If you want to find some good but easy reading about our world history, I would recommend «A Little History of the World» by E.H. Gombrich. This is my first experience of «binge-reading» a non-fiction book. The book was actually written to make history more interesting and accessible to younger readers. I don’t think that makes it any less good for adults – especially adults like me who does not have a «sticky-brain». I got so excited about it that I had to share it!
Most of the books in our apartment belong to my partner, so for me it´s a small library of undiscovered books. Some days ago I was browsing the bookshelves for non-fictional reading – something to give me «fuel» through knowledge. Already with first impression «A Little History of the World» seemed right up my alley – not too long (285 pages) and not too detailed. Now, I think history is really interesting, but historical facts (and a lot of other factual stuff) can’t seem to stick to my memory properly.
Gombrich is a storyteller. When you start to read you don’t think about learning and remembering – you just get caught up in the stories that become vivid images in your mind. I think his own fascination of history shines through, and he conveys it in a way that makes the reader just as fascinated. The focus is on creating a wholesome understanding of the progression of history and how people have lived, instead of filling the pages with a lot of numbers and names. Sometimes it is very clear that the book is written for younger readers. He often directly engages the reader through repetitions or by asking questions. I liked that, because it made me think back on what I had read.
I wish one of my teachers had told me to read this book in school, because it certainly is more engaging than any history book that we had in our curriculum.