1984 by George Orwell - Originally written in 1949, 1984 presented a grim utopia to its readers. Winston Smith works at the Ministry of Truth, constantly falsifying records depending on the political climate. When Winston gets involved in a forbidden love affair, he risks provoking Big Brother and the Thought Police.
Animal Farm by George Orwell - Orwell writes against totalitarianism in his tale of a workers' revolution gone bad. When the overworked animals of Manor Farm overthrow their drunker owner, they plan to run and manage the farm collectively, sharing responsibilities. They write rules on the barn for everyone to follow. Soon the pigs have other ideas...
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck - Steinbeck poignantly recalls people he knew that lived in worked in the cannery in Monterey, California. Doc, Henri, Mack, and his boys are good-hearted slackers, troublemakers, and drinkers.
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck - Steinbeck offers us more characters from Monterey, California, in the same vein as Cannery Row. Sweet Thursday comes after Lousy Wednesday, and we get a rich look at the prostitutes, bums, and grime of living by a cannery with humor and candor.
Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra - Don Quixote de la Mancha is an eccentric gentleman who becomes a knight errant who travels through sixteenth-century Spain with his sidekick Sancho Panza, attempting to right wrongs and fight evil. Perhaps the first modern novel, Don Quixote's adventures are not to be missed.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird examines race relations and justice in a small Southern town in the 1930s through the eyes of a child. Scout Finch and her brother are witness to a town's lack of morality when their father Atticus is called to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman.