17 Amazing Time-Travel Books You Can Buy on Amazon

While the idea of time-travel has been around since the 1700s, the concept of the journey through time by a mechanical device was first popularized by H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine in 1895. In fact, he was the first to use the term “time machine.” Many modern novels also have their premises centered on the same idea. Check out the Time-Travel books we found.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

time-travel books: outlander

Claire Randal and her husband are on their second honeymoon after her return from World War II in which she served as a combat nurse. Unexpectedly, Claire finds herself trapped in 18th century Scotland. A bizarre love triangle takes place when she meets a young warrior James Fraser.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

time-travel books: time traveler's wife

Henry suffers from Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a condition which causes misplacement through time. Clare loves Henry in spite of his difficulty grasping the world as perceived by the otherwise healthy humans. The Time Traveler’s Wife uses multiple points of view to showcase the effect of time travel on love and friendship, making the novel as imaginative as it is original.

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

time-travel books: this is how you lose the time war

Blue and Red are time-travelling agents of two warring empires. They send secret messages initially as playful taunts, while trying to alter history. The constant communication soon develops into something much more than cheap jokes. This Is How You Lose the Time War is best described as a sci-fi queer romance novel. 

11/22/63 by Stephen King

time-travel books: 11 22 63

At nearly 1000 pages long, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 is filled with probably too many twisting plotlines. That said, the time travel thriller is gripping enough that you’ll probably lose track of time reading it as well. It is the story of JFK assassination, with an added touch of an attempt to change the course of history.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

time-travel books: kindred

Dana, an African-American author, is sent back to the pre-Civil War era. She ends up at a Maryland plantation, witnessing a horrible scene of a drowning white boy. She tries to save him in vain. As Dana continues to go back and forth in time, she is accused of killing him instead. 

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

time-travel books: doomsday book

An award-winning novel, Doomsday Book tells the tale of Kivrin, a historian who uses a time machine to revisit history for research purposes. During a trip to a medieval village, she encounters a mysterious disease and fails to find her way back home.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

time-travel books: recursion

In the future, technology allows people to go back in time and re-experience their precious memorable past moments. People continue to time travel, unaware that each trip sends many parallel worlds closer to a collision course. Gradually the effects become greater, threatening humanity’s entire existence. 

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

time-travel books: slaughter house five

Billy Pilgrim was once a soldier in World War II. Now he travels back and forth in time to spread messages about life, love, war, and post-traumatic stress disorder. First published in 1969, Slaughterhouse-Five is now considered one of the American classic literature greats.

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

time-travel books: how to stop time

Living throughout centuries is exhausting. Tom Hazard has had enough of every worldly adventure and is ready to have a normal life as a history teacher in a high school. Being able to live exceptionally long would be a complication in love, and so Tom tries not to fall into the trap. In the high school however, the French teacher proves to be too much to resist. 

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

time-travel books: oona out of order

As far as Oona Lockhart can tell, she is just minutes away from turning 19. She very much looks forward to welcoming another step into adulthood, but in the morning she wakes up to celebrate her 51st birthday instead. Oona takes time-travels to the past and back to the future every now and then as she tries to navigate life. 

The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga

time-travel books: the shape of thunder

A tragedy has changed the lives of best friends Quinn and Cora. Although they also are next-door neighbors, they haven’t spoken to each other in about a year. Quinn figures the only way to bring everything to normal again is to go back in time and prevent the tragedy from ever happening in the first place. 

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

time-travel books: displacement

Unlike most books on our list, Displacement is a graphic novel. The main character is Kiku, who is transported back to the past exactly at the time of World War II. Kiku witnessed how her grandmother was relocated against her will. The time travel allows Kiku to learn more about her family history and how the experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II shaped their lives in present day. 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

It is a story of evil, love, and life. Meg Murry sets out on a dangerous adventure to find and rescue her missing father. She is accompanied by her brother and a friend. Along the way, they bump into supernatural friends who help them use a tesseract to travel through space and time. 

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Kate and Jake meet at a party and their feeling for each other have grown since then. Before long, however, Kate dies from a genetic disease. Jack travels back to the time where they first met and is determined to do anything in his power to prevent her death.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

In a science fiction reality, Charles Yu has one of the most challenging professions of all; he repairs time machines. The inventor of the incredible device is his now missing father. Yu must navigate carefully in the bizarre world to find the right moment where he can meet with his father, even if it’s only in a memory. 

The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

Beth is in 1992 and a witness to a murder. Tess is three decades apart in 2022 and wants to use a time machine to make the world a better place. Their stories are meant to intertwine.

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

Due to a failed mission about 18 years ago, Kin Stewart is still unable to go back to the year 2142 where he came from. Kin has a daughter in the present time, and then a complication happens when a rescue team from the future arrives to take him back.

We love time travel stories, especially the ones that bring about a time paradox. I don’t know about you, but a well-written time paradox tale can give me a headache! How about you? Ever gotten a headache because of an author’s talented interpretation of a time travel event? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you may want to know about.

Is time travel even possible?

In the article “Can we time travel? A theoretical physicist provides some answers” by Peter Watson, Carleton University on the website the conversation.com, he states that it’s a surprisingly old idea that has been the storyline in movies television and literature. He answers this legitimate question in this way. “As a theoretical physicist, I find that there are several possible answers to this question, not all of which are contradictory. The simplest answer is that time travel cannot be possible because if it was, we would already be doing it, one can argue that it is forbidden by the laws of physics, like the second law of thermodynamics or relativity. There are also technical challenges: it might be possible but would involve vast amounts of energy.”

Read this article if you would like more details on this question of time travel.

Can you go back to the past?

In an article by Cathay O’Connell on the website cosmosmagazine.com, she states that travel to the past is impossible but asks if there are ways to time-travel into the future. She says, “we are all time travelers as we are swept along in the current of time, from past to future, at a rate of one hour per hour.” She lists five ways to achieve time travel.

  1. Time travel via speed
  2. Time travel via gravity
  3. Time travel via suspended animation
  4. Time travel via wormholes
  5. Time travel using light

For a more in depth look at time travel access this article on cosmosmagazine.com 

How do we know that time travel is possible?

spaceplace.nasa.gov states that humans can’t hop into a time machine and go back in time, but we do know that clocks on airplanes and satellites travel at a different speed than those on Earth. 

Go to this NASA website and read this interesting article “Is Time Travel Possible?”