Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Children of Men by P.D. James
On The Beach by Nevil Shute
The first one in an interesting classic read: 10 Florentines sequestered from the rest of the village to wait out the Black Death. It will fulfill your "I should read more classics" compunction (although, if the world is going to end, you should read what you want). The second book also became a great movie, and is considered a pretty good science fiction novel from a pretty good mystery author. Put her in the same category as Atwood when it comes to blurring genre lines.
The third book, On the Beach, was written in 1957, and looks to be the most interesting of the three:
"Standing tall among classics of Cold War nuclear-paranoia literature is this deeply felt portrait of an ensemble of heroes in southern Australia, waiting for the radiation cloud unleashed by a nuclear exchange to reach their shores. Stubbornly, heroically, they cling to their humanity — to politeness and small talk, to hunting and fishing and car racing, to family and friends and the possibility of love. The moral center is Cmdr. Dwight Towers, an American submarine captain — and now the de facto admiral of the U.S. Navy — who refuses to abandon his post, and refuses even a sexual liaison out of fealty to his wife, back home in Connecticut and certainly dead"I am adding this one to my reading list this year - hopefully.