I finished The Time Traveller's Wife last night. I read the last half in one sitting it was so good. A love story, a fantasy, a mystery in a way and an adventure. For a first novel, amazing. Dorothea said you must read what inspires you to write-well-I will have to stop reading such good stuff; it is too daunting, intimidating, discouraging. I say to myself "I can never write like that". Now when I read junk ( also published) I say- I can do that, better than that.
I am also reading A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel, a wonderful instructive treasure on the pastime. The conjunction of Niffenegger's book and this one have made me think of the book as time machine. Reading Austen, or Shakespeare or Homer is a kind of time travel . Stephen King said writing/reading was an exercise in ESP. ESP and time travel. No wonder it has an air of magic.