Audible Book Recommendations



“But really, wouldn’t this be easier if it was an audiobook?”

Here’s the authoritative list of History of Japan podcast Audible recommendations. Give these books a listen — you can pick them up at

Tokyo Vice – Jake Adelstein

Dave Barry Does Japan – Dave Barry

SPQR – Mary Beard

Flags of Our Fathers – James Bradley

A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

The Invitation-Only Zone – Robert S. Boynton

Inventing Japan – Ian Buruma

2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke

A Brief History of the Samurai – Jonathan Clements

Shogun – James Clavell

Gai-jin – James Clavell

The Pilgrimage – Paul Coelho

Leviathan Wakes – James S.A. Corey

Enemy at the GatesWilliam Craig

Guns, Germs, and SteelJared Diamond

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives of North Koreans – Barbara Demick

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II – John Dower

Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq – John Dower

The Iron King: The Accursed Kings, Book 1 – Maurice Druon

Shinto and Japanese New Religions – Byron Earhart

Rivals – Bill Emmot

Silence Endo Shusaku

A Kim Jong-Il Production – Paul Fischer

Banzai Babe Ruth – Robert K. Fitts

Debt: The First 5000 Years – David Graeber

Hayao Miyazaki: Japan’s Premier Animator – Jeff Lenburg

Nanjing ReqiuemHa Jin

Hiroshima Diary – Michihiko Hachiya

The US, Japan, and Asia in International PoliticsAndrew Hanami

Hiroshima – John Hersey

Big Science– Michael Hiltzik

Kwaidan – Lafcadio Hearn

Dune – Frank Herbert

Rubicon – Tom Holland

Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 – Adam Hoschild

Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy – Eri Hotta

Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand

Shinto: The Way Home – Thomas Kasulis

Without You, There Is No Us Suki Kim

On China – Henry Kissinger

Cycles of American Political Thought – Joseph Kobylka

The War that Ended Peace – Margaret Macmillan

Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters from the Ozark Mountains to FukushimaJames Mahaffey

A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center – Ray Monk

Cloud of Sparrows – Takashi Matsuoka

John AdamsDavid McCullough

Modern China: A Very Short Introduction – Rana Mitter

Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II – Rana Mitter

Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed (Great Courses) – Mark Muesse

After the Quake – Murakami Haruki

1984 – George Orwell

A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki

The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution (Great Courses) – Thomas Pangle

The Dragon Scroll -IJ Parker

The Red Flag: A History of Communism – David Priestland

Understanding Japan (The Great Courses) – Mark Ravina

Packing for MarsMary Roach

Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly

The Search for Modern China – Jonathan Spence

A History of Russia: From Peter the Great to Gorbachev – Mark Steinberg

Japanese Destroyer Captain – Hara Tameichi

The Guns of August – Barbara Tuchman

Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance

Great Mythologies of the World (Great Courses) – Grant Voth

Lafayette in the Somewhat United StatesSarah Vowell

The World Set Free – H.G. Wells

First Into Nagasaki – George Weller

Made in Hanford Hill Williams


4 thoughts on “Audible Book Recommendations

  1. alnx

    In addition to the recommendations above, can you recommend a good general book on the history of japan to provide an overview for a non-expert?

    1. I generally recommend two books (take your pick).
      For post 1600 Japan: The Making of Modern Japan by Marius Jansen
      For all of Japanese history: A History of Japan by Conrad Totman

  2. Greg

    I just found your podcast a few weeks ago, and I have been tearing through them. I’m glad I still have a long way to go before I catch up, and this list will not only help me mix my listening and extend the time before I have to wait for each new episode, but it should help me gain a deeper understanding of an area of history that stood as a fog of myth to me until recently. Thanks for your help and shared knowledge!

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