The best thing about reading A Level textbooks for history is the knowledge that there is no exam at the end of it. Add to that the fact that there is no course work either! For both of these reasons studying units of the History curriculum for A Level is pure joy. Maybe this is what education used to be like before politicians got involved. Maybe studying for the sake of it is what is needed to produce good learners. I should not like to deny the students seeking validation the experience of exams but, for me, those days are over.
The A Level textbooks continue to provide the right level at which to access high quality information on a topic or period in history. The Access to History series I have used also directs you to particular historians if you want to study specific areas in greater depth.
I started a couple of years ago with a unit on the USA involvement in Asia after the Second World War, particularly in Korea and Vietnam. Since then I have studied a unit on Presidents of the USA in the later half of the Twentieth Century (but I did this before the last Presidential election), a unit on the Indian fight for independence and, most recently, a unit on Germany from defeat in 1945 to reunification.
I studied British and European history for my own A Level back in the 70s, before many of the events in these books had even taken place! This, though, is the way to study history without tears. I recommend it.