This is the book that came out of, and prints pretty much word for word, a series on British BBC radio where the head of the British Museum talks about 100 objects in the collection and surveys world history in the process. I listened to a few of the radio episodes and enjoyed them but a book is a much better format, not least because it has pictures, which help to colour in the ideas in the text.

Each object is described and discussed in what was mostly the script for the radio programmes. Neil McGregor writes cleverly, humorously and with great erudition. It is an ideal book to read occasionally, when you have about 5 minutes to spare.