It's certainly not my position to tell you what you should and shouldn't read, but there are some books I think plenty of people will enjoy. Old or new, they're all written extremely well, and I think you'd all find something enjoyable about them.
1.) 1984-George Orwell
This book will change your perspective on the world. It's an amazingly horrible story of a man named Winston who lives in a dystopian society. It teaches you not to trust the government, and how things like language and memory can easily be modified or even destroyed.
2.) Atonement-Ian McEwan
In my opinion, this is the most beautifully written book of modern time. This is one of those books where even if there was no plot, you would read just because of the way it's written. It's so eloquent and Ian McEwan's writing style is unbelievable. It's a tragic love story of a young couple torn apart in WWII because the guy was unjustifiably accused of rape.
3.) The Great Gatsby-F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is my favorite book of all the ones we have read in English class. It's set in the Roaring Twenties, which is one of my favorite periods to learn about because of the rich culture. It's (of course) a bit of a romance, but it also has a lot to say about friendship, status, and how stupid it is to cheat on your lover.
4.) The Help-Kathryn Stockett
Most of you have probably heard about the story because of the film adaptation, so I'm not going to summarize too much. It's basically a story about a white woman who writes a controversial story with the help of a couple black women. It's a funny and inspiring read, and helps expose some not-so-long ago civil rights issues.
5.) The Zookeeper's Wife-Diane Ackerman
This story is an inspiring tear-jerker. It's a story of a woman who helps save 300 Polish Jews by hiding them in her zoo during the WWII Holocaust era. I love Holocaust stories because they're so real, so naturally this one is a great read, and it's written wonderfully too. It's both heartbreaking and breathtaking, and shows that one person who believes strongly enough in something can make a difference.
I tried to keep the genres and time periods a bit different, so hopefully you all will find at least one that you like. I'm also thinking about starting a new series (my first!) on this blog, where each week I'll talk about one historical period I would love to visit, from the Roman Empire to the Renaissance to WWII! What do you guys think? I'm afraid it's a little nerdy, because I'm a huge history geek. I'll think about it, and you guys let me know what you think!