At least once a month, my younger self would appear at the checkout of our town library, clutching a worn-out copy of either D’Aulaires’ Greek or Norse Mythology. Most likely, they were way above my reading level at the time, but it didn’t matter. The pictures helped tell the stories that would continue to fascinate me to this day. Now, I am always on the lookout for renditions-modified, refigured and elaborated.
For this month’s blog, I wanted to share with you some recent releases that introduce a twist or a different perspective on mythology—from recognizable faithful retellings to looser modern adaptations. Myths remain the foundation of pretty much all of literature and continue to captivate writers’ imaginations. Even if you know the mythic pantheons by heart, something new can always be found that reinvents characters and provide new lessons. I have included some culturally diverse books about myths that you may have never heard before. Countless others are out there just waiting for that special someone to excitedly clutch in their arms.
|The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood|
|Japanese Myths and Tales, with introduction by Dr. Alan Cummings|
|Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis|
|Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman|
|The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec|
|Trickster Makes This World by Lewis Hyde|
|Egyptian Myth and Legend by Donald MacKenzie|
|Circe by Madeline Miller|
|Native American Spirit Beings, edited by Jeanne Nagle|
|Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips|
|The Sagas of Icelanders by Jane Smiley and Robert Kellogg|
|The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor|
|Chinese Myth: A Treasury of Legends, Art and History by Philip Wilkinson|
|Women and Other Monsters by Jess Zimmerman|
January's Featured Reviews
I have recently finished reading Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls by Alissa Nutting and Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka. I also really enjoyed listening to When a Stranger Comes to Town, an anthology edited by Michael Koryta.
Have any recommendations for me? My thirst is unquenchable! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As always, I truly appreciate your suggestions and feedback, and I would love to hear from you. I hope this New Year brings all the best things your way.
Until next time: Be safe, be well and be well-read!
So, who am I, anyway? I am a resident of West Groton, with a husband, 4 teenaged children and a Samoyed puppy-all of whom are systematically destroying our house. I am currently working part time at the Groton Public Library and in a former life I was employed as a Director or PR/Marketing at a high-tech consulting firm. My BA is in Psychology, but most of my time was spent in college earning a Concentration on the Novel. That is all to say that I make no claims at being an expert of any kind and my thoughts, opinions and mistakes are solely my own. I am just a person whose passion for books has continued to grow from the moment I was first able to grip and gnaw on them, and I have been devouring them ever since.
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- October 2023 — Seven Deadly Sins
- September 2023 — In the Mood
- August 2023 — Time Travel Tales
- July 2023 — By Land, Air and Sea
- June 2023 — Phenomenal Fathers
- May 2023 — Mysterious Massachusetts
- April 2023 — Bridging the Gap
- March 2023 — Spring for Short Stories
- February 2023 — Book Lovers