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Welcome to History Book By Book,
Reading your way through history... one book at a time...

> We are currently recommending a total of (888) books, divided into (56) specific booklists on this website.

First Time Here? Check Out: Frequently Asked Questions | How Do I Use History Book By Book (HBBB)?

General Outline

Prehistory Booklist (4,500,000,000-6000 BCE)

  • Stone Age (2,600,000-3300 BCE)

Early Civilization Booklist (6000-3000 BCE)

  • Ancient China (6000-220 CE)
  • Mesopotamian Civilization (3500–500 BCE)
  • Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1900 BCE)
  • Bronze Age (3300-1200 BCE)
  • Ancient Egypt (3100-30 BCE)

Classical Age Booklist (3000 BCE-400 CE)

Early Medieval Booklist (400–699 CE)

High Middle Ages Booklist (700-1399 CE)

  • Vikings (790–1100)
  • Aztec Civilization (1345–1521)

Renaissance Booklist (1400-1599 CE)

Enlightenment Booklist (1600-1699 CE)

Age of Revolutions Booklist (1700-1839 CE)

Industrial Age Booklist (1840-1899 CE)

Modern Age Booklist (1900 CE - present)

See also: American History | African American History | Indigenous American History | Jewish History

List of All Booklists

Other Booklists

Why is HBBB a thing?

I am a list maker. I love organizing booklists, to-do lists, checklists of all kinds. I spend a great deal of my time researching books for my job and I’ve often found it frustrating that there isn’t one reliable resource where I can find an organized timeline of literature. So I’ve created one. I’ve set out to create a resource that will guide you on a literary adventure through history.

You can find books here on just about every time period or historical topic and for any age level. I’ve done my best to research and vet each title to ensure that this list is filled with living books. I’ve noted content warnings when necessary and my daughters and I have reviewed many of the titles recommended. This has been and will continue to be a labor of love, as we continue to build this website and update these book suggestions. I hope you find it helpful!

Thanks and Happy Reading, Emily

Emily's Favorites

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Most Recently Published Book Suggestions (2021)

Featured Weekly Book Suggestion - 9/20/2021

Modern Age

While I Was Away
Author: Brown, Waka T.
Buy at Amazon |

Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1984
Geographic Area: Asia
Country: Japan
Topics: Japanese Culture
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Middle Grade, Upper Middle Grade
Format: Chapter Book
Published: 2021

World History > Modern Age > 1980s

The Farewell meets Erin Entrada Kelly's Blackbird Fly in this empowering middle-grade memoir from debut author Waka T. Brown, who takes readers on a journey to 1980s Japan, where she was sent as a child to reconnect to her family’s roots.

When twelve-year-old Waka’s parents suspect she can’t understand the basic Japanese they speak to her, they make a drastic decision to send her to Tokyo to live for several months with her strict grandmother. Forced to say goodbye to her friends and what would have been her summer vacation, Waka is plucked from her straight-A-student life in rural Kansas and flown across the globe, where she faces the culture shock of a lifetime.

In Japan, Waka struggles with reading and writing in kanji, doesn’t quite mesh with her complicated and distant Obaasama, and gets made fun of by the students in her Japanese public-school classes. Even though this is the country her parents came from, Waka has never felt more like an outsider.

If she’s always been the “smart Japanese girl” in America but is now the “dumb foreigner” in Japan, where is home...and who will Waka be when she finds it?

Emily's Review

This might be one of my favorite books of 2021. I love reading about different cultures, and Japan has always been one of my favorite places to read about. So this middle-grade memoir was right up my alley. When Waka's parents become concerned that she isn't fluent in Japanese, they decide to send her to Japan for 5 months to live with her grandmother and study in a Japanese school. At first, Waka is completely against this idea, but as she adjusts to living in a new country, she learns more about her family and discovers that this wasn't such a terrible way to spend the summer after all.

The writing in this book was so great - I really felt like I was right there with Waka, experiencing 1980s era Japanese culture. From the food to stationery shopping, to the challenges she faced in school, it was endlessly fascinating to read. I loved reading about Waka's relationship with her grandmother - it was a very honest portrayal of trying to bond with a relative that is emotionally distant. Waka herself was an endearing character - she was put into some difficult situations, and I loved seeing how she worked through them.

I found this story riveting - it was truly an un-put-downable read!

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