I recently bought Nigel Rodger's Roman Empire, and it's good. It has illustrations that do well at helping explain the time periods throughout Rome's history, even for someone like me who's already read books about it in the past but only had iffy sources on the internet and my own imagination to illustrate what things would have looked like. I guess it could be good for younger historians, I suppose, but all the well it's not bad. I also bought Torsten Jacobsen's The Gothic War: Justinian's Campaign to Reclaim Italy, and though I haven't gotten much into it yet, it's definitely... bizarre. I mean, informative, I guess, but it's just... eh... it has this feeling of fabricatedness or as if the author just found tidbits of what could be fact and put it into a book. The chapter "The First Siege of Rome" was hard to stop reading, though, but right after that it's been a pain to read any more of.
There were these two great looking books about Charlemagne and Constantine that were at Barnes & Noble but I didn't feel like spending the money at the time and I forgot to write down the names of them so I doubt I'll be reading them any time soon.
I am looking for some suggestions on books detailing the industrial revolution, if anyone has any.