I'm a fan of DK's "Big Ideas Simply Explained series." I have the Psychology Book and the Philosophy Book. Both books go through the history of the subjects, with lots of well-designed infographics. They are written in clear, easy-to-comprehend language and assume no prior knowledge on the part of the reader. I have the hardbound editions, which cost about $(removed)-$(removed) and are attractive, but if you're looking for a bargain, the e-books are just $(removed) each. Right now, they are running a special on The Sociology Book e-book for just $(removed) I bought it, and if I like is as much as I liked the other two "Big Ideas Simply Explained" books I have, I'll spring for the dead tree version.