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2017 Reading Challenge

Jill Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 150 books.
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Recycled Top Ten: Time Travel or Why I Like Stories Set Somewhen as Well as Somewhere

I’m just back, and not quite up to speed yet, so you’re getting another recycle… I’d apologize, but it’s a good one, and it bore repeating!

I am obsessed with the idea of time travel. That and dreams/dreaming are the two themes that are guaranteed to pull me in to a story. I don’t know why this is exactly – I don’t know if it is the idea of getting lost, the possibilities of mysterious adventure, or what, but I am absolutely captivated by the idea of ending up somewhen else as well as somewhere else.

I have always loved history – that could be part of it. When I was a child, every family vacation had three essential elements: (1) had to be within a (roughly) eight hour driving radius of home; (2) had to include at least one amusement park visit; and (3) had to include at least one (although preferably more) Place of Historical Interest. Growing up in upstate New York, this meant we ranged from Maine to West Virginia and Michigan to Massachusetts.

My father planned these trips – oh-so-carefully – with AAA Trip-Tiks, not Google Maps, and with guidebooks he requested from Chambers of Commerce. (I still can’t believe he did all that, by the way. I have trouble planning a trip WITH computers, let alone without!) His favorite historical period was always the Revolutionary War (logical given where in the country we lived and what fell within the driving radius), with the Civil War a close second. So from an early age I was immersed in living-history versions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and found them fascinating.

I carried this fascination into my own reading and my adult life – to this day, I will go out of my way to see a Place of Historical Interest, and I spent many a spare hour on business trips (back in the days when I had business, that is – teehee) slogging through battlefields or colonial houses. I even lived in one for a while (a colonial house, not a battlefield, teehee – that was built in the 1750s and looked suspiciously like it was designed/built by the architect of the George Washington field command house in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, which was right down the road.)

As I grew up and my traveling spread beyond the nine-hour radius and eventually took me overseas, this love of history expanded. I became obsessed with monarchies and all things royal and ancient British and French, which lead to reading about Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and Spain of course, and the obsession spread and spread. As a result, you will see that many of my favorites below are both somewhere and somewhen stories, that took me hurtling through both space and time.

While I cannot get enough of time travel reading, I don’t know if I would do very well as a character in one of these books. I don’t know if I’m really a survivor of the frontier/lack-of-modern-conveniences type… So I guess it’s best that I stick to reading about time travel. I still hope it’s possible, mind you, just don’t know how well I’d fare if I stumbled upon it… My knowledge of history is quite good, especially for an American, but doesn’t extend to the type of detail that would allow me to blend in seamlessly in the fifteenth century, you know? Plus, I’m terrible at accents. And obsessed with sanitation and hygiene. Teehee.

Top 10 Time Travel Books

1. Outlander– Diana Gabaldon
2. The Time Traveler’s Wife– Audrey Niffenegger
3. Time and Again– Jack Finney
4. Timeline– Michael Crichton
5. By a Lady– Amanda Elyot
6. The Named– Marianne Curley
7. Lightning– Dean Koontz
8. Knight Errant– Robert Garcia y Robertson
9. The Kingdom of Ohio– Matthew Flaming
10. The Guns of the South– Harry Turtledove

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