"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. Its really dark, but a great book. Its nothing like the movie so don't let that scare you away.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck is incredible.
I read Slaughterhouse-Five a few years ago, was a great book. Kurt Vonnegut is a pretty messed up individual, but from his insanity comes great writing I suppose.
Read these books on your list:
1984 by George Orwell
Animal Farm by Orwell
Brave new world - Aldous Huxley
And I am currently reading: Atlas Shrugged -Ayn Rand
Emerson is definitely going to be read, but I am probably going to read some Dutch literature after I finish Atlas Shrugged.