Gods, Legends, and Myth-Making

By Kat La Mantia | June 27 2023 | AdultsChildren'sGeneralAllBlog

Re-imaginings of classic myths and folklore have been taking the book world by storm, but do you know the mythology behind the bestsellers? Ancient tales of gods, goddesses, and their interactions with the mortal world have long captured our attention, and their original stories are just as engrossing as their retellings in new fiction. Learn about the seven wives of almighty Zeus, Medusa’s Gorgon sisters, or the origin of hammer-wielding Thor. Kids and adults can brush up on their mythology with books on legends hailing from Greece, Egypt, Scandinavia, and more! Check out our favorites below.

The Mythology Book
More than 80 classics retold and explained, from early creation stories to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife.
$19.99 US
Jan 11, 2022
7-11/16 x 9-3/16
352 Pages

Rebel Folklore
Empowering Tales of Spirits, Witches, and Other Misfits from Anansi to Baba Yaga
Rebel Folklore gathers 50 of the darkest and most complicated folktale characters from around the world, showing readers why we should care about the rebels and misfits of ancient stories.
$25.00 US
Sep 19, 2023
7-3/16 x 9-3/16
192 Pages

Beneath the Moon
Fairy Tales, Myths, and Divine Stories from Around the World
Powerful and universal retellings of seventy-eight divine stories, legends, and myths from around the world, each accompanied by a gorgeous illustration from acclaimed artist Yoshi Yoshitani.
$18.00 US
Sep 01, 2020
6 x 9-1/2
176 Pages
Ten Speed Press

Arthurian Legends
The definitive book of stories from Arthurian legend. Delve into the enchanted world of Arthurian legends where you will meet the Knights of the Round Table, Wizard Merlin, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. With plots full of romance, adventure and enchantment, these fascinating ancient tales have been revived by the author to reflect their origins in oral history and will appeal to a whole new generation of readers. Stories include Elaine Who Loved Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Tristan and Isolde and The Enchantment of Merlin, many of which have recently been adapted in modern cinema and remain a fascination within contemporary culture. The book also features detailed notes on each story and mentions specific places in Britain with Arthurian links, including properties such as Tintagel. Beautifully illustrated with images inspired by Arthurian legend by Arthur Rackham and others.
$19.95 US
Jun 06, 2019
5-1/3 x 7-5/9
224 Pages

Bulfinch's Mythology
The Classic Introduction to Myth and Legend-Complete and Unabridged
A beautifully packaged and affordably priced edition of this classic, accessible guide to world mythology, unabridged and complete. Thomas Bulfinch collected and interpreted the legends of the world for everyday people, so that those who lacked extensive schooling could still understand the mythological allusions that fill classic and contemporary literature.Bulfinch’s Mythology began as three separate volumes in the 1850s and ’60s. Bulfinch published "The Age of Fable, or Stories of Gods and Heroes" in 1855 and then moved on to publish two more collections: "The Age of Chivalry, or the Legends of King Arthur" in 1858; and "Legends of Charlemagne, or Romance of the Middle Ages" in 1863. When Bulfinch died in 1867, the three volumes were combined and retitled Bulfinch's Mythology and reprinted in 1881. It has remained one of the most trusted English-language interpretations of Greek and Roman mythology, Arthurian legend, and medieval romance ever since.Our Cornerstone Edition of Bulfinch’s Mythology offers readers an easily portable, complete collection of all three volumes—the only such edition of this beloved anthology currently available.
$23.00 US
Jun 12, 2014
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
752 Pages

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes
A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology
From the creator of Myths Retold comes a hilarious collection of Greek, Norse, Chinese and even Sumerian myths retold in their purest, bawdiest forms!All our lives, we’ve been fed watered-down, PC versions of the classic myths. In reality, mythology is more screwed up than a schizophrenic shaman doing hits of unidentified…wait, it all makes sense now. In Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, Cory O’Brien, creator of Myths RETOLD!, sets the stories straight. These are rude, crude, totally sacred texts told the way they were meant to be told: loudly, and with lots of four-letter words.Did you know?Cronus liked to eat babies.Narcissus probably should have just learned to masturbate.Odin got construction discounts with bestiality.Isis had bad taste in jewelry.Ganesh was the very definition of an unplanned pregnancy.And Abraham was totally cool about stabbing his kid in the face.Still skeptical? Here are a few more gems to consider:• Zeus once stuffed an unborn fetus inside his thigh to save its life after he exploded its mother by being too good in bed.• The entire Egyptian universe was saved because Sekhmet just got too hammered to keep murdering everyone.• The Hindu universe is run by a married couple who only stop murdering in order to throw sweet dance parties…on the corpses of their enemies.• The Norse goddess Freyja once consented to a four-dwarf gangbang in exchange for one shiny necklace.And there’s more dysfunctional goodness where that came from.
$17.00 US
Mar 05, 2013
4-1/2 x 8
304 Pages

The Prose Edda
Tales from Norse Mythology
Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, The Prose Edda is the source of most of what we know of Norse mythology. Its tales are peopled by giants, dwarves, and elves, superhuman heroes and indomitable warrior queens. Its gods live with the tragic knowledge of their own impending destruction in the cataclysmic battle of Ragnarok. Its time scale spans the eons from the world’s creation to its violent end. This robust new translation captures the magisterial sweep and startling psychological complexity of the Old Icelandic original.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$18.00 US
Jan 31, 2006
5-1/16 x 7-3/4
304 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Friendly Guide to Mythology
A Mortal's Companion to the Fantastical Realm of Gods Goddesses Monsters Heroes
How was the world as we know it created? What does it mean to be a hero? Where do we go when we die? Why are flood myths so ubiquitous? Anyone who has pondered these and other questions about humanity's ancient beliefs will be fascinated by The Friendly Guide to Mythology. Focusing on Greek and Roman mythology but including myths from Africa, Asia, Australia, northern Europe, and the Americas, The Friendly Guide to Mythology is filled with compelling stories of gods, goddesses, mortals, and monsters. Beautifully ornamented with photos, line drawings, and quotes, this entertaining guide also includes an A-to-Z listing of the world's most captivating goddesses; profiles of famous writers, collectors, and interpreters of myths; and engaging sidebars. Featuring myths of love, wisdom, and adventure as well as those of violence, jealousy, and pure folly, this accessible collection offers fascinating insight into the human psyche and brings our rich mythological heritage delightfully into focus.
$20.00 US
Aug 26, 2003
6 x 9
448 Pages
Penguin Books

The Power of Myth
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • An extraordinary book that reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people—including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the “song of the universe, the music of the spheres.” With Bill Moyers, one of America’s most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell’s work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.
$18.00 US
Jun 01, 1991
5-3/16 x 8
320 Pages

The Universal Myths
Heroes, Gods, Tricksters, and Others
Crossing the boundaries of time, region, and culture, universal myths have provided inspiration and guidance for countless generations—laying a foundation for the religious, social, and political heritage of nations and peoples since the beginning of time. Here is a rich and absorbing survey of the common myths that connect all cultures, Eastern and Western, from antiquity to the present day. With stunning power, the stuff of legend is explored in all its drama and magnificence. There are stories of gods and men—and legendary heroes from Zeus to King Arthur to the “Superman” of modern media; tales of heaven, earth, and the origins of man from Hindu, American Indian, and Western thought; and retellings of mythic quests and legendary lovers, from the epic wanderings of Odysseus to the tragedy of Tristram and Iseult and the Krishna marriage of Heaven and Earth. This extraordinary work, compiled and arranged by theme from stories of creation to tales of death and rebirth, examines and compares the world’s myths that have shaped our common past and continue to influence us still.
$22.00 US
Feb 01, 1990
5-5/16 x 8
272 Pages

My Little Golden Book About Greek Gods and Goddesses
Introduce young readers to the powerful and mysterious gods and goddesses of ancient Greece with this Little Golden Book!
$5.99 US
Feb 21, 2023
6-5/8 x 8
24 Pages
Golden Books
Age 2-5 years

Gods of the Ancient World
A Kids' Guide to Ancient Mythologies
Uncover the stories of gods and goddesses from around the world, in this dynamic anthology of ancient myths.
$21.99 US
Feb 14, 2023
9 x 11
144 Pages
DK Children
Age 7-11 years

My First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters
15 Incredible Pops-Ups
Mythological monsters from around the world spring to life in a striking follow-up to My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs.The fearsome ushi-oni haunts the coast of Japan. Greece’s three-headed Cerberus stands guard at the gates of Hades. Scandinavia’s huge, wolflike Fenrir devours everyone in its path. Open the pages of this first pop-up book and unleash fifteen incredible monsters . . . if you dare. From the award-winning creator of My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs comes a second pop-up treasury featuring everything from North America’s peculiar jackalope to the brilliant, luck-bearing Sarimanok of the Philippines, from the fiercely majestic griffin of Egypt to the spellbinding firebird of Russia. Owen Davey's stylized illustrations, with their crisp patterns and bold shapes, make this exploration of mythological monsters an enchanting adventure for anyone who loves the fantastical.
$17.99 US
Oct 19, 2021
7-1/16 x 7-1/16
32 Pages
Candlewick Studio
Age 3-7 years

Weird But True KnowItAll: Greek Mythology
Classic stories from Greek mythology come to life in this latest single-subject themed book in the Weird But True spin-off series, Know-It-All.
$12.99 US
Jul 31, 2018
6 x 9
192 Pages
National Geographic Kids
Age 8-12 years

Treasury of Norse Mythology
Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge
The timeless tales of Norse mythology have captivated generations of children. In this third book in the successful mythology trilogy (Greek and Egyptian), the fresh voice of lyrical storyteller Donna Jo Napoli and the lavish artwork of Christina Balit bring these classic stories to life for young readers in the 21st century.
$24.99 US
Sep 22, 2015
9 x 11-3/4
192 Pages
National Geographic Kids
Age 8-12 years

Treasury of Egyptian Mythology
Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals
The experts at National Geographic know how the timeless tales of Egyptian gods, goddesses, monsters, and mortals have captivated generations of children. Now the fresh voice of lyrical storyteller Donna Jo Napoli and the lavish artwork of Christina Balit bring these classic stories to life for young readers in the 21st century.
$24.95 US
Oct 22, 2013
9 x 11-3/4
192 Pages
National Geographic Kids
Age 8-12 years

Treasury of Greek Mythology
Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters
The D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths is one of the most beloved and best-selling children's titles of all time, showing a depth of interest in mythology. The elegant National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology presents the same timeless material with a fresh voice from Donna Jo Napoli, expert and lyrical storyteller, and with lavishly gorgeous artwork from Christina Balit. Greek myths are studied in school, are associated with incredible stories, and have been the fodder for children's imaginations for generations. This title will add to the awe of Greek mythology, and with its amazing design and beautiful narrative, it is sure to stand out from all other mythology titles in the marketplace.
$24.95 US
Oct 11, 2011
9 x 11-3/4
192 Pages
National Geographic Kids
Age 8-12 years