(Not the kind you fire)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba
This book made my personal literary canon because It was a book I had trouble putting down. I greatly enjoyed the entire book. William's journey was something that connected with me and inspired me. William showed me (and anyone else who has read the book) that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and If you try hard enough. It doesn't matter if your building a windmill to bring power to your house or if you just want to get an A on an English IV AP test because everything is possible.
The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) by J.R.R. Tolkien
I've included the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy because it's difficult to choose which one has had more of an impact on me when they've all had such a large one in my life. Around 4th grade is when I started reading some of Tolkien's works, but none of them could compare to The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's epic fantasy was a beautiful and compelling read with strong themes of nature, the after life, industrialism, and humanities own history. As a child the read was a good old fantasy, action read with orcs and wizards, but as a young adult it's a in depth look at humanity. This series of books are so interesting and drove me to understand/read more which is why it's on the list.
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
I've included Tolkien's The Hobbit because it reminds me of my childhood. The book unfolded an epic, fantastical world and as a child, The Hobbit was perfect. Even today it still fills me with a more youthful wonderment, which is one of the reasons why I recommend the novel.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Everyone read or had The Very Hungry Caterpillar read to them in elementary school, but childhood nostalgia is not why this book is on my list. Upon a deep analysis of this simple children's story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is not just a story about a caterpillar, but it's about us. You. Me. It's about humanity in general. I don't want to give anymore away, but I strongly recommend you reread this story.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Similar to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin reveals an epic and fantastical world to the reader. The reason why this is on my list is because of the historical value of the novel. A Game of Thrones is heavily influenced by humanities own medieval area and England's War of the roses. I greatly enjoy history and love learning about historical events, so I found it hard not to include a novel where history is so important.
Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
I've included Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot on my list because it's one of the best books I've ever read. The way Sagn conveys his pro space exploration message to the reader is nothing less of awesome. This book also makes my canon because I really connect with the message of the book, which is that humanity needs to explore and populate the universe or we are doomed to die out.
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins because it inspired me. This novel said that it was ok to challenge beliefs and that just because you didn't believe in a God or Gods, doesn't mean you're less of a person. This novel poses many challenging questions to the ideas of religion, God, politics, and religious societies in general, which is another reason why I've included The God Delusion.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
I've included The Importance of Being Earnest because I greatly enjoyed the play. Oscar Wilde conveys such a massive amount of humor within his play. Being someone who strongly values satire and its effects, this is a phenomenal read, cover to cover.
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke belongs strongly on this canon list, not only because it's an excellent book, but because it challenges the reader to think of man (and his place in the universe) life (on Earth and beyond) technology, morality, God, and philosophy. Challenging readers minds on these sometimes controversial and deep topics is essential for a more in depth understanding of life in general. 2001 has also gained some ground in modern culture with the film adaptation of the novel by Stanley Kubrick.
Night by Elie Wiesel
Night is a very emotional and honest read. The experiences of Elie and his father are so vividly described within Night. The book is on my personal canon because of the emotional connection I experienced when reading this book.