Best Time Travel Books to Transport You Through Time

While time travel is not possible, these amazing time travel books will take you on epic journeys through different timelines and worlds. Enjoy exploring the riveting, twisting time travel scenarios in these amazing novels that will satiate your craving for time shifting.

1. Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five discusses free will, fate, and death, earning the book a spot among the best time travel books. 

The book’s main character Billy Pilgrim is the definition of an unreliable narrator. In the postmodern anti-war setting, Billy is a time-traveling man in an alien zoo. Through his flashbacks, you will relive Billy’s capture during the Battle of the Bulge, his life as a prisoner of war working in a slaughterhouse amidst the Dresden firebombing, and his life after the war ended.

Fun fact: Slaughterhouse-Five earned a Hugo award and a movie adaptation in 1972. The movie adaptation won awards at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972 and a Golden Scroll.

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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2. Kindred by Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler’s Kindred takes place in 1976, where a young African-American writer named Dana inexplicably finds herself transported through time. 

Dana finds herself on a pre-Civil War plantation in Maryland. While on the plantation, she saves a boy from drowning, prompting another journey. This time, Dana is back in Los Angeles, but she can’t stop shifting back and forth between her home in LA and the Maryland plantation. 

Her stays in the past continue to grow longer and longer, and in turn, Dana must make harder choices to survive. 

This multi-genre novel will keep you hooked and make you think about more significant issues such as racism, sexism, and white supremacy, both in the past and present.

Kindred by Octavia Butler

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3. Timeline by Michale Crichton

Timeline, published in 1999, takes you on a journey to France. Archeology professor Johnston leads a group of students researching two towns from the fourteenth century. Professor Johnston returns to America to deal with some of his shady sponsors, but strange things begin happening at the dig sites after his return.

The graduate students begin to dig up their professor’s modern-day belongings. The group learns they must travel back to the era of the knights if they want to save Professor Johnston’s life.

Timeline by Michale Crichton

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4. 11-22-63 by Stephen King

If you love time travel or Stephen King’s books in general, you will surely enjoy this title by King.

Stephen King is a big name in the horror genre, but he writes fantastic books in any genre he touches, and time travel is no exception. 

King’s book 11/22/63 focuses on English teacher Jake Epping. He discovers that his friend Al has a portal in the storeroom of his diner that leads back to 1958. When Jake Epping travels through it, his first mission is to try and change the lives of one of his students. Later, he concocts a plan to go through the portal and attempt to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Fun fact: The title was turned into an eight-episode miniseries on Hulu in 2016. It was nominated for an Emmy but, unfortunately, did not win.

11-22-63 by Stephen King

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5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is easily considered one of if not the ultimate time travel romance books. 

The Outlander series sets a thrilling love triangle between Claire, her husband, and James. Claire Randall has recently returned home from her time spent serving as a WWII nurse, and she and her husband decided to take a second honeymoon. 

While honeymooning in the British Isles, Claire unknowingly steps through a standing stone and is transported to 1743. In 1743 war-torn Scotland, Claire meets soldier James Fraser. 

Claire Randall is forced to choose James Fraser or her husband. 

Gabaldon’s book series is perfect for you if you love reading romance, specifically love triangles, and enjoy a well-written time travel book.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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6. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

Doomsday Book, a Hugo, Locus, and Nebula award-winning novel, transports you to London in the not-so-distant future. 

Universities and historians are using time travel technology to conduct research. Kirvin is one of the historians sent back in time by the university to a medieval village, but everything immediately goes south. 

Kirvin finds herself stuck in medieval times with no way home, impending disaster, and a mysterious illness.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

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7. The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov’s book The End of Eternity, released in 1955, focuses on the main character Andrew Harlan, an eternal. 

He sifts through the past and present centuries to monitor progress, and when necessary, he changes things to ensure the future pans out as his organization plans it. However, when Andrew falls in love with a non-eternal, he must make the biggest decision of his life. You will read along, riveted by the story, as Andrew must choose where his loyalties lie and how much his happy ending is worth.

The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov

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8. Hyperion by Dan Simmons

The science fiction novel Hyperion takes you thousands of years into the future to a time when humans have conquered space travel and inhabit multiple planets. 

It follows the story of seven pilgrims – priests, a laborer, a professor, a private investigator, and the Consul, and their unique journey through Hyperion to save humanity from a malevolent force.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

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9. Recursion by Blake Crouch

In Blake Crouch’s Recursion, the United States of America faces False Memory Syndrome, a disease in which people go mad from memories of lives they never lived. 

You’ll be immediately hooked as you follow New York Police Department cop Barry Sutton and Helena Smith, a neuroscientist, as they try to come up with a solution to this epidemic. They must solve this problem as the world around them continues to shift.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

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10. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

This book by Mark Twain was published in 1889, making it a story well before its time regarding the concept of time travel. 

A piece of classic literature by Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is the tale of the main character Hank Morgan, a mechanic. 

After being hit in the head, Hank wakes up in King Arthur’s Camelot, and sets out to modernize Camelot. He wants to supply the medieval era with gunfire and electricity, which quickly leads to chaos. 

This Mark Twain book is excellent if you love classic literature or are a fan of Twain’s other literary works. This book’s interesting parallels to our modern world will have you hooked for hours.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

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11. Time and Again by Jack Finney 

This 1970s science fiction novel is the first book in Jack Finney’s 2-part series. 

In Time and Again,  the government recruits Simon Morely or Si to time travel back to 1882. He joins not only to leave his mundane life but also to learn more about the letter that her girlfriend possesses. 

Upon arriving in 1882, things did not go as planned. 

Si uncovers blackmail and ends up falling in love with a woman he met while time traveling. You will find yourself glued to the book’s pages as Si must choose between the past and the present.

Time and Again by Jack Finney 

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12. The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Claire North

This standalone historical sci-fi novel written by Claire North follows the life of Harry August. 

Harry August was born in 1919. He lives his life, as usual, going through a few big life events, and then he generally dies from lung disease around 1990. 

However, he is a Kalachakra, an Ouroboron, meaning he is destined to be reborn again and again. 

When you become acquainted with Harry August, he has already lived through 15 previous lives and is trying to weave together all the important events from those prior lives. 

While Harry is doomed to relive his life over and over, each of his lives is unique. 

He travels across the world to exotic locations and, during his lifetimes, goes through many major world events. 

This time travel book is slowly paced in the beginning, and the pacing accelerates throughout the story bringing you towards the climax. 

Clair North created a great fusion of literary and science fiction concepts, and all of you lovers of time travel books will be pleased with this novel.

The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Claire North

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13. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells’s novel is perfect for you if you love time travel books with a deeper level of meaning and classic literature. 

H.G. Wells’s published his book The Time Machine in 1895, pioneering the time travel genre for generations to come. This book and H.G. Wells coined the term time machine as well. 

The time traveler pulls the time machine lever and quickly finds himself 800,000 years in the future. The future Earth he finds is dying and houses two strange races: the Eloi, innocent childlike individuals, and the brutal dwellers of the underground, Morlocks. 

The Time Machine warns readers against the inevitable progression of humanity and highlights class conflict throughout the novel. 

Fun fact: This famous novel was later adapted into a movie in 1960. The book and movie both received awards nominations, with the movie adaptation winning an Oscar.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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14. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger’s debut novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife, will take you on a grand adventure as you read about art student Clare and her librarian husband, Henry. 

The couple seeks to find a sense of normalcy in their day-to-day lives as Henry shifts through time. The husband, Henry, suffers from Chrono-Displacement Disorder. He gets pulled back into emotional past moments and ones yet to happen. 

The Time Traveler’s Wife is the perfect book for readers who don’t mind reading a time travel novel with a romance plot.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

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What’s Your Favorite Time Travel Book?

With so many amazing time travel books out there, it is hard to mention them all in one article. If your favorite time travel book didn’t make this list, please leave a comment about it, or feel free to leave recommendations for other books where time travel is the main plot point.

Have fun reading these amazing books about time travel and getting transported to a new timeline every time you pick up the book.


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