As we wait with anticipation for Diana Gabaldon’s Jackson visit in May, the library would like to recommend her many delectable books, as well as some read-alikes. Looking for read-alikes gets a little dicey, since her books cross many lines, not fitting into a single genre. That may be the secret to her popularity—the stories suit many different readers, from romance to time travel to historical fiction.
Jack Finney's Time and again and From time to time are a celebrated pair of novels, the first called a “cult classic.” The New York Times invites us to “Go back in time and have a wonderful time doing it.” These have the extra intrigue of involving a secret government project in Manhattan.
An author who takes doctoral students from 2048 journeying through time is the acclaimed Connie Willis. The Doomsday Book, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, sends Oxford history student Kivrin through time to land, through a miscalculation, at the onset of the Black Plague. Meanwhile, back home in the future, calamities bring out the essential, humorous craven nature in college professors and administrators. Love, friendship, loyalty and tragedy all play out in Willis’ excellent book. And when you finish that book, try Willis’ romp To say nothing of the dog, a Victorian time farce. Fire watch has a collection of her fabulous short stories, including the title one which features more of the time travelers.
Many of us remember the romantic Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie Somewhere in time that was filmed at the Grand Hotel. The original classic by Richard Matheson, also called Somewhere in time, is still around—matter of fact, the library has it on audiobook. One for a road trip, perhaps? Another highly-esteemed clock watcher, Audrey Niffenegger, has written The time traveler's wife, a love story as captivating as Matheson’s, filled with the complexities and heartbreaks of real people living with surreal problems.
It really wasn’t so difficult to find read-alikes after all—it was more of a challenge to narrow the fistful down to those unmatched gems in the lot!
Don’t forget to sign up for the May 8th & 9th Word Wise events with Diane Gabaldon early! Space is limited.