I read quite a lot of history books which specialise in certain areas, but still appreciate books which aim to provide a brief over-view of events. These types of books fulfill a different purpose (and may be looked down on by some historians), but they do fill a very important niche. Sometimes what you need is a page outlining the narrative of an event rather than a book on it.
Remember, Remember does this very well. The book is set out in chronological order, and split into sections: Roman Britain; The Dark Ages; The Late Middle Ages; Tudor Britain; Stuart Britain; Georgian Britain; Victorian Britain; Edwardian Britain; the First World War Years; The Inter-War Years; and The Second World War. Each page is given over to a single topic under a new heading and date, and there are about 150 topics/events described.
Laying the book out in this way makes it rather compulsive reading, especially as it is chronological. Of course, given the chosen layout, there is plenty that is not covered, but that is the way it must be. The book would lose its compulsive appeal if there were several pages to each topic.
My copy has a pleasantly solid hard cover which is also a bonus, and I can forgive it for lacking illustrations and maps. I think this is one of the few occasions when I would consider a book an equally appropriate gift for someone with only a little or a decent knowledge of history.