Classical Mythology by Giesecke Annette

INSIDER: THE 18 BEST BOOKS ABOUT GREEK MYTHOLOGY

“The Odyssey” by Homer

“The Odyssey” is an ancient Greek poem about Odysseus’ 10-year journey home after the Trojan War. Intertwined with Greek myths and interventions from the gods and goddesses, this epic poem tells of Odyeesus’ tumultuous adventure back to his wife and son through intense battles, temptations of Sirens, and a detour to Hades.

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“The Iliad” by Homer

“The Iliad” dates back to the ninth century and tells the story of the Trojan War in its own epic poem, a companion to “The Odyssey” that outlines the events that occurred before Odysseus’ journey. Full of emotion and violence, this classic traverses the 10-year war which, according to Homer, began when the prince of Troy ran off with a Spartan queen.

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“The Greek Myths” by Robert Graves

First published in 1955, Robert Graves’ “The Greek Myths” has stood as a literary reference guide to Greek mythology. Carefully organized to lead readers through the complex histories of Greek myths, Robert Graves’ poetic voice shines through and makes this collection a beautiful retelling of the major Greek myths.

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“Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths” by Bernard Evslin

Bernard Evslin was an author and playwright who became most well-known for writings about Greek mythology, including “Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths,” which is estimated to have sold over 10 million copies. In this book, Evslin brings the ancient myths to life in a series of stories to introduce readers to the gods in a captivating and exciting way.

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“Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes” by Edith Hamilton

Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology” is a classic collection of Greek myths that combines beautiful graphics and illustrations with easy-to-follow explanations, a favorite since its publication in 1942. Perfect for new or seasoned readers of Greek mythology, this book not only retells the myths but analyses how the legacies have a lasting impact on society today.

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“Classical Mythology A to Z: An Encyclopedia of Gods & Goddesses, Heroes & Heroines, Nymphs, Spirits, Monsters, and Places” by Annette Giesecke and Jim Tierney

This Greek mythology encyclopedia is an all-encompassing reference guide to 700 major and minor characters of the Greek myths. Annette Giesecke, who has a Ph.D. in Classics, offers exciting details to the classic Greek tales — combined with Jim Tierney’s incredible artwork — that brings the characters to life.

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“D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths” by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

The d’Aulaires’ introduction to Greek mythology is the perfect first read for young readers to experience the enchantment of gods and goddesses through simple stories and accompanying artwork. A well-loved retelling of the Greek myths, this book is a chronological collection of the ancient stories from the beginning of the Titans through the Trojan War.

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“Mythos” by Stephen Fry

“Mythos” is my personal favorite retelling of Greek mythology because Stephen Fry’s voice animates each tale in a hilarious and engaging way. Beginning with Zeus and making his way through the gods’ family tree, Fry brings his wit and comedy into this celebration of mythology, made even more entertaining in the audiobook version as he narrates the myths.

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“Troy” by Stephen Fry

“Troy” is the third installment of Stephen Fry’s mythology collection, which tells of the rise and fall of Troy in “The Iliad” but with Fry’s signature and entertaining wit. A detailed retelling based on significant research, Fry uncomplicates the complex ancient history of the Trojan War and the legends of the Greek gods that accompany it.

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“A Thousand Ships” by Natalie Haynes

This book is a retelling of the Trojan War that focuses on the roles of women through the eyes of Calliope, the goddess of eloquence and epic poetry. “A Thousand Ships” is a collection of womens’ stories that offers a refreshing perspective of an ancient tale.

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“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller
“The Song of Achilles” is a magical and emotional book about the friendship between Achilles, a Greek warrior, and Patroclus, a young and awkward prince. When Patroclus is exiled by his father after a misunderstanding, he meets Achilles by chance, forming a unique friendship that is quickly tested by the rise of the Trojan War.

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“The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan

One of the most well-known fictional series featuring Greek mythology is “Percy Jackson,” a loveable and action-packed childrens’ book series about a boy who learns he’s a son of Poseidon. When Percy’s mother sends him to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, he is thrust into an epic quest that leads him to the gates of the Underworld.

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“Lore” by Alexandra Bracken

“Lore” is an engrossing fantasy novel where nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals during a hunt called “the Agon” that takes place every seven years. Humans hunt the gods for their power and immortality and, while Lore has avoided the brutality for years, two participants reach out to her for help and she must decide to whom she will bind her fate.

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“The Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood

“The Penelopiad” is a retelling of the story of Penelope and Odysseus, told with a modern voice and focusing on Penelope’s story from “The Odyssey.” This short read is a compassionate yet haunting version of events that highlight the formerly neglected perspectives of Penelope and her 12 maids.

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“Fifteen Dogs” by André Alexis

A fascinating experiment begins when a bet between Greek gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human-like consciousness and language to a group of dogs staying overnight at a veterinary clinic. As the gods watch from above, the dogs struggle with their new complex understanding of themselves and the world, torn between the new and the old ways of thinking.

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“Ariadne” by Jennifer Saint

In this retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Ariadne is a princess of Crete whose brother is the Minotaur — a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull. When Theseus, the Prince of Athens, comes to Crete to kill the Minotaur, Ariadne can’t help but fall in love with him and finds herself torn between her lover and her family.

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“The Silence of the Girls” by Pat Barker

This modern novel follows Briseis, who was once a queen in a kingdom neighboring Troy but is now a spoil of war and servant of Achilles during the Trojan War. Told from Briseis’ point of view, this novel is a powerful dedication to the forgotten women from the ancient tale of “The Iliad” as Briseis gives a voice to the women who were captured and enslaved by the victors.

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“Starcrossed” by Josephine Angelini

“Starcrossed” is an engrossing young adult romance that intertwines Greek mythology into a modern young adult story. Helen Hamilton has spent much of her life on Nantucket trying to hide her unique strength and intelligence — until a new family moves to the island. Helen finds herself entangled in both the secrets of her ancestry and an ancient, tragic play the Fates are determined to repeat.