Obsessed With Timeless? Here Is The Perfect Book To Accompany Each Episode

by  | February 27

Since its premiere, I have been obsessed with NBC’s new show, Timeless. Here’s one reason why (*swoons every Monday night from 10-11pm*):

Just kidding (not at all).

If you haven’t been watching, here’s the gist: Brilliant historian Lucy, ex-special ops agent Wyatt, and computer programmer Rufus are roped into a government operation to travel through time and stop a rogue agent who’s trying to change the past.

In essence:

Each week, the team travels to a different time in history, in search of the nefarious Garcia Flynn, whose main mission is to take down the mysterious Rittenhouse group.

For a history nerd like me, this is candy. But what makes it better is that almost every episode introduces a true part of it that many of us have never heard before. And what makes it even better is…there’s a book for nearly all of them. Here’s a breakdown of what you should pick up after each viewing (except for the pilot, one episode that was set in the 80s to move the plot, and finale because #spoilers).

Warning: Timeless is totally bingeable. Season 2, please! 

Episode 2: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s alternative history, and Stephen L. Carter is a master of it. The moral crux of Timeless is whether someone has the right to change history, and this novel explores what might have happened if President Lincoln had survived the shooting at Ford’s Theatre. Non-spoiler spoiler: it would have involved an impeachment trial. At the center of it is Abigail Canner, a young black graduate of Oberlin who is put to work on Lincoln’s defense team. Sign me up.

Read it: B&NAmazon / Indiebound


Episode 3: Atomic City

This episode takes the team to 1962, where Flynn has blackmailed Judith Campbell, otherwise known as JFK’s mistress (draaaama) into helping him steal a plutonium core to potentially launch a nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis may have been the height of tension during the Cold War, but this episode—and this book—remind us that there could have been a disaster at any moment.

Read it: B&NAmazon / Indiebound



Episode 4: Party at Castle Varlar

As a literary history junkie, I knew the bare bones of James Bond’s origin story, but what I didn’t realize is just how close a witness his creator Ian Fleming was to history. In 1939, he joined Naval Intelligence, and went undercover, infiltrating Nazi strongholds and observing some of the most important moments of World War II. After the war, he became a journalist. The rest is history, and available for the first time in Lycett’s biography.

Read it: B&NAmazon / Indiebound

Side note: shout-out to NBC and the Timeless casting department for blessing us with this moment:


Via Tumblr/nbctimeless

Episode 5: The Alamo

Confession: the only thing I ever really remember about the Alamo is “Remember the Alamo.” Whoops. Luckily for me, there’s Harrigan’s bestselling novel, which tells the story of the epic battle through the eyes of three people whose fates intertwine at the fort: a naturalist, a widowed innkeeper, and her young son. As the story moves rapidly toward the seige, they come in contact with James Bowie, Davy Crockett, William Travis, and General Santa Anna and become part of an American legend.

Read it: B&NAmazon / Indiebound




Episode 6: The Watergate Tape  

If there’s one thing I love about this show (besides Matt Lanter), it’s the people it introduces in each episode. Mallon’s famous for this—bringing a whole cast of characters to a historic moment or event and giving them a new voice. In this novel, he portrays the drama and intensity of Nixon’s last days through the eyes of those who witnessed it from near and far.

Read it: B&NAmazon / Indiebound




Click through for the space race, Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, and more!