Top 5 Tuesday: Books Set in an Alternate Universe

Happy Tuesday, book friends! I’m pleased to say I’m sitting here with my coffee and my breakfast per usual, and that yesterday’s tests all came back normal. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, because on the one hand it’s great to know everything looks good, but a bit frustrating not to have any clear answers. But, so it goes.

Today I’m back with another Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Bionic Bookworm, now hosted by Meeghan Reads. If you’re interested in participating, check out their blog to get the details and the prompts for each week.

This week’s topic is “books set in an alternate universe.” I have to admit, one of my first thoughts when I read this prompt was to recall something Mindy Kaling wrote in one of her essay collections. I’m going to paraphrase here, but basically, she defends the romance genre by saying she likes to think of it is a sort of alternate universe with different rules than ours, where things like meet cutes and happily ever afters operate.

So, I considered just writing a list of favorite recent romances. But, I’m going to give it a think and see if I can meet the prompt more at its intention.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

This book features an alternate universe element, where the main character goes to an alternate reality when she’s asleep. It’s a heavy book, as the main difference in this alternate universe is that her longterm boyfriend is still alive. But it’s a really deep and raw and beautiful exploration of grief and moving on.

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

The world of Thistle Grove is a bit of an alternate universe, since it plays home to families of witches with magical powers. Though there’s a more recent installment in the series, I still prefer this one, so it makes the list.

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

A world where Orcs can own cafes and work alongisde Tieflings and Ratfolk. In other words, a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, but make it cozy. Desperately hoping this becomes a series full of adventurers pursuing their dreams in small towns.

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

This book has one of my favorite magic system setups, where witches are born with an affinity for magic of a particular season. Their role in society is working to combat climate change, but it’s getting more and more difficult as the seasons shift.

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

Two people with superpowers and no memory of how they got them are archrivals in their super-personas. Then, they meet at a support group and realize they’ve got a bit more in common than they thought.


I feel like I don’t say this often, but that was a lot easier than I expected! If you let a world with witches be an alternate universe, it turns out I’ve read plenty of books spread across the multiverse.

How about you, book friends? Read anything set in an alternate reality recently?

6 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday: Books Set in an Alternate Universe

  1. I’m really enjoying this week’s theme and everyone’s slightly different take on it. I love these choices. Legends and Lattes is right at the top of my TBR

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