100 books like D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

By Ingri D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin D'Aulaire,

Here are 100 books that D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths fans have personally recommended if you like D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Beowulf

Why am I passionate about this?

To experience another's thoughts and emotions, one first has to feel them. Eyes, lips, tongue, and teeth are involved before the brain/heart can engage. Translation of poetry is the same. My mother has sung Chinese poetry to me since forever, and English poetry came alive for me through verse speaking. I studied and taught as I wrote for many years. I cannot say I find my way into every poem I come across, but the poems I translate are ones I know and love. That is why I am passionate about translation. For me, it is not a secondary experience but a primary, primal performance art!

Susan's book list on translated books that capture the magic of the original, making what’s unfamiliar, foreign or ancient, accessible

Susan Wan Dolling Why did Susan love this book?

That I would love a poem written/translated by Seamus Heaney did not come as a surprise to me, but that it is Beowulf, a poem/story steeped in the Germanic warrior culture and soaked in blood that enthralled me, did surprise me.

I do not remember the occasion that prompted my reading, but even as I opened the book to its Introduction, and read “...And now this is ‘an inheritance’ --/Upright, rudimentary, unshiftably planked/ In the long ago, yet willable forward...Again and again and again,” I could not put it down.

In fact, you might say, it is not the story but the voice of the poet and how he brought this ancient language and people back to life that compelled me to read on. Of course, the voice is that of the poet of “Digging,” as he traces his roots back to these unlikely ancestors.

By Seamus Heaney,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Beowulf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Composed towards the end of the first millennium, the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf is one of the great Northern epics and a classic of European literature. In his new translation, Seamus Heaney has produced a work which is both true, line by line, to the original poem, and an expression, in its language and music, of something fundamental to his own creative gift.

The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed, in that exhausted aftermath. It is not hard to draw parallels between this story and the history of the…


Book cover of Norse Mythology

Patricia Furstenberg Author Of Dreamland: Banat, Crisana, Maramures, Transylvania, 100-WORD STORIES, Folklore and History

From my list on short stories to make you dream about travelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

My upbringing in refined Bucharest, surrounded by books and Romania's rich folklore, as well as my youth excursions in the idyllic Transylvanian countryside, instilled in me a love for storytelling. Although I have a medical degree, my insatiable curiosity about historical figures' lives, journeys, and the landscapes they encountered has driven me to investigate and write about these enthralling tales. This allowed me to share the wonders of travel through historical and contemporary fiction with a strong historical foundation - and a dog or two. On my blog I share enchanting gems from Romania’s past, while on social media I promote Romania’s history and culture under the hashtag #Im4Ro.

Patricia's book list on short stories to make you dream about travelling

Patricia Furstenberg Why did Patricia love this book?

I'd heard a lot about Norse myths on social media recently, but I was unfamiliar with them. 

The idea of Gaiman weaving his narrative magic through the tapestry of these ancient tales intrigued me, and it surely made for an exciting read.

Even if you're unfamiliar with Norse mythology (as I was), this retelling will awe you with the strangeness and wonder of these ancient tales. Norse Mythology is more than a book; it's an invitation to a hypnotic world inhabited by gods, giants, undead goats, betrayals, a mischievous squirrel, elves, dwarves, and Valkyries.

This collection is an enthralling journey through a selection of Norse myths, narrated with Neil Gaiman's trademark wit and simplicity.

By Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki-son of a giant-blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the…


Book cover of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings

Alice Mills Author Of The World Treasury of Myths & Legends

From my list on Norse myths and legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alice has had a passion for myths ever since reading Greek myths as a small child. Alice's most recent book is a retelling of myths and legends worldwide. As well as editing several anthologies for children, she has published a book on mythology and another on the fantasy writer Mervyn Peake, and she has many scholarly publications on fantasy and children's literature.

Alice's book list on Norse myths and legends

Alice Mills Why did Alice love this book?

The way these stories are phrased here makes this my favourite set of retellings. Crossley-Holland’s choice of words evokes the original Norse. He uses alliteration, mainly when describing land and sea, and he is very careful to use words that come from Old English, a sister language to Old Norse, in preference to words from Latin, Greek, and post-Latin languages. There are plenty of other retellings that cover similar ground, but none with quite this joy in the energy of the original.

By Kevin Crossley-Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With colour artwork by Gillian McClure, a collection of Norse myths.


Book cover of Thor: Tales Of Asgard

James Lovegrove Author Of The Age of Odin

From my list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like Neil Gaiman, I came to Norse mythology via the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Marvel comics route. And when I explored the material further I was struck by the darkness and unsanitised oddity of many of the stories. They clearly reflected the Vikings’ view of the world as a cold, hostile, sometimes absurd place that must be met with a strong arm and a hearty laugh if one is to survive not only physically but mentally. There’s something refreshingly honest about such an approach, and when I came to write the third novel in my Pantheon series, The Age of Odin, which recast the myths as a modern military-SF thriller, I leaned heavily into the aspects I found the most appealing as well as the most dramatic, not least the snowy apocalypse that is Ragnarök, while injecting some appropriately ribald humour too.

James' book list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics

James Lovegrove Why did James love this book?

This series of short back-up strips in the 1960s Thor comic from Marvel retold and embellished on the myths in characteristically bombastic Lee/Kirby fashion. While Thor himself, in the main feature, battled costumed supervillains in contemporary New York, the supporting feature dealt with his youth, his allies and enemies in Asgard itself and the rest of the Nine Realms, and a whole host of sorcerers, witches, and grotesque monsters. Kirby in particular seemed enthused by the project and it shows in his artwork.

By Stan Lee, Jack Kirby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Never has Thor been more sensational than during these early tales, crafted by Marvel's greatest, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Re-live Stan and Jack's stories of the Norse Gods and Thor before he came to Earth as Don Blake. Witness as these masters breathe life into the thunder god. Read these stories as never before with all-new, modern coloring and six interlocking covers by Olivier Coipel.

Collecting:

Thor: Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby #1-6


Book cover of The Prose Edda

Donovan Cook Author Of Odin's Betrayal

From my list on learn about the Vikings and their gods.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved history, especially European history, and fell in love with the Vikings and their mythology after reading the first book of the Last Kingdom Series by Bernard Cornwell. One of the reasons I wanted to write Viking fiction is because I was keen to learn more about these amazing people who had such a large influence on European history, but had been stigmatized by the Christian religion. I really wanted to learn about who they were as a people and how they saw their world through their religion and their interactions with Christian nations around them.

Donovan's book list on learn about the Vikings and their gods

Donovan Cook Why did Donovan love this book?

This is the book to read if you want to learn about Norse mythology and the Norse gods, and is certainly one I enjoyed.

I loved reading all the different sagas, from the creation of the universe all the way to Ragnarök. This is a book I regularly revisit to find tales that I can sprinkle into my novels, and I also found it a great source just to understand the mentality of the Scandinavian people.

By Snorri Sturluson, Jesse L. Byock (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Prose Edda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most renowned of all works of Scandinavian literature and our most extensive source of Norse mythology

Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, The Prose Edda tells ancient stories of the Norse creation epic and recounts the battles that follow as gods, giants, dwarves and elves struggle for survival. In prose interspersed with powerful verse, the Edda shows the gods' tragic realization that the future holds one final cataclysmic battle, Ragnarok, when the world will be destroyed. These tales have proved to be among the most influential of all myths and legends, inspiring works…


Book cover of Gods and Myths of Northern Europe

James Lovegrove Author Of The Age of Odin

From my list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like Neil Gaiman, I came to Norse mythology via the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Marvel comics route. And when I explored the material further I was struck by the darkness and unsanitised oddity of many of the stories. They clearly reflected the Vikings’ view of the world as a cold, hostile, sometimes absurd place that must be met with a strong arm and a hearty laugh if one is to survive not only physically but mentally. There’s something refreshingly honest about such an approach, and when I came to write the third novel in my Pantheon series, The Age of Odin, which recast the myths as a modern military-SF thriller, I leaned heavily into the aspects I found the most appealing as well as the most dramatic, not least the snowy apocalypse that is Ragnarök, while injecting some appropriately ribald humour too.

James' book list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics

James Lovegrove Why did James love this book?

This is less about the myths themselves and more about the culture that spawned them. Ellis Davidson’s analysis of Nordic pre-Christian religion is sober but accessible, and comparisons are made with other contemporary belief systems such as the Celts’ and the ancient Britons’. The book nicely ties together the disparate tales much as the world tree, Yggdrasil, is said to have tied together the Nine Realms.

By H.R. Ellis Davidson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Surveys the pre-Christian beliefs of the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples. Provides an introduction to this subject, giving basic outlines to the sagas and stories, and helps identify the charachter traits of not only the well known but also the lesser gods of the age.


Book cover of A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism

J.D. Foslan Author Of Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

From my list on Norse mythology and polytheism.

Why am I passionate about this?

J.D. Foslan is the author of Loki’s Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods and has been a practicing Polytheist and mystic for over a decade. The author’s other interests include the Frisian language spoken by roughly a half-million people in the Netherlands.

J.D.'s book list on Norse mythology and polytheism

J.D. Foslan Why did J.D. love this book?

We live in a society that allows for only two possibilities: that there exists either one God or no God at all. What C.S. Lewis did for Christianity, this book does for modern Polytheism. It’s an intelligent and thoughtful read that opens up the mind and heart to new spiritual possibilities.

By John Michael Greer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this book John Michael Greer turns his attention to the intellectual underpinnings and superstructures of the Pagan and magical movements. Pagan religions have tended to be more concerned with practice that with theory and in a system that has no dogma - no legislated doctrine - that is as it should be. Yet as out movement grows and matures, it is inevitable that we will begin to think in a more abstract way about our models and systems. John Michael Greer has provided a primer on the kinds of ideas and themes that must be included in any discussion…


Book cover of Odin's Wife: Mother Earth in Germanic Mythology

J.D. Foslan Author Of Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

From my list on Norse mythology and polytheism.

Why am I passionate about this?

J.D. Foslan is the author of Loki’s Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods and has been a practicing Polytheist and mystic for over a decade. The author’s other interests include the Frisian language spoken by roughly a half-million people in the Netherlands.

J.D.'s book list on Norse mythology and polytheism

J.D. Foslan Why did J.D. love this book?

This richly detailed book explores the worship of Odin and his wife, providing information from Continental sources as well as surviving Norse lore. It paints a different and more complete picture of a major goddess, and also brings to light older sides of Odin that have nothing to do with our modern images of Viking berserkers.

By William P. Reaves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Odin's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Definitive Study of Odin's Wife, Frigg.

For more than a millennium, the people of Northern Europe venerated an Earth goddess, which evidence attests is the oldest known Germanic deity. Called by a number of names, when the accounts are compared, common traits emerge. During Yule, she rides among her people in a wagon inspecting homes, rewarding the industrious and punishing the lazy. With her husband, she leads the fearsome Wild Hunt, riding through the winter skies, cleansing the air of evil. Most often identified as Odin's wife, the ancients called her "Mother Earth", "Queen of Heaven", and the "Mother…


Book cover of Up And Down The Tree: Exploring the nine worlds of Yggdrasil

J.D. Foslan Author Of Loki's Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods

From my list on Norse mythology and polytheism.

Why am I passionate about this?

J.D. Foslan is the author of Loki’s Saga: A Novel of the Norse Gods and has been a practicing Polytheist and mystic for over a decade. The author’s other interests include the Frisian language spoken by roughly a half-million people in the Netherlands.

J.D.'s book list on Norse mythology and polytheism

J.D. Foslan Why did J.D. love this book?

This is a book for the more mystically inclined, for those who wish to learn how to journey and to have their own encounters and experiences with the Norse Gods and Goddesses. A substantial amount of information on techniques and otherworldly realms is packed into this volume. The meditations are detailed and very helpful. This is not a book to read through in one sitting, but rather a sort of practice manual to refer back to again and again.

By Runic John,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Up And Down The Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Wanderer's Havamal

Kendall Grey Author Of Runed

From my list on the stories and epics of Norse mythology.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fiction writer who prides herself on drowning her stories in a thick marinade of authenticity, I’m a research hound. In preparing to write my Asgard Awakening series, I leaned on my lifelong love of mythology to fuel countless hours of research about Norse cosmology, runes, myths, and gods. I now consider myself an expert on deconstructing Marvel movie plotlines, comparing their Asgardian characters to the Norse gods they’re based on, and womansplaining everything the studio did wrong to any sucker who will listen. ;-)

Kendall's book list on the stories and epics of Norse mythology

Kendall Grey Why did Kendall love this book?

This Old Norse poem was part of the collection of works included in the Poetic Edda, written around 1300 CE and collected by Snorri Sturlusson. It centers around the god Odin and includes advice for life and love, the story of Odin’s self-sacrifice on the World Tree of Yggdrasil, and eighteen spells Odin claims to know. The book provides revealing details about life in Viking times, but my favorite part is the section on spells, which include healing, manipulating metal so weapons do less damage, escape artistry, redirecting curses, calming winds, and even resurrection. Hávamál isn’t as popular as some of the other poems, but it’s worth a read for the insights into the god Odin and what makes him tick.

By Unknown, Jackson Crawford (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wanderer's Havamal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Wanderer's Havamal features Jackson Crawford's complete, carefully revised English translation of the Old Norse poem Havamal , newly annotated for this volume, together with facing original Old Norse text sourced directly from the Codex Regius manuscript. Rounding out the volume are Crawford's classic Cowboy Havamal and translations of other related texts central to understanding the character, wisdom, and mysteries of odinn (Odin). Portable and reader-friendly, it makes an ideal companion for both lovers of Old Norse mythology and those new to the wisdom of this central Eddic poem wherever they may find themselves.


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