Top Ten Tuesday: A Journey Through Time

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl, is “Books With a Unit of Time In the Title (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, eternity, etc.) (Submitted by RS @ The Idealistic Daydream)”.

I decided to make things more interesting by starting with a very short period of time and becoming gradually longer! All of the titles on my list are books that I’ve read and reviewed on my blog.

1. The Second Sleep by Robert Harris – I’m starting with a title which includes the word ‘second’. Robert Harris is a favourite author of mine and I usually love his books, but I found this one a bit disappointing. It seems at first to be a conventional historical novel set in rural England in the year 1468, but it turns out to be something very different! A fascinating idea, but not what I had expected.

2. Ten-Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler – I don’t seem to have reviewed any books with ‘minute’ in the title, so I’m going with something longer than a second but not as long as an hour. This is the fourth novel in Fowler’s Bryant and May series which follows the investigations of two octogenarian detectives working for London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit.

3. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton – I’ve read most of Kate Morton’s books, although this isn’t one of my favourites. Moving between the 1990s and 1940s, the novel has lots of gothic elements from crumbling castles to family secrets and I did find it entertaining, but much longer than it really needed to be.

4. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham – I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by John Wyndham. In The Day of the Triffids, after an unusual display of meteors throws the world into chaos, an aggressive species of tall and vicious plants begin to dominate. A fascinating, but unsettling read.

5. A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore – In this dual timeline novel, the ‘modern’ storyline is set in 1961 and follows music student Fay Knox who is spending a week in Paris trying to discover the truth about her childhood. The other narrative tells the story of Fay’s mother during the occupation of Paris during World War II. I enjoyed this book, but much preferred the wartime storyline to the 1960s one.

6. The Nine Day Queen by Ella March Chase – Lady Jane Grey lasted slightly longer than a week on the throne of England. Her nine day reign in July 1553 is the subject of this historical novel which also gives plenty of attention to the stories of Jane’s two younger sisters, Katherine and Mary.

7. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne – I didn’t have any books with ‘month’ in the title, so am skipping ahead to ‘eighty days’ instead. This classic adventure novel follows the journey of Phileas Fogg who attempts to travel around the world in eighty days in order to win a bet. It’s an entertaining story, but it seemed such a waste to pass through so many countries without having time to explore them!

8. The Year Without Summer by Guinevere Glasfurd – This fascinating novel is set in 1816, the year after the eruption of Mount Tambora, an Indonesian volcano. Glasfurd tells the stories of six people, some real and some fictional, whose lives were affected by the extreme weather that followed the eruption.

9. Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas – This is the second book in Dumas’ d’Artagnan series and, as the title suggests, takes place twenty years after the events of The Three Musketeers. I loved this one every bit as much as the first book and I think it’s a shame it’s so much less well known.

10. Like This, For Ever by Sharon Bolton – For the final title on my list, I couldn’t decide between this one and Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End. Which is the longer period of time? They’re both the same, surely. Anyway, I settled on this one, which is the third novel in Bolton’s wonderful Lacey Flint crime series and one of my favourites!


Have you read any of these? Which other books with units of time in the title can you think of?

18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: A Journey Through Time

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    Nice list. I read ‘Triffids’ decades ago so don’t remember much about it – except that it was often vastly different from the movie & small screen adaptations. Despite being a definite fan of Robert Harris (a few more to come my way this year I think) I REALLY didn’t like ‘Second Sleep’. I do remember ’80 Days’ being a FUN read. Much more so than most of Verne! [grin]

    • Helen says:

      I’ve loved most of the other Robert Harris books I’ve read, so that one was a real disappointment for me. 80 Days is the only Jules Verne book I’ve read so far – his others don’t sound as appealing, but I’ll probably try another one eventually!

  2. Lark says:

    I love that you managed to find titles that went from seconds through days and all the way up to eternity. And such interesting titles, too! 😀

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