Reading Your Way Through History


A timeline for history and cultural studies from a Catholic perspective with an emphasis on living books and primary sources. A work in progress – big time. Naturally, the farther back in BC you go, the more difficult it is to nail down dates. Consider those earlier dates the best we could come up with using multiple sources (see Bibliography).

I’ve been putting together timelines since one of my best teachers ever introduced the idea to me in 7th grade (I’ve since made family history timelines, an American History timeline while I was teaching in a small Catholic school and quite a few others). Putting together good books, art, music, etc. to help our family, and possibly others, enjoy a living books introduction to our cultural heritage and to the pleasure of learning history is a thrill for me. It sure is nice to work on the web where you don’t have to worry about not leaving enough room to add more content later!

We welcome and greatly appreciate contributions and suggestions. Please add comments to areas of the project currently in progress or e-mail: webmaster at love2learn dot net 

You can start here with BC or AD.

A note about age recommendations:

 First, these are rough recommendations and can be quite flexible. Often more mature books can be read aloud by younger readers. Older siblings will enjoy many of the picture books recommended here as well. The distinction between "high school" books and "teen/adult" books is a little tenuous. The basic distinction is this: high school books are generally acceptable for high school level, whereas the teen/adult books are written more for adult reading, but may also be appropriate for teens at the discretion of parents.

 It is our hope that this list will help make history reading a family endeavor and that parents might enjoy picking up some of the more complex books while their children are studying that time period in history. I think it would be the rare student that would be able to read all the books on this book list – that really isn't the point. Nor do they need to be read in order. The idea is partly to assist parents in planning their history studies so different children could study the same time period of history together, even if they weren't necessarily reading the exact same books.



  1. Hi! I’ve compiled a timeline of Catholic histories, historical fiction, and biographies, consisting mostly of books that are out of print, that you may have to work in to your “master timeline” if you like. Most of the books on it aren’t on your current timeline, except for the Windeatt books and the reprinted Vision Books. It would be a couple of files. Let me know & I’ll e-mail them.

    Comment by sharon d. — June 7, 2006 @ 12:39 am

  2. That would be terrific, thanks! The blog format and the new “delineation” of Out-of-Print favorites makes that very doable now. You can e-mail them to

    Thanks & God Bless,


    Comment by Alicia — June 7, 2006 @ 2:53 am

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