which are about an old house that the same family has lived in for centuries and the different people who have lived there who appear to the present day children of the house as spirits. I’ve not explained that very well, but I loved the first one in the series particularly when I was a kid. I reread that first one a few years ago and it still held up – I have them all on the shelf downstairs, I really should get around to rereading them all…

Anyway, happy Wednesday everyone!

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