I love Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea." It's a great introduction to his writing, and not just because it's a short book!
The story is quite simple. For the most part it follows an old Cuban fisherman on one fishing trip, which turns out to be both victorious and tragic. There is none of the bullfighting and horrors of war that are common themes in Hemingway's longer novels. While I enjoy reading those, there is something about the simplicity of "The Old Man and the Sea" that leads the reader into reflection of the complexities of life. Sounds contradictory? Well, Hemingway's not your average simple author, even though he is well-known for the apparent simplicity of his prose. There is always much more being said than appears on the surface of the words on the page, just like an iceberg.