Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking for Some Light Reading Material?

I love books.  I love to read them, display them on my shelf, and throw them at unruly students.  I am much like the scholar in Canterbury Tales who is poor because he spends all his money on books. I have a Kindle Fire, and I think it is great, but there is something about having that physical book in your hands that I just don't get from the Kindle.  Of course you can't play Angry Birds with a book.

Although you could throw the book at some birds and make them angry.

And, of course, I love to get mythology books, which is a shame because they usually cost much more than a plain old fiction book.  I once picked up a Celtic mythology book for my class and the lady at Barns and Noble didn't want to let me use my teacher discount because she didn't believe I was going to actually use it for a class. My thought process was who buys these books except teachers?

So I thought I would post a few mythology books I found doing a search on Google that I thought looked interesting but I haven't read.  If any of you have read one of them, I would love a comment on if it really is worth buying.  If you are the author, feel free to give me a copy (electronic or otherwise) and I'll review here for you!

So, without further ado, the 4 books I think would be good mythology books to read:

100 Characters from Classical Mythology

One of the problems with getting a book with the words "Classical Mythology" in the title is that it probably rehashes the same stories I already know.  But since I am male, my memory is selective and sometimes I can find something I already knew and still think it is new.

The cover of this book is nice and, if nothing else, would look impressive on a shelf.  I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we often do and that's just the way of things.  The title is also a nice touch.  I'm thinking like a top ten list of sorts (only top one hundred instead).  The book description says that each character gets a brief review with all kinds of big color images.  I'm thinking that, if nothing else, a student who is new to mythology would be captivated by this book.  Maybe someone reading the Rick Riordin books and they are inspired to look up a character.  This would be a good easy start.

Price - I found it from between $12 to $23.  Google review gave it 4.5 stars (out of 5).

She's All That! A Look-It-Up Guide to the Goddesses of Mythology

I remember that Scholastic put out something about this Mythlopedia series a while back and I was going to get one for my son for Christmas, but I forgot.  However, the cover looks funny and promises some new stuff. 

The book description is: "the superstars of Greek myth meet the modern age--complete with profiles, headshots, and family trees; fascinating sidebars; and irreverent surprises, this series is for readers who love action, deception, romance, power struggles, and more!"  The cover teases you with the words, "You think you know Greek mythology?"  Maybe I'll get those surprises that I'm not hoping for in the first book on the list.  Plus in the corner, Venus is saying, "Yo!  I'm a goddess!  Can you get me some clothes?" 

There are several books in this series.  I picked this one over the others mainly because my friend Alia is all into those goddess stories.

Price: $7 - $14.  I would immediately buy this on Kindle if they had it.    Google rating: 4.5 stars.

Who's Who in Non-Classical Mythology

Just as a quick reference, I think this book would be a great edition to have around.  It claims to be the most detailed book of its kind.  In fact, the book description does not just say it is detailed, but it has fascinating details. Who wouldn't want that?  I will say, it seems to back up what it means because it even has Basque mythology (and when is the last time you ever saw a book on Basque mythology?).  I am a little wary because it says that it has over 2500 "extensive" entries but there are only 256 pages, so how extensive can it be?
Then again, it only would take a few words on this guy from Basque mythology to be more extensive than  anything else I have.
Price: $14 - $24          Google Rating: 5 stars

The Book of the Gods: 600 Gods from 20 Pantheons Explained

Are you tired of the same old boring god you've worshiped for years? Looking for something new and exciting?  That's the opening of the book description for this book.  It is the official book of the God Checker website (which I love).  It is also NOT AVAILABLE ON KINDLE  (arrgh!).  I really want this book.  If you need a reason why, just check out on of my favorite mythology web sites: www.godchecker.com.

Price: $15.56.  Who cares what Google rates it!  This book, if anything like the web site, has to be awesome.

Once again, anyone who has read one of these books, tell me about it before I spend more hard earned money on buying them!  Send me suggestions of books I missed, too.