I've been working through Susan Wise Bauer's The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome for the last week or two. One thing I like about Bauer's book is that it's very readable; there's nothing dense about it.
This book is almost exclusively a who-ruled-what-when book and I enjoyed it. I did skim most of the Roman stuff though, especially near the end because I do get tired of the Romans. I enjoyed the first 600 pages much more.
I didn't run out to buy this book (or put it on hold) when it was released almost a year ago because of some negative reviews (usually from people who wanted more than kings and empires, but then the book would have been quite a bit thicker than its almost 800 pages). I'm glad I found it at the library and decided to try it myself. It was worth the time.