The best books on the gods and world of Norse mythology

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology steeped in Viking history, which fueled my interest in Norse mythology. For example, Uppåkra, the largest and richest Iron Age settlement in Scandinavia, is only a few miles from my childhood home. When my seventh-grade history teacher noticed my fascination with the Viking myths, he started recommending me books. Ever since, I’ve read extensively about the Norse pantheon, and its stories inspire my own writing. I’ve also taken several research trips to historical Viking settlements in Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland.


I wrote...

A Wolf's Hunger: A Sexy Fated Mates Paranormal Romance

By Asa Maria Bradley,

Book cover of A Wolf's Hunger: A Sexy Fated Mates Paranormal Romance

What is my book about?

Wolf shifter and billionaire Arek Varg is the alpha of all the Western Packs. His ancient Odin medallion allows him to connect with his packs’ magic and lead his wolves as a cohesive unit. With war brewing between the four major shifter coalitions, the last thing he needs is a mysterious woman stealing his relic.

Former museum curator Dr. Laney Marconi fell from grace due to a scandal based on false accusations. She now reclaims stolen items for insurance companies, using her witch powers that manipulate parallel dimensions. When a routine case turns into a disaster of epic proportions, she needs to evade the sexy shifter she stole from long enough to figure out who set her up.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs

Asa Maria Bradley Why did I love this book?

If you’re looking for a comprehensive reference book on the Norse deities, this is the title to get. In addition to describing the historical context and importance of Scandinavian mythology, the book alphabetically lists, describes, and explains the gods, the goddesses, as well as important mythological artifacts and creatures. It also has a section for additional resources and an excellent index. This is the book I find myself referring back to over and over again to make sure I’ve got my details right in my own writing.

By John Lindow,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Norse Mythology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Norse Mythology explores the magical myths and legends of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Viking-Age Greenland-outlining along the way the prehistoric tales and beliefs from these regions that have remained embedded in the imagination of the world.

The book begins with an Introduction that helps put Scandinavian mythology in place in history, followed by a chapter that explains the meaning of mythic time, and a third section that presents in-depth explanations of each mythological term. These fascinating entries identify particular deities and giants, as well as the places where they dwell and the varied and wily means by which they…


Book cover of Roles of the Northern Goddess

Asa Maria Bradley Why did I love this book?

Dr. Davidson has written extensively about Norse mythology, both books and articles. Her scholarship is terrific, and I have three of her books in my research library. What makes this book so unique, though, is that she concentrates on the goddesses of the Norse pantheon and women’s roles in the Viking world in general, of which not much is written. Reading this book is like taking a master class in Norse women’s studies, and I had to replace my print copy because I’d scribbled so many notes in it that it became impossible to read.

By Hilda Ellis Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roles of the Northern Goddess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While much work has been done on goddesses of the ancient world and the male gods of pre-Christian Scandinavia, the northern goddesses have been largely neglected. Roles of the Northern Goddess presents a highly readable study of the worship of these goddesses by men and women. With its use of evidence from early literature, popular tradition, legend and archaeology, this book investigates the role of the early hunting goddess and the local goddesses who were involved in all aspects of the household and the farm. What emerges is that the goddess was both benevolent and destructive, a powerful figure closely…


Book cover of Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths

Asa Maria Bradley Why did I love this book?

The very fact that we have written records of the Viking myths, other than Runestones, is thanks to Icelandic historian, poet, and politician Snorri Sturluson. His Icelandic Sagas inspired many writers, including Tolkien and Lewis. In her biography of this influential medieval writer, Ms. Brown not only tells us about Sturluson’s life but also summarizes much of his writing and puts it into context with Norse fables. If you’ve ever wondered how much of the Viking stories were historical facts and how much of it is Sturluson’s imagination, this is a great book to read.

By Nancy Marie Brown,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Song of the Vikings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Indie Next pick for December 2012, Song of the Vikings brings to life Snorri Sturluson, wealthy chieftain, wily politician, witty storyteller, and the sole source of Viking lore for all of Western literature. Tales of one-eyed Odin, Thor and his mighty hammer, the trickster Loki, and the beautiful Valkyries have inspired countless writers, poets, and dreamers through the centuries, including Richard Wagner, JRR Tolkien, and Neil Gaiman, and author Nancy Marie Brown brings alive the medieval Icelandic world where it all began. She paints a vivid picture of the Icelandic landscape, with its colossal glaciers and volcanoes, steaming hot…


Book cover of The World Of The Viking Gods

Asa Maria Bradley Why did I love this book?

I found this slim volume of mythology tales at a museum in Reykjavík, Iceland. It’s a quick read, but what sets it apart from other books are the beautiful black and white illustrations (by Freydís Kristjánsdóttir), the concise, yet extensive, description of how the Vikings believed the world was created, and the summary of the gods, their lineage, and their roles in Norse mythology. If you want to quickly read up on Viking deities and sound wise about them at dinner parties, this is the book to get. 

By Njörður P. Njarðvík, Freydís Kristjánsdóttir (illustrator), John Porter (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World Of The Viking Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The World of the Viking Gods contains an informative introduction outlining the world-view, ideas and beliefs of the pagan Icelanders, followed by an account of the creation and individual gods. In the second half, the stories of the gods are retold, from the humorous adventures of the thunder god Thor to the darker events surrounding the death of Baldr, culminating in the apocalyptic vision of ragnarok - the end of the world and its rebirth.


Book cover of Norse Myths: Viking Legends of Heroes and Gods

Asa Maria Bradley Why did I love this book?

This book I love purely for the photographs of archeological treasures and historical paintings. It’s in the format often referred to as a “coffee table book.” However, even though you may be tempted to page through it only to look at its impressive graphics and illustrations, the content is very much researched and informative. I especially like the sections on magical creatures and how Norse mythology has influenced our modern world and more current fiction.

By Martin J. Dougherty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Norse Myths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You may not think you know much about Norse mythology but you've heard of Valhalla and the Valkyrie, and of trolls and elves, and you'd certainly miss Wednesday and Thursday - named after Norse gods - if they weren't there. Norse mythology is rich in adventure and ideas about creation, death and the afterlife. And from Wagnerian operas to Lord of the Rings to Marvel's Avengers, it has had an immense influence across Western culture. Norse Myths takes a wide-ranging approach to the topic, examining the creation stories of the Norse world, the monsters and the pantheons of the deities…


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I Am Taurus

By Stephen Palmer,

Book cover of I Am Taurus

Stephen Palmer

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Philosopher Scholar Liberal Reader Musician

Stephen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The constellation we know as Taurus goes all the way back to cave paintings of aurochs at Lascaux. This book traces the story of the bull in the sky, a journey through the history of what has become known as the sacred bull.

Each of the sections is written from the perspective of the mythical Taurus, from the beginning at Lascaux to Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, and elsewhere. This is not just a history of the bull but also a view of ourselves through the eyes of the bull, illustrating our pre-literate use of myth, how the advent of writing and the urban revolution changed our view of ourselves, and how even bullfighting in Spain is a variation on the ancient sacrifice of the sacred bull.

I Am Taurus

By Stephen Palmer,

What is this book about?

The constellation we know as Taurus goes all the way back to cave paintings of aurochs at Lascaux. In I Am Taurus, author Stephen Palmer traces the story of the bull in the sky, starting from that point 19,000 years ago - a journey through the history of what has become known as the sacred bull. Each of the eleven sections is written from the perspective of the mythical Taurus, from the beginning at Lascaux to Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Greece, Spain and elsewhere. This is not just a history of the bull but also an attempt to see ourselves through…


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Interested in Norse mythology, the Middle Ages, and goddess?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Norse mythology, the Middle Ages, and goddess.

Norse Mythology Explore 61 books about Norse mythology
The Middle Ages Explore 406 books about the Middle Ages
Goddess Explore 21 books about goddess