Recommended Reads - Myths & Legends

Myths and Legends permeate many aspects of the world’s diverse cultures. These selections are merely a small taste of what you may find.

The Mythology Book

The Mythology Book retells and explains more than 80 classic stories. Delve into each story to discover the meanings behind the myths, getting to the heart of the significance to the cultures they originated in. Divided into seven major sections, The Mythology Book examines myths from every continent and every significant period in history, from ancient Egypt to the Celts, and from the Maya of Mexico and Central America to Aboriginal Australians and the Maori of New Zealand.

Available in digital and physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he presents his fashioning of the primeval Norse myths into a novel, which begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds, delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants, and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly recreating the characters--the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendencey to let passion ignite their actions--and making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again. 

Available in digital and physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

The Mythology of the American Nations: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Gods, Heroes, Spirits, Sacred Places, Rituals and Ancient Beliefs of the North American Indian, Inuit, Aztec, Inca and Maya Nations

by David M. Jones

Here is a rich source of information for any reader who wants to understand the myths and religions of the indigenous inhabitants of America. The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on the mythology of distinct civilizations and regions. North American Mythology explores the universal themes of creation and the mythical living landscape. Mesoamerican Mythology explores the culture and beliefs of the Maya and Aztecs. South American Mythology focuses on the immense Inca empire. An instantly accessible A-to-Z format provides concise, easy-to-locate entries on more than 900 key characters, enabling the reader to discover who is who in the mythology of the Americas.

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Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined

by Stephen Fry

Here are the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths, stylishly retold by Stephen Fry. The legendary writer, actor, and comedian breathes life into ancient tales, from Pandora's box to Prometheus's fire, and transforms the adventures of Zeus and the Olympians into emotionally resonant and deeply funny stories, without losing any of their original wonder. Classical artwork inspired by the myths and learned notes from the author offer rich cultural context.

Available in digital and physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Myths & Legends: From Cherokee Dances to Voodoo Trances

by John Pemberton

Ancient legends have assisted the human race in understanding the complex world we live in, even if they have been embellished over the years. This comprehensive study on the myths and legends of the world can be told as bedtime stories or enjoyed as extracurricular reading by those who love history. Myths & Legends is a fascinating book full of tales from all over the world that have been passed down for generations.

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Mythbusters: The Explosive Truth Behind 30 of the Most Perplexing Urban Legends of All Time 

by Keith Zimmerman

Special effects experts and hosts of Discovery Channel's MythBusters use modern-day science to show what's real and what’s fiction, providing the explosive truth behind the 30 most perplexing urban legends of all time.

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I Know What I Saw: Modern-Day Encounters With Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore

by Linda S. Godfrey

While most people in America today relegate monsters to just that--our imaginations--we continue to be fascinated by the unknown. Linda Godfrey is one of the country's leading authorities on modern-day monsters and has interviewed countless eyewitnesses to strange phenomena. Monsters evolve, taking on both new and familiar forms over time and across cultures. In this well-researched book, Godfrey explores uncanny encounters with werewolves, goatmen, Bigfoot, and more.

Available in physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

27: The Legend & Mythology of the 27 Club

by Gene Simmons

The summer of 1969 was…the summer that a myth was born-beginning with the tragic, untimely death of Rolling Stones founder, Brian Jones. The world soon lost two more huge music stars: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Not only did losing these three beacons of music culture seem to signal the end of a musical era, it also felt like a foreboding sign; they had all died at exactly the same age. All three had lost their lives at the pinnacle of their creative output, and all three were exactly 27 years old. People have speculated that there could be a dastardly lineage, from the poisoning of blues pioneer Robert Johnson in 1938, through these icons of the 60s, and more recently to rebel chanteuse Amy Winehouse's death from alcohol poisoning in 2011. Could it be a twisted fate that the world's very best creative souls come to early, often violent, deaths at just 27 years old? Over time, this idea began to be known as, “the 27 club,” and it has persisted in the public imagination. In 27: The Legend and Mythology of the 27 Club, rock ‘n’ roll icon Gene Simmons takes a deep dive into the life stories of these legendary figures, without giving credence to the romanticized idea that being in the “club” is somehow a perverse privilege. Simmons wills us to acknowledge the extraordinary lives, not the sensational deaths, of the musicians and artists who left an indelible mark on the world.

Available in physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Weird Indiana Your Travel Guide to the Hoosier State's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

by Mark Marimen

Weird Indiana is here to prove that the Crossroads of America, as our state motto claims, is also the Crossroads of the Weird There's such an abundance of weirdness here that it took three authors to showcase all the odd and offbeat wonders the Hoosier State has to offer. Our authors, Mark Marimen, Jim Willis, and Troy Taylor, set off with cameras and notepads in hand, in search of Indiana's best kept secrets, local legends, bizarre beasts, and more, and they found it--in spades Sit back and enjoy a relaxing picnic in Shades of Death Park; see the light if you're lucky enough to witness those unexplained glowing spots known as Moody's Light. Find out how a town named Santa Claus became involved in one of the fiercest rivalries in the state's history. Slap on another layer of color to the world's biggest ball of paint, and no, you're not seeing things--that really is an enormous pink-spectacled elephant drinking a martini on the side of the road Get the time from an enormous leg sundial, and listen for the whistle of terror on the White Lick Creek Bridge, but whatever you do, don't answer an ad from La Porte's Black Widow. Make a person-to-person call from inside a tomb, and meet Indiana's most upright citizen, buried that way for almost two hundred years. Check out the ruins of Littleville, where 125 miniature buildings once stood--complete with a courthouse, and even a yacht club, all of eighteen inches tall. Yes, there certainly is more to Indiana than just cornfields A brand-new entry in the best-selling Weird U.S. series, Weird Indiana is packed with all that great stuff your history teacher wouldn't teach you. So join our authors on their great adventure. It's a journey you'll never forget.

Available physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Secret Indianapolis: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

by Ashley Petry

Where in Indianapolis can you find a disappearing painting, a towering ‘ice tree,’ or a giant pink elephant holding a martini? What caused the Great Squirrel Invasion of 1822, and why did Hollywood celebrities once flock to an Indianapolis cottage called Tuckaway? Where can you find a hidden museum dedicated to antique fire extinguishers? And what, exactly, is a Recordface? You'll find the answers to these questions, and many others, in this guide to Indy's overlooked, offbeat, and unknown. Secret Indianapolis profiles the city's best-kept restaurant secrets, strangest parks and museums, creepiest urban legends, and weirdest works of art. It also tells the stories of forgotten local heroes, and it reveals the secrets behind beloved Indy landmarks. You'll discover the only place in the world where it's still possible to order Choc-Ola, explore the most haunted house in Indiana, and hear about the very dirty prank Hoosiers once pulled on a former president. Written by lifelong Hoosier and local author Ashley Petry, Secret Indianapolis offers a new way to explore the Circle City-from the quirks of local history to bizarre activities you can try today.

Available physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

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