I like the Richard Evans Third Reich books. He writes in an incredibly readable way and with reference to lots of anecdotal evidence .... E.g. Women selling their bodies in exchange for soap which makes then really interesting.There are three of them.
Orlando Figes writes like a novelist and I really like his style. Just Send Me Word is his most recent but I have also read Crimea which is very good.
Both of these I have a soft spot for as one has been my lecturer and one I regularly see speak.
The Holocaust is one of my most interesting topics, but it is obviously depressing but Christpher Browning write brilliantly on this topic. I would read Ordinary Men.
Francis Jennings Cant of Conquest about the "invasion" of America.
Bury my heart has been on my radar for so long and is on my dads shelf but he won't let me bring it back from his holiday house. Boo.
Oh, I love Bury My Heart ... it's so sad but beautifully written.
Someone just mentioned Tom Holland's books about early civilization on another thread, and they are great - I do find they require a bit of concentration but they don't assume you know the period - they're probably much easier if (unlike me) your geography is decent and you don't have to keep looking at the maps!
I also really like Francis Pryor's books about prehistoric Britain but I think they're not considered very good by people on here who know the period, so maybe ones to treat with caution.
I've just read Andrew Marr's one 'The Making of Modern Britain', it covers the period from end of the 19 th century till end of 2nd world war. I found it a good read. I am currently reading his one that covers all of History that was on the telly recently. That is good too.
So I gave up History at school when I was 13 but lately have found a real enjoyment in history books. I have recently read and enjoyed:
Anthony Beevor - Stalingrad and A Battle For Spain Dee Brown - Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee Thomas Pakenham - The Scramble For Africa
I have Peter Ackroyd's Foundation on my to-read shelf as well, but would really like some more recommendations. I don't mind long books as long as they are pacey and don't assume prior knowledge, any era/country (not too UK-focused as the Ackroyd series should cover that!).