Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Montgomery – Google Books – Orphaned at a young age, Anne is a child of vast imagination and great understanding. Using that spirit, Anne grows up charming people along her way starting with her adoptive guardian Marilla who was originally expecting a boy. Canadian author does a fantastic job of making Anne a heartbreakingly alluring character.
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein – Google Books – Valentine Michael Smith is born and raised on Mars giving him a vastly different view of religion, social order, the physical aptitude of human body and mind, and interpersonal relationships. With cranky (and slightly lecherous) Jubal, and several intimate lady friends, Smith produces a challenge to the view of politics and how the world works. Classic Heinlein.
The Art of Happiness by his holiness the Dalai Lama -www.dalailama.com – A guide to achieving happiness, written with contemporary western preoccupations in mind. (Other books written by this author explain in detail philosophical beliefs and cultural influence)
The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley – Google Books – The initial book of the series is about a glorious black Arabian stallion being stranded on an island with a young boy Alex Ramsey. After making fast friends the two are rescued from the island and Alex makes the black into one of the fastest racehorses ever seen to blister a racetrack. This series includes other books that introduce cherished horse characters including the Island Stallion and a fictionalized description of the life of Man O War. These are books I grew up on.
Goblin War by Jim Hines – www.jimchines.com – Book about war with goblins from the goblins perspective. To be specific a scrawny, half blind, enormously lucky goblin named Jig. Jim Hines is a fantastically talented author who can really make you feel for the underdog!
Woman of the People by Benjamin Capps – Amazon Books – Captured by the Comanches at the age of nine, Helen dreams of escape for more than fourteen years yet, when the time comes to choose freedom she discovers no choice exists as she has become absorbed in the Comanche culture