The most recommended Greek mythology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 98 experts.

98 authors created a book list connected to Greek mythology, and here are their favorite Greek mythology books.
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What type of Greek mythology book?


Book cover of The Greek Myths

Lance Lee Author Of Orpheus Rising: By Sam And His Father John With Some Help From A Very Wise Elephant Who Likes To Dance

From my list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don't write within received categories: our lives aren't lived in categories, but are full of varying realities, whether of home, childhood, marriage, parenthood, fantasy, dream, work, or relaxation, and more all mixed together. I can't write in any other way, however dominant a particular strand or age may be on the surface in a given work. Orpheus Rising may have a child hero, and a fantastic, elegant Edwardian Elephant as a spirit guide, but it let me tell a story of love lost and regained, of family broken and remade, of a father in despair and remade, themes of real importance in any life.

Lance's book list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents

Lance Lee Why did Lance love this book?

This is the best collection of the Greek Myths I believe, and of course covers the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, the direct inspiration for my book. In the classical myth the poet and musician Orpheus loses his love, Eurydice, and sings his way into Hades, overcoming all opposition, until even Hades agrees to let him have Eurydice back in the living world, so long as he does not look back at her until returned there. Once in daylight he does look back, and loses her forever as she hasn't stepped into daylight too. However, unlike Orpheus my young hero succeeds.

By Robert Graves,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Greek Myths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Robert Graves's classic retelling of the Greek Myths is definitive, comprehensive and unparalleled - and available now in the Penguin Classics Deluxe series, featuring a new introduction from Rick Riordan (bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and Olympian series).

Including many of the greatest stories ever told - the labours of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, Midas and his golden touch, the Trojan War and Odysseus's journey home - Robert Graves's superb and comprehensive retelling of the Greek myths for a modern audience has been regarded for over fifty years as the definitive version.


Book cover of The Riddle in the Tale: Riddles and Riddle Folk Tales

Allison Galbraith Author Of Funny Folk Tales for Children

From my list on world folktales for reading to everyone over six.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a storyteller and folktale collector. All my jobs have involved telling stories – as a community librarian, in theatre, in education, and since 2006 as a professional storyteller and writer. I work in schools, festivals, and outdoor education with all sorts of people and their animals. I have honed my skills to find the most enjoyable traditional tales that can be shared widely. I live in Scotland, where I encourage families to read and tell their favourite stories together. Storytelling is a living art form that belongs to everyone. More than anything, I love the natural world, and I bring the magnificence of nature into all my work.

Allison's book list on world folktales for reading to everyone over six

Allison Galbraith Why did Allison love this book?

This book is packed with Taffy Thomas's best riddle tales.

Taffy has been storytelling for many years and is brilliant at it. He knows just how to keep a story short and exciting. Each tale has at least one and often more riddles to be solved by the reader or listener. The expertly drawn pictures are humorous and help you solve the riddles.

It's also great for storytellers, parents, and teachers who want to keep their audience actively engaged. I tell these riddle tales when I want my listeners to join in and be part of the fun. Taffy tells us where and who he learned the riddles from – an enjoyable insight into his extraordinary life as a teller of tales.

By Taffy Thomas, Steven Gregg (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Riddle in the Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We have been fascinated by riddles for as long as we have had language - think of the legend of the sphinx in Greek mythology. This wonderful book includes both magical riddle tales and simple challenges, with clues and answers hidden in intricate illustrations. Discover how the farmer saved his daughter by solving the fairies' riddles or how the old hen-wife helped the two brothers solve the mystery of their father's will. Have a read - you'll be hooked.

Book cover of Zeus: King of the Gods

James L. Fitzsimmons Author Of Living with the Dead: Mortuary Ritual in Mesoamerica

From James' 9-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Professor Archaeologist Mayanist Writer

James' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, James' 9-year-old's favorite books.

James L. Fitzsimmons Why did James' 9-year-old love this book?

My kid loves this graphic novel series because of its accurate, imaginative portrayal of the Greek gods.  There are various levels of adult themes in Zeus and its successors, but the author manages (for the most part) to present them in ways that scale with the age of the reader. 

By George O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zeus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

George O'Connor is a Greek mythology buff and a classic superhero comics fan, and he's out to remind us how much our pantheon of superheroes (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, etc) owes to mankind's ORIGINAL superheroes: the Greek pantheon.

In Olympians, O'Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren't sedate, scholarly works. They're action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O'Connor's vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.

Volume 1 of Olympians, Zeus: King…

Book cover of Greek Vase-Painting and the Origins of Visual Humour

William Hansen Author Of The Book of Greek and Roman Folktales, Legends, and Myths

From my list on classical mythology and folklore.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up loving fairytales and still do. In college, my love for folktales grew into a passion for mythology. I pursued these interests at the University of California, Berkeley, received my PhD, and became a classicist and folklorist with a special interest in traditional stories. This interest was the foundation for several books, including Ariadne’s Thread: A Guide to International Stories Found in Classical Literature and Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans. My work in traditional stories led me to explore the neighboring topic of popular literature, which resulted in my Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature.  

William's book list on classical mythology and folklore

William Hansen Why did William love this book?

The ancient Greeks were not only good at making serious art such as epics and tragedies, they were also good at making fun of them in literature and art.

In the realm of art, the most abundant source of humor is painted vases, which were manufactured mostly for the use of men at symposia, or drinking parties.

Greek mythology was a favorite subject of the vase painters, and Mitchell’s richly-illustrated study of humorous vases provides a fun and unusual window into ancient burlesque treatments of Greek myths and legends.  

By Alexandre G. Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Greek Vase-Painting and the Origins of Visual Humour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is a comprehensive study of visual humour in ancient Greece, with special emphasis on works created in Athens and Boeotia. Alexandre G. Mitchell brings an interdisciplinary approach to this topic, combining theories and methods of art history, archaeology and classics with the anthropology of humour, and thereby establishing new ways of looking at art and visual humour in particular. Understanding what visual humour was to the ancients and how it functioned as a tool of social cohesion is only one facet of this study. Mitchell also focuses on the social truths that his study of humour unveils: democracy…

Book cover of Zeus Is A Dick

Walburga Appleseed Author Of The Princess and the Prick

From my list on funny feminist books you'll want to gift to all your friends.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I gobbled up Grimm’s fairytales, but I always wondered: Why do the princesses get such a terrible deal? This question gnawed at me. So, when I grew up and became an author, I wrote The Princess and the Prick to set the world right. Feminism can be such a terribly serious topic, but sexism is ridiculous! So, let's laugh at it! The books I've recommended are all short and brilliantly funny. They make fantastic gifts and will have everyone laughing at the patriarchy in no time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Walburga's book list on funny feminist books you'll want to gift to all your friends

Walburga Appleseed Why did Walburga love this book?

This is a deep dive into the mad world of the Greek myths but FUN. Who knew that Zeus was the proud inventor of the first golden shower? (Is anyone surprised?)

This book made me laugh a lot and taught me much about the sexist madness that are the Greek myths in general, and poor old Zeus in particular.

By Susie Donkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zeus Is A Dick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the beginning, everything was fine.* And then along came Zeus.

*more or less

Ahh Greek myths. Those glorious tales of heroism, honour and... petty squabbles, soap-opera drama and more weird sex than Fifty Shades of Grey could shake a stick at!

It's about time we stopped respecting myths and started laughing at them. Did you know Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was born of some discarded genitals? Or that Hera threw her own son off a mountain because he was ugly? Or that Apollo once kidnapped a boat full of people while pretending to be a dolphin?


Book cover of Amber and Clay

Katherine Marsh Author Of The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine

From my list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only have I written six critically acclaimed novels for middle-grade readers, including three historical fictions, I am the parent of a tween and teen who is always looking for great read-alouds and read-alongs for my own family. I am a firm believer that this is a valuable way to encourage literacy and love of story as I wrote in a recent, much-discussed essay in The Atlantic. Having lived abroad, including as an exchange student and camper in the Soviet Union and for three years in Belgium, I am also a huge believer in expanding our own as well as our kids’ knowledge of history beyond our own borders, cultures, identities, and perspectives. 

Katherine's book list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers

Katherine Marsh Why did Katherine love this book?

Schlitz’s latest historical novel, set in Ancient Greece, is one I read aloud to my own kids, who like many are already well versed in Greek and Roman mythology.

The story of the rebellious daughter of a noble family and an enslaved boy, it’s a haunting and beautifully rendered introduction to classical philosophy and the story of Socrates. Reading this together gave us a chance to discuss the classical world as a real place and its culture and religion in detail and depth.

Schlitz’s books are among the most literary and original out there and this one was written to stay with you for a very long time. 

By Laura Amy Schlitz, Julia Iredale (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amber and Clay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

The Newbery Medal–winning author of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! givesreaders avirtuoso performance in verse in this profoundly original epic pitched just right for fans of poetry, history, mythology, and fantasy.

Welcome to ancient Greece as only genius storyteller Laura Amy Schlitz can conjure it. In a warlike land of wind and sunlight, “ringed by a restless sea,” live Rhaskos and Melisto, spiritual twins with little in common beyond the violent and mysterious forces that dictate their lives. A Thracian slave in a Greek household, Rhaskos is as common as clay, a stable boy worth less than a donkey, much less…

Book cover of The Half-God of Rainfall

Gita Ralleigh Author Of Siren

From my list on myths beyond the Greco-Roman Canon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a poet and fiction writer who enjoys popular feminist retellings of Greco-Roman mythology. But I want to draw attention to the rich and powerful myths beyond that canon, myths used by contemporary writers to make sense of our world, our brief mortal lives, and what lies beyond. Scholar Karen Armstrong writes in A Short History of Myth, "Myth is about the unknown; it is about that for which we initially have no words. Myth therefore looks into the heart of a great silence." My poetry book A Terrible Thing reinterprets goddess myths and Siren does the same with myths of hybrid women, half-fish and half-bird and more.

Gita's book list on myths beyond the Greco-Roman Canon

Gita Ralleigh Why did Gita love this book?

I adored The Half God of Rainfall’s daring: a new free-verse epic crafted from ancient Yoruba and Greek mythology by Inua Ellams, a poet and playwright, who has also adapted it for theatre. It tells the story of Demi, the son of Modúpé, a mortal woman and the Greek god Zeus. Ellams does not shy away from Zeus’s canonical role as a violent sexual predator and the tale of Demi’s rise and fall as a basketball player, half god, and half mortal culminates in the overthrowing of the patriarchy. Demi’s mother Modúpé, with the aid of the Òrìsà (Yoruban Gods) and other women wronged by him – Leda, Danaë, Europa, Antiope – takes her revenge on the great Zeus himself. 

By Inua Ellams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Half-God of Rainfall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning poet and playwright behind Barber Shop Chronicles, The Half-God of Rainfall is an epic story and a lyrical exploration of pride, power and female revenge.

There is something about Demi. When this boy is angry, rain clouds gather. When he cries, rivers burst their banks and the first time he takes a shot on a basketball court, the deities of the land take note.

His mother, Modupe, looks on with a mixture of pride and worry. From close encounters, she knows Gods often act like men: the same fragile egos, the same unpredictable fury and the same…

Book cover of Olympus, Texas

Beth C. Greenberg Author Of First Quiver

From my list on the Greek myths you thought you knew.

Why am I passionate about this?

Let’s face it – the Greek gods are a self-centered, quick-tempered, jealous, prideful, and insatiable bunch. Even the all-powerful Zeus falls victim to his overactive libido and vengeful wife! While superpowers are enticing, it’s the gods’ faults and weaknesses –their human qualities – that make them so irresistible to me. As a writer, I love poking at my characters’ soft underbelly. Where are they vulnerable? What can they not bear to lose? Can they recognize their mistakes and grow? And this question pulled me down Cupid’s Fall rabbit hole: What if the God of Love got a dose of his own medicine?

Beth's book list on the Greek myths you thought you knew

Beth C. Greenberg Why did Beth love this book?

Is there any family more dysfunctional than the Greek gods? In this modern-day saga, author Stacey Swann skillfully reimagines our favorite gods as regular people caught up in the very human drama of lust, jealousy, secrets, and even murder. The author slyly crafts multiple myth-inspired vignettes, then fits them together like puzzle pieces. The central conflict is a clever spin on Aphrodite’s affair with her ho-hum hubby Hephaestus’s fiery brother Ares (the unholy union that created Cupid!). What I love most about Swann’s storytelling is her snappy dialogue – these characters don’t pull any punches! Even though we don’t really want to root for them, we can’t help ourselves. Why? Maybe they remind us of ourselves.

By Stacey Swann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick! • A bighearted novel with technicolor characters, plenty of Texas swagger, and a powder keg of a plot in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare, and secrets explode, all with a clever wink toward classical mythology.

For fans of Madeline Miller's Circe: "The Iliad meets Friday Night Lights in this muscular, captivating debut" (Oprah Daily).

The Briscoe family is once again the talk of their small town when March returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother's wife. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with…

Book cover of Metamorphoses

Jordanna Max Brodsky Author Of The Immortals

From my list on inspired by Greek mythology.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jordanna Max Brodsky is the author of the Olympus Bound trilogy and The Wolf in the Whale, a sweeping epic of the Norse and Inuit. Jordanna holds a degree in History and Literature from Harvard University, but she maintains that scholarship is no substitute for lived experience. Her research has taken her from the summit of Mount Olympus to the frozen tundra of Nunavut, and from the Viking ruins of Norway to Artemis’s temples in Turkey.

Jordanna's book list on inspired by Greek mythology

Jordanna Max Brodsky Why did Jordanna love this book?

Ancient Roman poet Ovid gives us the definitive versions of nearly 250 different myths, most involving transformations of men and women into beasts, trees, or flowers. If that sounds dull, know that there’s more incest than Game of Thrones and more bloody mutilation than a Quentin Tarantino flick. Some tales, like that of Orpheus and Eurydice, are well-known. Others, like the story of the fleet-footed Atalanta, should be. For anyone interested in writing their own story inspired by Greek myth, Ovid’s Metamorphoses provides an invaluable source of inspiration. Read Allen Mandelbaum’s excellent poetic translation for the most authentic experience.

By Ovid, Allen Mandelbaum (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through National Book Award-winning translator Allen Mandelbaum's poetic artistry, this gloriously entertaining achievement of literature — classical myths filtered through the worldly and far from reverent sensibility of the Roman poet Ovid — is revealed anew.Savage and sophisticated, mischievious and majestic, witty and wicked, The Metamorphoses weaves together every major mythological story to display a dazzling array of miraculous changes, from the time chaos is transformed into order at the moment of creation, to the time when the soul of Julius Caeser is turned into a star and set in the heavens. In its earthiness, its psychological acuity, this classic…

Book cover of The Darkest Kiss

Catherine Edward Author Of Lycan's Blood Queen

From my list on fantasy/shifter romance to make your heart flutter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a paranormal romance and fantasy author who fell in love with fantasy as a young girl. My journey as a reader started when I was four, but what changed me entirely was Russian Tales woven with magic. I’m passionate about Lycans, Werewolves, Witches, Vampires, and everything that’s magical. I like to write sizzling tales of love and betrayal.

Catherine's book list on fantasy/shifter romance to make your heart flutter

Catherine Edward Why did Catherine love this book?

This entire series has my heart and soul. Paranormal world fused with Greek mythology? Hell, yes! I’d read this any day and every day. My top pick in this series is The Darkest Kiss because I love the female lead Anya. She’s just amazing. Anya is introduced as a fun loving, trouble maker but as the novel evolves we learn Anya has more layers to her character and with each layer coming off, you can’t help but fall deeply in love with her just like Death. I mean, I totally understand him. This book is such an entertaining read.

By Gena Showalter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She has tempted many men…but never found her equal.
Until now.

Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death—a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him. But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond…