Michael Fordham offered up an interesting list of books for people beginning training as history teachers. Even though his audience is generally British school teachers, I always find his thoughts on teaching history helpful. I’ve added several of his suggestions to my nightstand (and I’m not just starting out). His criteria:
(a) are written by leading scholars, (b) have chronological, geographical and thematic breadth, (c) are written in a style that is easily accessible to the general reader but are nevertheless (d) scholarly in their approach with clear references to the historiography and source material.
His list is a little “euro-centric”, but in light of his audience/career it makes sense.
Here are my four additions, particularly for anyone teaching a world history course:
The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History – J.R. McNeill & William McNeill
Empire of Cotton: A Global History – Sven Beckert
Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures – Matt K. Matsuda
Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food – Jeffrey M. Pilcher
Add your suggestions/questions in the comments.