In Bang! The complete history of the Universe
the authors have put together an impressive overview of the history of the universe and our place in it. It goes in chronological order, so that it starts with the big bang, then goes on to the evolution of galaxies, the formation of the solar system, and the evolution of life on earth. The book then looks further, beyond the present to the collision of our galaxy with M31, to the destruction of the Earth and on to consider the ultimate fate of the universe. It finishes with useful chapters on astronomy for the amateur, and on the lives of some well known astronomers.
I'm not sure that it makes a lot of sense to try to read this book from beginning to end though. The scope of the book is so wide, and although there are explanations of the science involved, there is no real chance in such a small space of giving an explanation suitable for a novice in the subject. No, this is very much a coffee table book - stunning astronomical pictures with accompanying text which might inspire its readers to search out other books to find out more specific details of the subjects dealt with.