Best World (visual?) History book

Dec 2016
If you don't care about the introduction, just skip to the last heading below.

Brief personal intro

Hi there, I am a total ignorant of History / Literature / Geography and a Math / Science / Technology geek. As long as I was living in my own town, this was "fine". Then I decided to be a World's citizen. Well, societies in different places are completely different, and this left me stunned. I was taking for granted we, humans, have common sense... which, later I realised, is localised to the specific region you are, in a determined time. Hence, the relevance and intellectual need of historical and geographical context.

Where to get knowledge

I've started looking for source of knowledge: books.
I actually bought a 10€ B&W (Italian) pocket book called something like "All [on] history" (Amazon). At the end there are a couple of grey scale maps, but I wanted more. I believe visual information is everything. I looked online for some better replacement and... well, let's switch to English. I found two (equivalent?) major titles I'm very, very eager to purchase, and I am wondering which one should I buy.

Best (visual?) History book

The two titles I ended up wanting (feel free to suggest others) are:
  • DK's Timelines of History - 2015 (Amazon, 81 reviews, $33, 512 pages)

  • DK's History: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day - 2015 (Amazon, 105 reviews, $33, 620 pages)


I am now trying to figure out what is the best title I should acquire, based on some logical choice. So, here I am, asking someone that knows more than I do (which is quite easy, at least in this field) to advise me.

Despite being both gorgeous in terms of illustrations, and have roughly 100 reviews and more than 500 pages, I need to identify some keys in order to choose one over the other (or even over another title you think is better).
I think the ToH is more event-based kind of book (the omnipresent timeline on the bottom is very helpful to keep you on track on whatever is going on in a specific lapse of time) and lets you organise all it happened to us, in a chronological fashion. On the other side, H covers time by topics, comfortably allocated on two facing pages.
So, ToH would answer the question "What happen at time t?" whereas H would better address something like "What about xyz civilisation?". I believe the latter is better to give me a more stable grasp of major historical key points.

Please, feel free to educate me :)

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