Books That Play With Time
In this episode, Nicole and Gayle talk a little about their current reads, an exciting upcoming movie adaptation of a well-known romance novel mentioned in a previous episode. The main theme of this show is time travel or books that play with time, waste no more of it, and listen to this episode for amazing book recommendations on the topic.
|The Idea Of You||Robinne Lee||Amazon||Bookshop|
|28 Summers||Elin Hildebrand||Amazon||Bookshop|
|The House on the Strand||Daphne Du Maurier||Amazon||Bookshop|
|The Other Black Girl||Zakiya Dalila Harris||Amazon||Bookshop|
|News Of The World||Paulette Giles||Amazon||Bookshop|
|The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano||Donna Freitas||Amazon||Bookshop|
|Count the Ways||Joyce Maynard||Amazon||Bookshop|
|Some Luck||Jane Smiley||Amazon||Bookshop|
|Early Warning||Jane Smiley||Amazon||Bookshop|
|Golden Years||Jane Smiley||Amazon||X|
|Life After Life||Kate Atkinson||Amazon||Bookshop|
|One Day||David Nicholls||Amazon||Bookshop|
|Time Was||Ian McDonald||Amazon||Bookshop|
|Oona Out Of Order||Margarita Montimore||Amazon||Bookshop|
|The Age Of Miracles||Karen Thompson Walker||Amazon||Bookshop|
|The Post-Birthday World||Lionel Shriver||Amazon||Bookshop|
|Time of My Life||Allison Winn Scotch||Amazon||Bookshop|
*Books linked above are our affiliate links through Amazon. There’s no additional expense to you, but if you make a purchase through us a small portion of that contributes to the costs associated with making our podcast. Thanks so much for listening and for your support.
[00:00:00] Nicole: Welcome to another edition of the readerly report today. Gail and I are here because we want to discuss with you the books we could have. I, well, I’ll say I couldn’t really come up with. I’m struggling with the title for this, because we wanted to talk about books that were not necessarily time travel.
They could be time travel, but more of like books where either there’s a sliding doors theme, there’s a displacement of time. You know, someone could be dreaming of two lives. we will try as we talk about these books, not to tell you what the exact element is. If it’s a spoiler, but that’s what we want to do today.
[00:00:43] Gayle: I think books that play with some notion of time
[00:00:45] Nicole: You’re so funny. That’s so funny because I wrote down something like playing with time.
[00:00:53] Gayle: Well, after six years of podcasting together, we should not be surprised if we’re using similar terminologies.
[00:01:00] Nicole: That’s very true, but. So that is what we are attempting today.
Have you been reading anything? I’ve been trying to figure out what to read and you’ve caught me in my in-between phase where I finished up a bunch of books was so funny because I had not put. Bunch of my books in good reads. And so I was just catching up. So finally, I’m only three books behind schedule.
Cause I think I was like 15 books behind schedule. So that’s
[00:01:28] Gayle: For your yearly challenge for my yearly challenge.
[00:01:30] Nicole: For my yearly challenge. That’s exciting.
[00:01:31] Gayle: I think I’m five behind. It says I’m six, but I haven’t, there’s a book I haven’t put in yet.
[00:01:36] Nicole: Right. So, and I’m, I actually do have one book. I’m finishing, which is Intimacies by Katie Kitamura which I really liked so far.
And it’s probably like 250 pages. I think I’ll finish it in the next few days. Not only be too behind. So just like in the next week or so I’m going to catch. I have a loose 96 books that I had said as my goal, like, and not caring whether I met it or not, but I just felt like, I guess at the beginning of the year that I was going to be reading a couple of books a week and that kind of went sideways and I was 15 books behind.
But I think a lot of it was that I was in the middle of a lot of stuff. Like I said to you. you know, on our last show that I am now more into, I had been more into thrillers, but now I’m starting to get back into reading literary fiction. And there were just some books that I was in the midst of that I had not had a chance or wasn’t in the right mind space for, and I finally was, so I finished up a bunch of stuff and.
getting more like you, because now with my little commute, I have been listening to audio books, so I’m getting a couple more in that way. So I think that’s how I caught up. I don’t think I would’ve caught up without them.
[00:02:57] Gayle: You are ahead of me. I am. My goal was 70 and I’m see, it’s telling me I’m six books behind, but I have, I have finished one that I have to just put in there.
So I’m five books behind and I don’t know if I’m going to get there. Just, this is a super busy time of year. So.
[00:03:15] Nicole: Yeah, that’s true. You never know. I was like, oh, am I going to be short this time? But I’ve read 69 books so far this year. Oh, that’s great. But it shocks me, but coming out of thriller phase. So that’s exciting.
I’m finishing Intimacies by Katie Kitamura. And then I have a, you know, slate of books. I have to choose a new audio. I have to choose a new print book and I’ve been doing like a print book along with a non-fiction book. just to keep it moving. If I’m not in the mood from one, then I’ll pick up the other before bed.
Hmm. so what about you?
let’s see, I finished The Other Black Girl.
[00:03:51] Nicole: What did you think by the end?
[00:03:52] Gayle: I, my opinion didn’t change much from what you and I talked about. I still think that it was, very original. I thought the story was like fresh. Like, I haven’t read anything like that before. I feel like actually learned a lot in that book, but I do have issues with how it was written.
I found it confusing and, it was hard for me to follow. And again, I mentioned this last week, I, I don’t recommend doing that one on audio, because that seemed to heighten the confusion. and I was kinda glad to finish it, to be honest. Like it wasn’t. So I would give it like a three and a half stars, like, and I would give the, and actually the writing itself, just, it wasn’t that maybe it was like an editing thing.
Like it needed to be edited better just to make it tighter, make it cohere better. But I thought it was very interesting and kind of this notion about, well, I don’t wanna, I don’t want to say anything that would spoil it.
[00:04:50] Nicole: Yeah. It’s one of those books that we will think about it and maybe next time at the end, we’ll do a short book club on it, just so that we can talk about it because it’s almost impossible to talk about the entire book and what you’re confused about or what became clear or basically anything without giving away what’s going on.
[00:05:10] Gayle: So I don’t want to give it away. I just, I appreciated it and I think it was memorable. Okay. So, I finished that and I have started two new books that I’m really enjoying. I’m reading News Of The World, which is a book that’s been on my radar for like four years. I think you and I have talked about it every December when I’m telling you that I need some short books that I can finish to try to reach my goal, because it’s a short book, but I’m reading it for my reading challenge because it’s going to be my book movie.
since it was made into a movie and I’ve just, I mean, I’m very, very early. I’m probably like 15 pages in, I’m doing it on audio and so far so good. And then the other book I’m reading is Count The Ways by Joyce Maynard. And I have read maybe a hundred pages of it so far, and I really, really liked it so far.
[00:06:02] Nicole: So that’s your print book?
[00:06:04] Gayle: That’s my print book yes.
[00:06:05] Nicole: What’s the blow dry book.
[00:06:07] Gayle: You know, I don’t have one right now. It’s it’s the Joyce Maynard book. So it’s basically been whatever I’m reading in print. I’ve just brought in the bathroom and Radwell, so I don’t have a separate blow dry book at the moment.
I’m just reading whatever I’m reading. I should find one. Stick to that, but right now it’s just, whatever’s going on in print.
[00:06:26] Nicole: You know, it gives you that little extra boost.
[00:06:29] Gayle: I know you’re writing does it does, I should find something. It has to be the right book though. It has to be like short stories or something that lends itself nice to super short bursts of time.
So, I’ll find something.
[00:06:45] Nicole: Lately, I’ve been finding short stories. A few short story collections that I’m interested in reading. I love them in college and probably right after college. And then I went through this thing. I dunno, maybe it was more looking for meaning maybe I just accepted just ideas on the fly back then or consider a lot of things.
I don’t know what it is about short stories now that just don’t grab me. I have really enjoyed collections that have been about specific countries. I think. But, just to get those little slices of life, but there, but there’s been some short story collections that I am looking forward to. So I think you’ll find, you’ll find something.
Yeah. I’ll find something to blow dry your hair with.
[00:07:34] Gayle: Right. All right. So should we hop into our time books? This is one of my favorite plot constantly. That’s by the way.
[00:07:42] Nicole: One more thing I want to mention to you, and maybe we discussed this. I feel like my brain is a little bit goldfish Swiss cheese lately, but did we discuss The Idea Of You has been made into a movie?
[00:07:57] Gayle: Yes. I think you mentioned. Did I think you mentioned that that doesn’t, that sounds vaguely familiar, but that’s exciting.
[00:08:07] Nicole: I felt, well, maybe I did mention it if I did mention it it’s funny because someone else mentioned it to me and, and I had to look it up and she was thinking it was Julia Roberts, but it’s Anne Hathaway.
Who’s going to be, the lady. Oh, is that so disappointing?
[00:08:26] Gayle: I don’t like her.
[00:08:27] Nicole: You don’t?
[00:08:28] Gayle: No.
[00:08:30] Nicole: I think the only thing I’ve seen is The Devil Wears Prada and I was there for the fashion. Did I see what? Who?
[00:08:39] Gayle: Les Misérables.
[00:08:41] Nicole: Oh, is that what ruined her?
[00:08:44] Gayle: No, I kind of don’t remember what ruined her?
[00:08:49] Nicole: Wasn’t she Fantine?
[00:08:50] Gayle: Yes. The one who died, like the, the prostitute who dies.
Yeah. I think so. I think so. I don’t know. My daughter can’t stand her and like, there’s this, there’s a lot of Anne Hathaway hate in the world. And I feel like I’ve gotten sucked into that, but I will say I just saw her in something really good. Do you ever watch the Modern Love series on Amazon prime, which is based on the column in the New York Times?
[00:09:16] Nicole: No, but it’s good?
[00:09:17] Gayle: It’s really good. So season one was maybe a year or two ago and they just came out with season two, but she was in an episode in season one where she plays a woman who is bipolar. And she’s really good in that. I just, I thought she was, I just thought that was a good performance. You give it’s only half an hour show.
Like each episode is a half an hour and it deals with one of the essays from the Modern Love collection. Right. Which I really, I really recommend that. I think it’s. That’s very well done. So do you know the stories well enough?
[00:09:48] Nicole: Like how did they pick these stories? Did they pick stories that, that were actual features in the New York Times that you can kind of compare how they adapted them? Or did they take columns maybe that they hadn’t published it?
[00:10:00] Gayle: Oh, no, I think they were ones that were published.
[00:10:02] Nicole: Okay. So you can like track and see how they did with it.
[00:10:07] Gayle: Yep. Yeah. You could probably go back and find the original column and see how they’ve re-imagined it in on TV. I just thought they were beautifully cast.
They have great actors in them. And, yeah, so she was good in that. So it’s kind of redeemed herself for me, but I’m kind of sad to hear you tell me that that’s, that’s not who I imagined in my head.
[00:10:27] Nicole: Of course you’ll gonna watch it with your daughter. Who did you imagine?
[00:10:32] Gayle: Well, not Anne Hathaway. I don’t know. It’s just, I don’t know who it was. You know, she sort of like got this like French name and she seems kind of exotic and I don’t know, I just
[00:10:47] Nicole: Not Anne Hathaway.
[00:10:48] Gayle: Not Anne Hathawa She’s yeah. Interesting. Okay. Well I’ll still watch it.
[00:10:55] Nicole: All right. Well, I’m sure it’ll be awhile.
[00:10:58] Gayle: Yeah, I’m sure it will. Okay. So time.
[00:11:03] Nicole: You were saying that this is your favorite. When I went to look, I had read so many of them. I think I was up to 25 and I feel like I can remember more. I’ve read quite a few. It was really interesting. Cause I was reading this review of one of the books that I’m going to mention that I had done on my blog in 2012. And I was saying that I didn’t think of myself as a big time travel person.
And like I said, not all of these are time travel, but. I’ve read a lot since then. And then, and I was saying in the blog post, how yet? It seems like I, this is something I could enjoy and I guess I have. Okay. So what was your first book that you want to talk about? Okay. So how did you pick your books?
[00:11:48] Gayle: Again, not, like you, not necessarily time travel books. In fact, I don’t, there’s not many in here that are actually time travel. I like books that either use time as a way to structure the book. So like each chapter is a different year, which is pretty, not that unusual, but, each chapter a different year. but some sort of a theme that ties them all together, or one where the stories told out of order or, or different outcomes of the same.
[00:12:19] Nicole: So yes. Playing with time.
[00:12:21] Gayle: Playing with time, basically. Yeah. Play with time. So the first book I want to mention, I mean, that’s, and I really liked these. So these tend to be books that I’ve talked about on the show a lot.
So you’re going to roll your eyes because the first one is one. I talked about a million times, but it’s 28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand. And this one, each a chapter is a different year in the life of, a couple and they meet and they meet and have a clandestine tryst every year on Cape Cod or Nantucket. I can’t even remember now.
Martha’s vineyard somewhere over there and it follows them for 28 summers and each summer, you kind of see you check in on them and see what’s happened the year before. And you see where they are in their lives and how they’re relating to each other. So it’s straightforward. It’s linear. It progresses in the future.
The way things progress in real life, but I love the, I just love the structure of it. I love the way it’s told I love how time becomes such a key element of the story and of the, you know, just of the plot and the way the whole book is structured. So that’s my first pick.
[00:13:31] Nicole: I think that’s a good time conceit. I thought One Day was only okay by David Nichols, but I really did enjoy catching up with them each year.
[00:13:41] Gayle: That’s how my list too.
[00:13:43] Nicole: So I’ll tell you my first one, before we get to that one. Okay. So my first one is House On The Strand by Daphne Du Maurier, and I have no idea how I came to get this, to get this book. I think maybe at one point, one of the publishers, I think it was Little Brown had done a reissue of it.
Cause this book came out in 1969 originally. And then I think they really rereleased it in 2013. So that might have been why there was a big Daphne Du Maurier a push like Jamaica Inn was rereleased My Cousin Rachel, of course, Rebecca. So The House On The Strand, it is set in England. And it is about this man who has a difficult relationship with one of his friends.
But you know, like no matter how he grumbles, no matter how they get into it, he always will do what they say. And at the time, you know, his name is Dick Young. He’s not happily married. Like his wife seems to really love him and care about him, but she. Brought children to the marriage. And he doesn’t really like kids that much.
And it just hit a rough patch. Like he’s, he’s finished his job in publishing and I believe he’s overseas. Like they’re separated at the point. She wants to go. Back to America. She wants him to move there to be with them, but he doesn’t know what he wants to do. So this friend Magnus offers him his house in Cornwall and he gives strings attached.
Like I’m not, I don’t remember what Magnus did if he was a scientist, but he’s been working on this potion. So part of the deal of them being in the house is that he tries out this potion and sees what happened. So as he drinks. He is transported each time to 14th century Cornwall, where he’s following people in the village who lived there, here, this one, man in particular.
And you know, like the lady of the village and each time he goes back, each time he takes this potion and goes back home. Things have changed in his present time and not all of them are good things, but he is so addicted and like wants to be in this life so much that he keeps on, taking the potion.
And I said in the last show that I thought that time time-ish. You know, because who knows what’s is he really time-traveling? Is he just going to sleep when he’s taking this potion? Who knows, but books with that kind of element, I said it usually works better when they concentrate on the emotion, more so than the mechanism, but this was a really interesting mechanism with his.
The potion that he takes and like he is taking it and he does Mo he really wants to go back and see these people, but it has consequences on him. It has consequences for his life, but he’s kind of addicted to both wise. And of course, he’s gonna have to make the choice if he can, but this is a good book to read in October.
It’s kind of got thrills. I said it, you know, the ending was like re disturbing, So, yeah, this is a good one. The house on the strand by Daphne du Maurier.
[00:16:50] Gayle: All right. Okay. So my next book is another book that I’ve talked about on this show this year, fairly extensively, and it is The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano.
And this book is about. The nine different ways that one woman’s life can play out. depending on whether she decides to have a baby with her husband or not have a baby with her husband and each chapter is a different scenario. So she’s living with her husband. He wants a baby. She doesn’t want one.
And. What will happen. They either can have the baby and stay together. They can have the baby and get divorced. They can not have the baby and stay together. They can not have the baby and get divorced. And then there’s other permutations, you know? Is there an adoption? Is there, you know, a miscarriage, there’s all these different ways and it’s a book about a woman’s choice about whether or not they want to be a mother and kind of the autonomy of choice and the power of choice.
And then of course, the consequences that come from making a decision that’s irrevocable one way or. I loved this book. It was maybe my first book, first five star book of the year that I read, earlier in the year. And it’s just, it, it definitely worked for me. And I love the notion of sort of what if and different ways that one life can play out.
And it just kind of hit all of those things for me. And I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the author. It’s Donna Freitas.
[00:18:29] Nicole: Each time you mentioned that, I feel like I want to read it soon. that was on my, it was one of the books that I thought was interesting back when it came out. I dunno how long ago that’s been now, but yeah,
[00:18:42] Gayle: I think I came out in the spring.
I don’t know. I tell you, when I was looking back at Alyssa books for this year, what I read this year, I think I was looking at over and Goodreads. And just the sense was so strong of, are you kidding me? I’ve read that this year. It just seems like things I read in January, February. It seems so long ago.
[00:19:07] Nicole: All right. Yeah. All right. So the next book on my list is very popular. It has been made into a star series. It was first published that first published June of 1991, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and just these books are huge in so many ways, in terms of people buying them, the number of people buying them.
They’re huge. The length of them, you know, this first book was 850 pages. I forgot when I read it, but I read it quite a bit before they, before they made the series. And it’s interesting. One of my friends went by back and she read all the books, which I thought was super impressive. Cause they’re each 900 pages and there’s so many of them.
And I think I gave up around book three. But anyway, this is about, this is a WW II novel. So if you like WW II novels and are looking for something time-travel related, she’s a nurse during world war two. And she has been working in a strange from her husband during this time. So without Lander, I’m trying to keep it straight.
It’s been a while since I’ve read the book, I’m not sure if I’m confusing the book with the TV series, Claire and her husband are reunited, but they’re having. Growing pains or like they’re not quite meshing together. I think that during the war and everything that they’ve been through, they’ve kind of grown apart.
A little are having, I don’t know, not difficulties, but they don’t really know each other anymore. They’re vacationing in Scotland and she goes wandering off at night and touches these runes that take her back to a different time. So back in, I guess, 17 hundreds in Scotland, and she meets this man who she really likes and she’s like an outsider there.
She doesn’t have any community. But they get to know each other and form a relationship. And she becomes really enmeshed in this lifetime, back in Scotland. And she does travel back and forth. Like at one point, you know, she does, she is trying to get back to her husband and to her life. But as she’s trying to do this events are happening.
Like. In the middle of decisive battles and wars that she know will affect the future of Scotland. And even though she doesn’t think that they will be able to change history, she is helping to try. So as all of this is happening, they fall in love. his name is Jamie Fraser, and so it’s time travel. She does manage to find a way back home, but a lot of the series deals, you know, goes on to deal with how her daughter feels about her.
Leaving and, you know, when she disappears and how it affects her relationship with her husband. And we see that characters that she knows in the present day have links to the past. So it’s really good. This is straight time travel. It happens immediately in the book. So it’s not like you’re spoiled, by my identifying the element of it.
But, yeah, it’s really good. So I’m sure lots of listeners might have either read the book or seen the series or both.
[00:22:29] Gayle: I am so intrigued to hear you say that because I see people talking about this series all the time, but I never have any idea what it’s about.
[00:22:37] Nicole: I don’t know, Gayle, you might like it. It’s historical fiction and it’s kind of smutty.
[00:22:42] Gayle: I mean, people love the series too, right? Like it’s just seems like the whole franchise is very popular.
[00:22:48] Nicole: Yes. Yes. I think they have another season coming out. It’s been delayed because of the pandemic. And I think the actress who plays Claire just had, well, I don’t know if just had a baby, but recently like within the last year.
So like a lot of things, the, I think. Previous season that they had aired was four episodes shorter. And I was just reading this article about how those four episodes they’re going to lump with the next season. And so they’ll be 16 episodes, I guess, sometime in 2022. But yes, my friend’s mom is really into it too.
I think they knew that Sam Heughan was going to be around. Went to some parade to see him a few years back.
[00:23:34] Gayle: All right. Well maybe I’ll add that to my list.
[00:23:36] Nicole: Yeah. You should try out an episode. I mean, it’s, I think the way that they treat the relationships between both husbands, you know, coming back from war, if you had not been married for a super long time, how you could have been changed the differences, it tackles a lot of themes and it’s, and it’s a good.
[00:23:53] Gayle: Hmm. Okay. All right. So my next one is actually a trilogy series. It is the Jane Smiley Hundred Years trilogy, and it is made up of three books, Some Luck, Early Morning, Golden Age, and this trilogy follows a family over a hundred years, starting in like that 1914 or something like that.
And it goes for a hundred years and every chapter is a different represents a different year. so that’s kind of the same construct as 28 Summers. This is different because you’re not revisiting the same two people. You’re usually revisiting either the whole family or a portion of the family.
You start with a couple and then they have kids and they have grandkids. So you check in on the generations over the years and it tracks the, you know, it, it tracks what’s happening in American history at the same time too. So let’s see. Sorry. I think you’re back. It starts in 1920 and goes to 2020.
So even though the last book actually came out. Or the, she wrote them before 2020, I think she projected into the future some, so you get all of the, you know, the early ones cover the depression and WW II in the fifties. And then you start to get into the sixties, seventies and eighties, and then on and on.
And I just love this series. I love that. Each chapter, you never know which perspective you’re going to get, who, which characters she going to focus on? What will you learn about other characters, even if it’s not their chapter. So sometimes a main character may have died, but rather than that, being that person being the central focus of the chapter, you learn about that person’s death through the lens of someone else in the family.
So it’s just this intricately and beautifully constructed three books that. She must’ve mapped out from the beginning and figured out, you know, who is, who am I going to focus on and how am I going to thread in 9/ 11? And how am I going to thread in, you know, president Reagan or the Vietnam war and all this stuff.
So I just really liked this one. I liked Jane Smiley a lot and. There’s you know, this also short of charts, the shift from like a farming economy to an industrial economy and then to an information economy. So you see, you just get to see all these different themes and how they bear down on this one particular family that started in Iowa and then ends up far-flung across the country.
So I don’t, I don’t think that this ever got the attention that it deserves. And I know I managed to figure out a way to bring this trilogy up at least once a year when you and I are podcasting, but I just, it was perfect for this episode and I, I couldn’t help but include it.
Yeah, I think over the course of this podcast, you’ve completed that trilogy. Exactly.
Once a year, you got to mention Jane Smiley.
[00:27:00] Nicole: Heard about the books. my next one is Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. And I had never read her before she has a Jackson Brody’s series. I believe like mystery, more mystery like that.
She had written, and I had always heard of her novels, like case histories, people talk about they’re so good. This was one that came out and I said, let me finally try some Kate Atkinson. And it’s about this woman. Who’s born in 1910 to a banker. He and his wife, she’s English. Her name is Ursula Todd. And over the course of the novel, she dies so many times.
The book is a little bit hard to get into I’ll say in the beginning because she died. Really quickly in these books. So it’ll be like, you’ll, you’re getting basically the same beginning of how she was born, but then she’s still born or, you know, at two she toddles and drowns or all of these different things, but some of her lives as the book, but goes on, get to be longer and they get to be more involved.
And it’s an interesting book to read because. In a sense, you don’t have much of a sense of plot. All of the lives that she’s living are culminating in one moment where a choice has to be made. And it’s a moment that ends up affecting lots of things, but you don’t get, you never know, not that you never know.
I think as, as her lives go on, there are some that are more themed than others. But sometimes it’s so frustrating cause you’ll be really getting into life and then she’ll die. It starts all over again. And this is a monster of a book it’s like 520 pages, but I really enjoyed it. It was a five star read for me.
It’s one of those books that if you give it a chance, it really unfolds and is just interesting
and clever and really good. So with each life, does it start from the beginning again? Oh yeah. And does it, does her part, does her life follow a different path? Every time it
follows a different path every time, like some, she never even makes it to be one.
Some she’s still born. Some she dies early in childhood or something. So in the beginning, like whatever, the first paragraph is, she was born on a snowy night. It was dark. It was this, she was in the house. This happened, that happened. So you’ll, you’ll go through that and then it’ll be like, and then she died.
You know, before she turned one and then it’ll go through the whole entire thing again. And then she died because she fell into a pool when she was five or something like that. And then as you get later in the book, they don’t, you know, describe the entire beginning again, because by that time you’ve heard it at least four or five times.
And it just kind of like, okay, you assume certain things that, yeah. She’s born in that house and you go through the main things of, of, I guess, what shaped this particular life and what got her to, what, you know, whatever details they’re focusing on in that particular life.
[00:30:03] Gayle: Hmm, that sounds good. I’ve seen that book around. I know. I also never knew what it was really about. So you’ve piqued my curiosity on this one too. Well, so my next book is the one that you mentioned earlier called One Day by David Nichols. So maybe we could just talk about it together. Since we each had it on our list. This is one that follows the one year check-in time.
every year. The checks in on this couple or two friends, Emma, and Dexter who live in London. And we check in on them on July 15th, over 20 subsequent years. So it’s pretty similar set up to the Elon Hildebrand book. And it’s just all about their relationship over that time, you know, friends, are they in contact with each other or are they not in contact with each other?
[00:30:52] Gayle: What’s been going on with them. I think they made this into a movie with Anne Hathaway. Is that right? They did. Yeah. I don’t think I saw it though. Cause I don’t want to ruin this book for me. No, because I’d wait
then you didn’t like poor Anne Hathaway. I don’t know why people don’t like her.
Well, I mean, kinda just quickly pull up her movie.
So. Just do a quick aside. So that was
in 2011. And I think I saw that movie because they invited a bunch of, I was oppressed screening. I think I saw it because I had read the book. Okay. And I got to ask David Nichols a question. It’s all coming back to me now. Was it a good movie? I liked it. I mean, but I didn’t, I mean, I brought up the book as a year to year book, but I don’t think I really, I didn’t love One Day.
[00:31:49] Nicole: Oh, you didn’t okay. Okay. continue.
[00:31:53] Gayle: Well, yeah, so, I mean, that’s kind of it, like, it’s just about this kind of very realistic depiction of a relationship of people in there who, you know, kind of grow up together. We start out as like college students and progress 20 years from there. I think that, I think that’s how long I, you know, again, it’s been a long time since I started this too.
[00:32:14] Nicole: Yeah it was 20 years. I think that what frustrated me about that book is their relationship was just so frustrating.
[00:32:23] Gayle: Well, but that’s kind of what you need to make. Good of compelling book.
[00:32:26] Nicole: I know. And then the ending.
[00:32:31] Gayle: Yeah. Okay. We won’t get into the ending. Nope. We won’t spoil a 20 year old book, actually. It’s not only, well, I read it in 2010. I don’t know when it came out. That’s when I read it.
[00:32:42] Nicole: Okay. So 12 year old book.
[00:32:44] Gayle: Yeah. yeah, the ending is tough. but I liked that the book tracked like cultural trends and kind of like cell phones and email and fashion, like it did a nice job of incorporating that stuff in. At the time as well. So, yeah, I, I will say back to Anne Hathaway, that she was kind of annoying in Ocean’s Eight.
Did you see that?
[00:33:07] Nicole: sort of,
[00:33:09] Gayle: I think she plays an actress. Who’s got this thing. She’s the one with the fancy jewelry that gets stolen. She was okay in the intern that wasn’t so.
[00:33:17] Nicole: Okay. but there’s the general and Hathaway hate. And does it is just her movies, her acting, or is it just like her?
[00:33:24] Gayle: I think people don’t like her attitude. Okay. So here’s an article. We need to talk about the unforgivable sins of Anne Hathaway. With each award show appearance, she would unwittingly, but very publicly break one of the Cardinal yet unspoken rules of acceptable public female behavior through her enthusiastic demeanor and emotional acceptance speeches.
[00:33:47] Nicole: Oh yes, she’s too earnest. That’s what I mean,
[00:33:51] Gayle: like this, she won a golden globe and she said, thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forever more use as a weapon against self doubt.
[00:34:00] Nicole: Oh, like, okay. You can just thank God like everybody else.
[00:34:08] Gayle: Yeah. I mean, she’s sort of, I think that she’s like, lets it all hang out too much.
And I do think that she reveals her like insecurity a lot. And so then she just seems kind of annoying,
[00:34:20] Nicole: but doesn’t Jennifer Lawrence do that or didn’t she?
[00:34:23] Gayle: Jennifer lawrence seems to exude more
[00:34:27] Nicole: confidence. So we just don’t like what versions of ourselves?
I don’t know. Hmm. I don’t know. Interesting. Yeah.
[00:34:37] Gayle: There’s a lot of articles. If you type Anne Hathaway hate many, many, many posts come up.
[00:34:42] Nicole: Okay. Well, I may have to dig in and report back. Yeah. give you my, take on it since you’re a hater too.
[00:34:49] Gayle: And maybe I’ll go watch one day by the movie version of the book and see what I think.
[00:34:55] Nicole: Hopefully she won’t annoy you too much.
[00:34:57] Gayle: Yeah. All right. What do you have next?
[00:35:05] Nicole: Okay. So next I have Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch. And I really liked that book. You know, I think at the time I was kind of new into time travel stories. So I wasn’t sure what I was going to think. And it was an author who was unfamiliar to me and I think she does a lot of contemporary.
Women’s fiction at the time, which you know, is not, is not usually my cup of tea.
[00:35:28] Gayle: It was like, usually her covers have like, like a suitcase next to a pair of rain boots.
[00:35:34] Nicole: Right. Or there, or there they’re pink and green. And I actually like pink and green, but I do hate on it in books. I like both pink and, and both green.
It’s very Elle Woods. All right. So my next book is it’s no secret. That is time travel. It’s also WW II. So this is interesting, I have two WW II time travel novels in here. This one is called Time Was it’s by Ian McDonald. It’s this short. Sweet, but tragic story about these two men who fall in love while they are working on a mystery project in England, they’re working on something that will hide British soldiers from German radar, but something goes terribly wrong and their bodies are never found.
So in their present time, they’re presumed dead. But really what is happening is they are time traveling, something with the added. Getting rearranged. I think it was like a big storm that happened, but they have somehow figured out a way to meet up. So when one of them land somewhere, they will like try to get it gets, get themselves together with clothes, with whatever it is they need, but then they always go to like a used.
Bookstore. And they’re looking for like a particular book. I don’t remember right now, like what attributes this book had, if it was like a folded down page or if something is written in it, but that’s how they use to find each other, like as their time traveling. Cause they’re usually not in the same place for once.
They only have a certain amount of overlap for them to meet up again and basically be known. You know, they are constantly in flux, constantly meeting new people and trying to survive, but it does seem like there is an element to this that it will not last forever. So, you know, of course there’s issues of, of what will happen to either of them.
But it’s a really, it’s a really beautiful and interesting story. It’s a short book, only 160 page seven pages, but the author, Ian McDonald, he really packs a lot in there. It was really good.
[00:37:40] Gayle: All of these sound good. I love this construct. I’m telling you. My next one is I think was the first book I read this year.
It’s called Oona Out Of Order. This is a book about a woman who every new year’s Eve wakes up in the body of herself at a different time. So at the stroke of midnight, She could go from being 52 to being 31. And then the following year, she might go from being 31 to being 16 or something like that. I can’t remember.
I think actually it doesn’t kick in until she’s like in her early twenties or something, but so she jumps around all the time. And what’s interesting is that she takes with her the knowledge that she has. crude to date, although that knowledge is going to be incomplete because there’s certain years she hasn’t lived yet since she’s living her life out of order.
it’s one of those books that sort of hurts your brain a little bit because you always have to kind of figure out, okay, wait, what year are we in? And what has happened so far? And you know, like most time travel it’s. Hard to figure out because time travel is not real and it doesn’t work out that way, but it’s, it’s just it’s I really enjoyed this one and I know some people didn’t and I know some people found it really confusing.
[00:39:00] Gayle: I thought it was very poignant and you know, that’s something about life that there’s always like, oh, if I’d only known, then what I know now, Or people come in and out of your life and you know, there’s something so poignant about like you being a certain age and knowing that. Somebody’s going to die, like within a certain number of years.
And you may only have a certain amount of time with them left, but you, that you have that advanced knowledge that there’s just so many things like that that were very poignant. Now. It’s not a perfect book. There were things about it that really bugged me. There are things like I didn’t like that. She didn’t really have much of a job or a career.
And it bothered me that. Given her gift or her curse or whatever you want to call it. She did, there were things she didn’t do with her life that she could have done. She didn’t lift up to the potential that she could have. And, but that’s, you know, there may be reasons that the author chose to do that.
And the other was really experimenting more with like, you know, this just experimental construct and maybe that’s what she was focusing our energies on rather than like the actual character development. So it’s not a perfect book, but it, I thought it was fascinating. Once I sort of got the hang of it and could figure out how to sort of begin a chapter and figure out what was going on, I really liked it.
[00:40:19] Nicole: I wonder if we talked about this again, when you had finished the entire thing, because I don’t remember you being as enthusiastic about. ’cause I think it was of, you know, it was on my radar. It was time travel or something like it. So I wanted to check it out. I don’t remember getting from you that it was worthwhile picking up.
I mean, it’s good to know that it is.
[00:40:42] Gayle: Well, let’s see, actually, I just pulled up my review. I actually read at the end of last year. So it was December 25th and I said, I loved it. It was a mind bending, emotional joy ride poignant. That’s the same thing I just said. Now I said it was a standout read. So maybe when you and I had talked, I didn’t like it.
Certainly by the end I wrote.
[00:41:00] Nicole: Yeah, maybe we’re at the figuring, you know, you said once you figured out how to acclimate yourself to what was going on in her life, it was smoother.
[00:41:10] Gayle: You know, we probably took a break over Christmas break and maybe what happened was I had finished it. Yeah, exactly. And then, and then we, by the time we picked up in January, we were focused on 2021 books and we never revisited it.
So if I left you with the impression that I didn’t like it that’s inaccurate because I really do like it a lot.
[00:41:30] Nicole: Sounds like it.
[00:41:31] Gayle: Yeah. And I read it for the time travel category of my reading challenge last year. I think I might have to add time travel back in for next year or maybe…
[00:41:40] Nicole: Playing with time.
[00:41:41] Gayle: Playing with time.. Yeah, I think I may do. I may do that again.
[00:41:45] Nicole: Anything that plays with time
[00:41:48] Gayle: Or time is an element.
[00:41:49] Nicole: Right. That would be fun. Yeah. My next book is called Remembrance, It’s by Rita Woods. It takes place in three different time periods and the time periods appear to be linked. But of course you have to read on to figure out how they’re linked in present day Ohio.
There is a woman who is working at a nursing home and she has this mysterious. New patient that seems to, you know, she’s like angry and railing at everyone. She’s talking about things that will come like the coming tide of racism or something. Like, it seems like she’s some kind of order Oracle, you know, no one knows what to make of her.
And then, she just, disappears. The other time, period is Haiti and 1791 and is about it follows Abigail, who is an enslaved woman who is broken hearted because her husband ends up being killed in like this uprising that happens and like her, the slave owner, Has her escort, his wife to new Orleans. So she separated from her two children and.
When she gets to new Orleans, like of course she is grief stricken, she’s angry, grieve and her husband and her missing children. But in new Orleans, she discovers that she has a gift and she has an outlet for all of her emotions. And the third time period is 1857 in new Orleans, where there is a young, enslaved woman who had been promised her freedom.
But when her owner dies, that promise is not going to be fulfilled and she runs away. So these three time periods are linked. These three women play a part in each other’s lives that have to be discovered it’s historical fiction. It does involves narratives of enslaved people. And I guess the sense of community that they built in such a hostile environment.
I really liked it. I liked that it was strong, strong women and the decisions they made. Of course, they’re not always the right ones. And some of them lead to quite dire consequences, but I enjoyed all of the time periods and really liked seeing how it came together.
[00:43:56] Gayle: My next book is a little different because this isn’t about the time is actually part of the plot.
So this book is The Age Of Miracles and it is about it’s kind of a dystopian I guess, dystopian book about, time slowing down so that the Earth’s rotation starts to slow down. And so days there are more hours in a day. If you’re defining a day as a sunrise to a sunrise, and it’s all about the impact on the earth of this slowing down of the earth’s rotation.
And how time changes and the many ways in which that impacts society and impacts human behavior. And it’s told through a, an adolescent girl, and that is her life adolescents being described as the age of miracles. this is Karen Thompson Walker, who also wrote, what was that book about the pandemic that we read?
[00:44:58] Nicole: The Dreamers. Yeah. So the same author, right? Yeah. Am I getting this wrong? Yeah. So I loved this one and I love that it kind of looks at how time defines us in so many ways and how changes to just the way we’ve always known it have such a tremendous impact.
[00:45:23] Gayle: Did you ever read this one? I recommend it.
It was a little bit more concrete than her second one, right?
Yes. Well, yes and no. I mean, it’s, it’s still sort of dystopian unrealistic. I mean, it’s not, it’s not something that happens every day, obviously. So it’s not like you could, you know, it’s not, it doesn’t feel familiar, but it was less, yes, it was less mysterious than The Dreamers.
[00:45:57] Nicole: Yeah, there was something indefinite about the dreamers that I didn’t love. Like I liked the writing and the situation was interesting, but yeah,
[00:46:06] Gayle: I like this one better. I thought that this story was really strong. I thought that, it was totally original. it was about just ordinary people sort of trying to like adapt to the changing reality of life in this new way.
so yeah, I think I like this one. Definitely a lot better than The Dreamers.
[00:46:26] Nicole: Hmm. I might check that out then. So my next one is a romance book called Remembrance by Jude Deveraux. And didn’t, wasn’t that just the title of my last one? Now that I have just said this, yes. Okay. So I’m talking about two books called remembrance.
I just wanted to double check that because I said that and I’m like, that sounds very familiar, but that one was by Rita Woods. This is a romance novel by Jude Deveraux that I actually, that I read in a book club, we one February decided that we wanted to go with a very romantic theme and we try to find a good one to read.
So this one is about a woman called Hayden lane, and she’s a romance writer. She’s a best-selling romance writer and she. Has found the man of her dreams except for the man of her dreams is the, I guess the leading character in one of her novels and her fiance notices that she is really not, I dunno, she’s not really paying attention to real life.
So he breaks up with her and she barely notices. So she decides to visit a psychic, to learn more about what the character that she’s been writing about. And she gets hypnotized by the psychic and it pushes her back into the life of her character. So. That character is living in Edwardian England. And Hayden is now someone called Lady de Grey, who is this promiscuous woman.
And she lives her life through this woman and gets to know like what this woman was like. You know, they call her a trial back at the time and there is a mystery of why she never got together with it seems to be her true love that Hayden is in the midst of discussing. So it was pretty good. I mean, I always like books where there is a modern perspective that is examining the social relationships and living conditions of, of the past.
So it was really interesting for me to see what played out through her modern lens, but I liked it. It’s a cute romance.
[00:48:40] Gayle: This is maybe like my favorite collection of books we’ve ever done at one time on this show..
I’m not, I mean, I, I’m not that surprised, but pleasantly surprised to hear that. I guess my last one is classic sliding doors and this is The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. And it’s about a woman who,one day has the choice to either, pursue a man, who’s not her long-term boyfriend or to stay with her long-term boyfriend.
And that decision hinges, you know, sort of sends her off in two directions. She either, you know, Remains faithful or doesn’t. And then we see all of the, the, consequences that come from that one decision. So just like the movie Sliding Doors, it’s the same type of setup, beautifully written. I love Lionel Shriver. It’s funny. It’s clever. It, it takes some twists and turns that you don’t expect, and it would be. Perfect. So it seems like the best way to, to finish off this list.
[00:49:49] Nicole: And my last one is called Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch. And it’s about this woman who feels like she should be happy with her life.
She has the home of her dreams. She has a great husband. She has a beautiful toddler. She adores, but she doesn’t like her life. Like she chose to give up her career to be a stay at home mom and she finds out that her ex like the ex that she had before she got married, it has gotten engaged. So, and the owner of the place where she takes her laundry, tells her she’s looking rough and needs more sex.
So clearly she is quite distraught and she goes off to a spa because she, you know, she has just been told she has a lot of, a lot going on, you know, like. Ex love is getting engaged. You know, your laundry guys telling you you need help. So she goes to a spa and I guess she relaxes so deeply that she relaxes right into another life where she didn’t get married to her current husband or have her baby, but she is successful in her career.
And that is basically what the novel explorers like her as a successful career woman. Of course she misses her daughter. What’s better. What’s worse. And how will she decide? So I really liked this one. There are issues in both in both lives. Like it seems like her coworkers are unhappy in the current place that she’s in.
She has issues with her mom that she’s trying to work out. So it really explored the gamut of issues. Like I didn’t feel like it was a shallow read where. They don’t get into like how everything really affects you when you’re time traveling. Like what’s different with your parents then, or are you working on a relationship or, you know, she does have some inkling of some other choices that she’s made in the past that can help serve as her guide, but still ultimately, depending on what the function is, she has a choice to make whether it’s waking up or returning to her own time or whatever.
[00:51:59] Nicole: But I really liked that.
[00:52:05] Gayle: All right. Well, that is a great collection of books.
[00:52:08] Nicole: I know. And we had so many more, we had a guest on the show and she had written a book. Her first book was time travel. I think when she was on, she was talking about her second book. And so we didn’t talk about that one, but the name of it. Yeah, who was it?
[00:52:30] Gayle: Escapes me now. Cause I think you read it. It was two time periods and this woman is going back in her, in her life. She owned a bookshop. It’s probably called something like the bookseller. Oh my God. Now I want to know what it was. I’m going to have to dig around and I will write myself a note to remind all of you when we’re back on the show again, and Gayle I will text you.
[00:52:57] Nicole: But on that note for our favorite, our favorite of, or our favorite episode of Gayle’s.
[00:53:05] Gayle: Yes. Love it. Love it, love it. All right. Well, we’ll be back with probably not quite as amazing of a list of books it’s time, because how do you top this one?
[00:53:19] Nicole: We have a bar now, though.
Yes, this is, yeah. All right. Well until next time, happy reading.
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