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If history is of any interest, try Asimov's Chronology of the World, by Isaac Asimov (duh). It's ordered chronologically, and describes in concise and fact-rich passages what was happening during a given span of time in each region of the world.

Asimov was also a master at nonfiction writing for laypeople. Most of his books were nonfiction (they were easier for him to write).

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