The AskHistorians Master Book List : AskHistorians
This is for "above average" general readers. If the book averages two or more footnotes per page, think twice and justify its inclusion. Secondary and tertiary sources are strongly favored: this is for general readers. Feel free to ignore these suggestions, but include reasons for why you are ignoring it (ie, "This is an academic work, but is highly readable"). As Agentdcf pointed out, we don't want this turning into the "History" section at the Barnes & Noble, but also bare in mind that these works should be accessible both in terms of content and in terms of availability. Anything, however, is acceptable with sufficient justification. So, without further ado: General Why the West Rules, for Now by Ian Morris: An excellent overview of both Western and Eastern history. Historiography Who Owns Antiquity? Modern History--The study of history beginning with the 19th century globalization. East Asia Europe/"The West" Eastern Europe Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder.
Related: Critical Thinking & World Debates