Fiction is the Foundation of any education. It helps to develop imagination, to learn how to use stylistic techniques and to write competently. On the Internet you can find lots of lists of books which, according to their authors, you need to have time to read for life, or until a certain age. Actually, not all these books you need to read. View their description, diverse reviews and decide what you would really like.
Russian classical literature is considered great in the world, so not worth it to neglect. Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Chekhov the works of these authors are studying in school, but they wrote much more than what is included in the curriculum.
Do not forget about world classics. "Jane Eyre" S. Bronte, "Wuthering heights" E. Bronte "vanity Fair" by William Thackeray, "Les Miserables" by V. Hugo, "Red and black" Stendhal F. - beautiful, breathtaking works, forcing to live together with their heroes all the events. Works by E.-M. Remark, A. Haley, and F. Scott Fitzgerald will introduce you to the XX century in its various manifestations. And written in the early twentieth century D. London "Martin Eden" will show what heights can help to achieve self-education.
Sometimes your reading can be diluted with modern literature. In our day meet worth the work, but the search for them wisely, and not taken for first in the hands of a bestseller. Popularity isn't always a sign of quality. "Extremely close & loud outrageous" George. Fouer, "Simply together" by A. Gavalda - easy to read books with meaning, you can start with them.
Read works in foreign languages. There is a series of books where the original text occurs simultaneously with the translation so you can understand how to translate certain sentences. Independently to translate the text more effective for learning a foreign language, but there may be a lot of problems. So it is better to start with parallel texts, or to read a book in English with someone who can be able to help you with correct translation. First read my favorite work, it will be easier to understand.
Read The Bible. An educated person should see it, even if he is an unbeliever. As with other religious texts: the Koran, the Vedas. This will help to better understand the religion to judge it, not tearing the words and events out of context. Without knowledge it is impossible to make a clear position on the issue, and especially to criticize something.
History and historical works are important for understanding current events and the relationship between them. On the other hand, they are monuments to great people and interesting literary works. Read biographies of favorite writers and public figures, or their memoirs - they convey well the spirit of his time. Using E.-M. Remarque and Solzhenitsyn you can get acquainted with the world wars of the twentieth century - not so much with the course of events, but with human feelings and experiences.
Psychology, sociology, philosophy, social psychology – you can read the tutorial for beginners on these topics, and if something will cause more interest to delve into more serious literature. These four science helps you to understand yourself and others, learn what processes occur in society and the principles on which relationships are built between people. D. Myers, "Social psychology" nice and interesting tutorial to explore the human inner world. The study of philosophy should begin with the works of Greek thinkers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle.