We all need to escape. Even sometimes, our own dreams are clouded with our lives and make them unrestful. To escape, we can turn to books on Mythology. What a wonderful world it is in our minds, a place where we can escape, learn and maybe understand a place foreign yet familiar.
There are more books available than we can keep up with. Here are a few books we really like and hope you can find some enjoyment, entertainment, and even solace in their stories.
The Iliad by Homer
Translated by Robert Fagles
This epic poem goes way back to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly depicts the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with huge emotions and battling while surrounded by devastation and destruction. It follows through to the tragic conclusion of the Trojan War.
The introduction by Renowned classicist Bernard Knox notes that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it melds with both images of civilized life and also a determination and need for peace.
The Library of Greek Mythology by Apollodorus
Translated by Robin Hard
The Library of Greek Mythology, also known as the Bibliotheca, is the only work of this type that survived from classical antiquity. This work attempts to provide a comprehensive and unique guide of much of Greek mythology. It is one of the main ancient sources that scholars have used to piece together and attempt to understand Greek mythology.
The material starts with the beginning of the universe, the birth of the gods, and the creation of the world. It moves to the later exploits of the gods, and the heroic deeds of heroes like Hercules, Jason, Perseus, Theseus, and the men and women of the Trojan War.
Robin Hard’s translation lends a modern and accessible take on the stories and makes for easier and pleasurable reading.
Myth and Philosophy: A Contest of Truths by Lawrence J. Hatab
Hatab’s work is comprehensive and far more than an interpretative study. It is inspired by Nietzsche and Heidegger. It looks at the historical relationship between myth and philosophy in ancient Greece.
More than just a case study, this book’s conclusions claim to a defense of the accuracy of myth against a wholly rational or objective view of the world. It’s well written and provides much to think about.
The Odyssey by Homer
Translated by Robert Fagles
Back to Homer, his second work and his second epic poem is very long and is based on a single topic. That of Odysseus’ 10-year struggle to return to his home after the Trojan War. Odysseus has to battle mystical creatures and face the wrath of the gods in his long journey.
Meanwhile, his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus manage to hold off numerous suitors vying for Penelope’s hand and Ithaca’s throne for long enough for Odysseus to finally and safely return. The Odyssey concludes with Odysseus winning a contest to prove his true identity, slaughtering the many suitors, and reclaiming his rightful place on the throne of Ithaca.
The Greek Myths by Robert Graves
Perhaps a great place to start for the person unfamiliar with Greek mythology. This book has it all. The labors of Hercules, Midas and his golden touch, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, the Trojan War and Odysseus’s journey home. They all come together into one epic and unforgettable story.
The Greek Myths is the product of years of research and careful observation. But, what makes this collection a standout is the imaginative and poetic style of the retelling of these classic stories. A novelist and poet in his own right, Graves tells these fantastic stories of Ancient Greece in a style that is both compelling and easy for everyone to understand.
Each story is accompanied by the authors’ own interpretation of the original story, providing a deeper meaning to each and giving a reader an amazing insight into the ways and development of the old Greek world.
Metamorphoses by Ovid
Translated by Charles Martin
If you are anxious to tuck into some poems about changes, then this epic poem will suit you just fine. 15 books worth of poems and stories, the work is a collection of mythological and legendary stories, many of them taken from Greek sources, in which change or transformation plays a role, even a small one. Hence, Metamorphoses.
The stories are told in chronological order from the creation of the world to the death of Julius Caesar. The first metamorphosis, of chaos into or leading to the last, the culminating metamorphosis. They follow the same theme, but all stories are stand-alone.
The importance of the theme of metamorphosis in mythology is of passion. Passion is the essential theme of the poem, and the work is also noted for its wit, rhetorical brilliance, and narrative, and it’s picturesque descriptions.
The Complete World of Greek Mythology by Richard Buxton
Not only is this volume full of fascinating and highly detailed stories, but it also contains well over 300 illustrations. Many of them in color, these pictures range from artifacts from ancient Greece, photos of Greek landscapes and classic paintings of scenes from Greek mythology.
This straightforward, easy-to-read book has the retelling of classic tales with details of their surroundings. Stories of war, gods, family tales, myths and more throughout the ages. Many of these stories are still being rewritten and found in popular movies and television shows today.
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
This popular and timeless book of mythology is a comprehensive introduction to Greek mythology that reads like great literature. First published in 1942, it has always been the go-to book for fans and new readers alike.
If you have no other information on mythology, this is an excellent place to start. You don’t need any deeper understanding as Hamilton guides you through the retelling of these classic tales effortlessly.
For 75 years, readers have chosen this book over and over again, to discover the thrilling, enchanting, and fascinating world of Western mythology. It takes you from Odysseus’s adventure and his journey to the Norse god Odin’s effort to postpone the final day of doom.
Here, you can discover 80 of the world’s greatest myths and characters, from the gods of Greek mythology to the Norse heroes. These stories are all retold and explained with engaging text and detailed graphics. Follow along from early creation to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife and change.
More than just stories of mythology, you will discover the meanings behind the stories, getting to the heart of the importance of mythology and what it means to different cultures worldwide. Revisit Zeus, the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, and Loki, the cunning trickster with an amazing ability for causing havoc, helped by his ability to change shape and even gender.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson
This popular book on mythology takes us to ancient Egypt. Most of us know a few stories and facts about ancient Egypt. Things like pharaohs, Cleopatra, and the pyramid mostly come to mind. Explore lavish tomb paintings and imposing temple reliefs and then move to humble household shrines for loved ones.
This book looks at the evolution, worship, and eventual decline of the numerous gods and goddesses. A comprehensive and knowledgeable guide to the gods and goddesses that are at the heart of Ancient Egyptian religion and society.
It takes us through the evolution, worship, and eventual decline of a huge pantheon, from minor figures such as Bas, Babi, Ba-Pef and Taweret to the all-powerful Osiris, Amun, Hathor, Isis, and Re. Complete with illustrations.
Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
New York Times bestseller, Dr. Estes has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul
Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. The author shows how women’s vitality can be restored through what she calls “psychic archeological digs” into the ruins of the female unconscious — a dig of a different kind.
By using multicultural myths, fairy tales, folklore, and original stories, Dr. Estes shows women how to reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, and visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype.
Read: Big List Of Greek Myths
A Journey Begins
We hope that some of these selections will help you start your new journey into the wonderful world of mythology. We tried to find the most interesting books on mythology that are interesting but also popular. Many of these stories can be read and reread, always evoking emotions we need at the time.
Please feel free to contact us any of your favorite books on mythology that you feel would be an asset to our readers. There are so many to choose from. It was difficult to pick just a few.