Discussion Forums - Fantasy

Topic: Any ideas for informative and FUN mythology books.

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Any ideas for informative and FUN mythology books.
Date Posted: 1/24/2011 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 272
Back To Top

I'm wanting to learn more about Greek and Roman mythology. Does anyone have any good book recommendations to get me started?


Date Posted: 1/27/2011 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
Back To Top

I thought surely you'd get this rec by now - the Percy Jackson series, yes YA,  but I liked it, found it funny and interesting.  The author Rick Riordan has begun another series - also with a Mythic theme. I'll read that one too.  If you want nonfiction you can do a lot worse than the classic by Edith Hamilton, it never gets too dated, because face it the myths are thousands of years old!


Date Posted: 3/19/2011 3:56 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
Back To Top
For a longer nonfiction treatment, there's Robert Graves' The Greek Myths. I recently got my clutches on an illustated version, which makes me very happy. Always wonderful things yet to be discovered out there in the Book World. You might also try Bulfinch's mythology - the first part (sometimes it comes in two volumes) covers ancient mythology, and the second is on The Age of Chivalry (Arthurian, etc.)
Date Posted: 5/19/2011 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 76
Back To Top

the Percy Jackson series  is not accurate with its mythology so I would not recommend them if you want to learn about Mythology.

Date Posted: 5/20/2011 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
Back To Top
Padraic Colum wrote several retellings of myths - Greek, Norse, and Celtic - intended for young adults. At least some of the editions also had wonderful illustrations.
Date Posted: 5/29/2011 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
Back To Top

The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony by Roberto Classo is a sweeping literary journey through Greek myth.  Maybe not the best starter on the topic, but it's an  epic modern retelling.

I second Robert Graves' Greek Myths.  He wrote my favorite version of the Cupid and Psyche myth,  which is available here I think for swap and may be a great place to begin. 


*if you're looking for novels....* Graves wrote a sweet  novel called "Homer's Daughter" on based the speculation the that The Odyssey was written by a woman.

I just read a great book, "Sirena" about a Greek siren by Donna Jo Napoli which I can highly recommend.  

Some other authors to check out:  Mary Renault, Clemence McLaren, Miranda Seymour, Christa Wolf, Katharine Beutner, Carol Orlock, Rosemary Sutcliff, Caroline Cooney, Margaret George and so many more! 

In The Firebrand, Marion Zimmer Bradley does for the Trojan War what she did with the King Author myths in Mists of Avalon.

Last Edited on: 5/29/11 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/20/2011 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2009
Posts: 7,620
Back To Top

Edith Hamilton is the only one that comes to mind for good solid Mythology study.   Its what we used in my AP english classes

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
Back To Top

This is an old book for young readers, but the reading doesn't talk down- D'Aulaire's book of Greek Myths. I loved it deacdes ago and my kids pull it down on a regular basis. Its main appeal beisdes bright colors (;)) is that each story leads into the next one and you get a great sense of the circles within circles of the mythos and the relationships between the gods. It has a great mood to it too as it tells the stories. When I get to the end, even the book seems sad that it has to end. Lots of love for mythos packed in that book!

Date Posted: 7/11/2011 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

For a fluffy fun read that will also aquaint you with the major Greek gods and goddesses ... I really enjoyed Gods Behaving Badly.  It is not a text book in any sense, but it will give you a feel for their family ties as you read about them in a ... non-traditional family setting. devil

Date Posted: 8/1/2011 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2009
Posts: 17
Back To Top

As someone mentioned earlier, you cant go wrong with Edith Hamilton's greek myths. Their is a similar one called Hero's and Legends or Hero's and Myths, but I am not sure who the author is. Is is usually in the same section as Hamilton's books though. If you enjoy more genre fiction, with a greek mythology twist, then yes the Percy Jackson series is great as well. He also has another series called the Heroes of Olympus. If you enjoy Egyptian mythology, he has just started another series based on that.

Adele Geras has two books Troy and Ithaka that you might enjoy. The Odyssey is one of my faves, and I really enjoyed Ithaka.

Dan Simmons also has some books out as well. I just recieved one of his, Ilium, but have yet to read it. Olympos is another.

I also have Echoes from Mount Olympus. I think it is a lighter read, probably intended for middle school age, but still a good read.

Date Posted: 11/10/2011 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
Posts: 914
Back To Top

This may be a late post but I agree with most of the commenters, Bulfinch is excellent for learning the the myths.  Reading the stories after that becomes fun as you see how the authors use those myths and shape them for their tales.  I love Percy Jackson even if he does take some liberties but he has helped so many young readers find the fun in those myths.  I would note that the Dan Simmons books Ilium and Olympos are more science fiction mixed with mythology but quite clever- even throws in robots who debate the merits of Shakespeare vs Proust, and allusion to the Aeneid and Prometheus.

Date Posted: 11/15/2011 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
Back To Top

Yup, Bulfinch.

Date Posted: 11/28/2011 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 7,759
Back To Top

I'd also add Roger Lancelyn Green's books "Tales of the Greek Heroes" and "The Tale of Troy" (both currently available on PBS, it looks like); they were aimed at a late grade school readership but are from the '60s, when reading levels were a bit higher, and are beautifully written. In fact now I want to go reread them for the 6th or so time!