Book ReviewsTop Ten Tuesday

10 Books Driven By Time

I don’t always manage to do a Top Ten Tuesday post but this week’s prompt was a good excuse to go digging into my archives.

The topic is books with titles that include units of time. That could be seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, eternity. Our lives are so governed by time that maybe it’s not surprising how often a term relating to duration is used in book titles. Even so I was startled to find how many books I’ve read that fitted the prompt.

The first book that came to mind was 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak, which if you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to remedy that pronto. It’s a wonderfully evocative and spellbinding tale of the last moments in the life of Tequila Leila, an Istanbul prostitute. The novel’s title and first half describe the last moments of Leila’s consciousness as she crosses from life into death.

Here are my other choices of books I’ve read with units of time in the title. All the hyperlinks take you to my reviews.

The Hours by Michel Cunningham 

Three Hours by Rosamund Lipton 

One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard

Twelve Nights by Urs Fans

Three Days and a Life by Pierre Le Maitre 

Five Days At Memorial by Sheri Fink 

The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny 

Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For the rules and the list of topics visit the Top Ten Tuesday page on her blog.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

15 thoughts on “10 Books Driven By Time

  • I have a copy of The Hours but am wondering whether I ought to read Mrs Dalloway first. Any advice?.🙂

    • I don’t think it ruins The Hours to read it without having first read Mrs D though it would certainly enrich the experience if you knew how Cunningham used Woolf’s text.

  • The Age of Innocence through me for a spin but it is ‘age’ that is reflective of time’s eternity? I would never review this book but I used to read it yearly. Since my mind is conscious driven, I don’t enjoy reading it now… the title is Nine and A Half Weeks by McNeill.

    • “Age” is a recognised division of time so we get the “stone age” “ice age” “iron age” etc

  • Here’s a couple by Salman Rushdie: Midnight’s Children and Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights, cheers, Lisa

    • Drat, I forgot Midnight’s Children which is a surprise considering how much I struggled with that book.

  • I recently read Salman Rushdie’s Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights (weird until you realise/he tells you it’s 1001 Nights)

    • I’m glad he makes that clear because I wouldn’t have got it if left to my own devices, arithmetic not being one of my strengths

  • Good list–I had forgotten the rest of title for the Murakami book. Five Days at Memorial will likely never leave me.

    • Five Days is one I will remember too. I hope the crisis response has improved in the intervening years

  • Lovely to see Twelve Hours given a mention here. A brief novella that packs quite a punch and beautifully written.


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