Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. It was a past and/or future themed free pick this week so I chose; Top Ten Books That are Set In, or Visit, Past Times.
I feel like this week is a bit of a mish-mash of themes. There is a whole lot of different genres mixed in there; fantasy and contemporary, time travel and magical realism. Time travel is, and I’ve mentioned this once or twice before, one of my favourite subgenres of young adult books so I had more than enough to fill this list up. However I have read, and am currently reading, some amazing books set in the past. So this list became a mixture of anything and everything I’d ever read that stepped foot in the past.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book was on my to-read list for a long time before I finally got around to picking it up; I will admit the title swayed me. Set in Germany during World War II the story follows Liesel Meminger as she grows up a refugee in a small town in Germany. We see the start and the duration of the war through her eyes as her parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, shelter a Jew in their basement.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I am currently in the middle of reading this book. I’d heard such amazing reviews for it and I just had to pick it up and see what all the hype was about. It’s a large book, over 500 pages, so I’m still only about halfway through but it’s easy to see why this book has gotten so much recognition. The story, set in Paris and Germany throughout the course of the war, follows Marie-Laure and Werner; a blind girl forced from her home when the Germans occupy France and a German orphan who wins a place in an academy for Hitler Youth.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I feel like I have mentioned The Night Circus a lot in my recent posts, but of course it fits perfectly in with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday as well. Set in the Victorian era Le Cirque des Rêves travels all over the world and is visited by all kinds of people enchanted by the magic of the circus. However behind the scenes there is a battle waging between two great magicians and their apprentices, their magic is tearing the circus apart, endangering the visitors and the people who call Le Cirque des Rêves their home.
Waging War by April White
The Immortal Descendants series is tied for first as my all-time favourite time travel series. Waging War is the fourth, and most recent, released book set in Paris during World War II. Saira needs to track down one of her friends who, in his current state of mind, could end up wreaking havoc on the time stream. She is forced to face the horrors of war, horrors she is starting to see in her present, as well as tracking down Hitler’s werewolves.
Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
This story takes the tale of the Brontë family and gives it an interesting twist. The two oldest Brontë siblings, Charlotte and Branwell, can escape from their everyday lives into their created worlds where their characters, and the stories they write, come to life. I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and really enjoyed the concept that inspired this story, as well as the new take on the Brontë siblings and their stories written so long ago.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
I read this series for the first time when I was in high school, so quite a while ago now, and it is definitely on my list to read again sometime soon. Of course there is magic in this story. Gemma, Felicity, Ann and Pippa travel from their Victorian England boarding school into the other-world realms of Gemma’s visions. There they can forget their real world responsibilities and burdens and play with magic and wonder for a time.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger is the other time travel book tied for first place with the Immortal Descendants series. After discovering she has the ability to travel through passages to any place and time Etta is blackmailed into tracking down the long-lost astrolabe. She travels from London in the midst of World War II to Paris in the eighteen-hundreds, from Angkor to Damascus following the clues left behind. I loved the premise of this book; the locations were all richly detailed and described and the logic behind Etta’s time travel ability cannot be faulted.
Marking Time by April White
The first in the Immortal Descendant’s series. I love all the books but the first is probably always going to be my favourite (I have yet to see how it ends so that could change). Saira finds herself, having travelled back in time for the first time, in Victorian London in the middle of Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. The main things that makes this series stand out for me are the characters, each of whom are wonderfully developed and have a brilliant relationship with one another, and the research April White clearly puts into the history.
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
I read this book last year, and after I’d finished I eagerly picked up the other two in the trilogy. When Gwen discovers she is the one who the ability to travel back in time, not her cousin, it changes her whole life. She needs to catch up on the training she should have received, and while she visits all the past times and places she has to deal with the prophecy surrounding her and Gideon, the other time traveller from her generation.
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Does this book count if it’s technically set in Steampunk Victorian England rather than just Victorian England? Either way this is a brilliant book which starts off a brilliant series. Finley is a living embodiment of Jekyll and Hyde; she has two distinct personalities, one light and one dark, which each come into play. I loved the setting for this book; Steampunk is something I adore to read. It has all the elements of history that I love but also a lot more fantasy and magic than you would have found in actual Victorian England.
So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so let me know what some of your favourite books set in the past are, time travel or not, or what you picked for this week’s past and/or future themed free-for-all.