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Easy Reading Book about Legendary Grecian Gods & Goddesses

I would like to know more about the Grecian Gods and Goddesses before I go on my RS Greece tour. I've browsed the list given in the tour itinerary and guidebook. I'm trying to read the "Wine Dark" book but it might be more than I can stick with at the moment. I'm not particularly interested in books for kids (although I might have to be!). Just wondering if anyone has recommendations for a fiction or nonfiction book (even from the list) that is a little more story-like? Thank you, brainy people!

Posted by
4808 posts

Might want to have a look at Mythos by Stepen Fry. Yes, that Stepen Fry.

Posted by
1385 posts

It is a kid’s book, but a well done one: Roger Lancelyn Green’s ‘Tales of the Greek Heroes’. If you like it he also did’Tales of Troy’.

Posted by
71 posts

Madeline Miller has two very good books that are fun to read, Song of Achilles and Circe. Great way to get interested in Greek mythology and the cast of characters.

Posted by
94 posts

OMG! These all sound like great books (after looking at their summaries on Good Reads). By the time I get through all of them, I will be rather knowledgeable...or terribly confused. I've forgotten everything I learned in my college Greek mythology, which was a loooong time ago. Hmmm...I might start with the children's books. Thank you, everyone!

Posted by
347 posts

Definitely The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan! It's a young adult book, but I got completely hooked and ended up reading the entire series. It's fast paced and easy reading.

Posted by
1219 posts

Bulfinch's Mythology - standard reference work in paperback, and since it is in the public domain, apparently free online - so Google tells me.

Posted by
54 posts

I would call these beach reads, not children’s books but easy to read.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Mycenae, Peloponnese)

Circe by Madeline Miller (Knossos in Crete - Minotaur).

Elektra by Jennifer Saint (Mycenae. Peloponnese)

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (Naxos and Knossos in Crete)

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (Peloponnese)

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes (Libya, Siphnos)

The Shadow of Perseus by Claire Heywood (Libya, Siphnos)

The Furries by Natalie Haynes

Posted by
378 posts

How about the Iliad? There are abridged versions that are fairly easy to read, and Homer had such a massive influence on Greek culture that it's worth the investment imo. The gods are in the book quite a bit.

Posted by
54 posts

You might enjoy the BBC series My Greek Odyssey with Bettany Hughes. She doesn’t retell myths, but incorporates the myths into a travel series.
It’s available on Amazon Prime.

Posted by
94 posts

Thank you, astute readers, for your suggestions! I will definitely check out My Greek Odyssey on prime! (Added note: I try to check books out of my libraries. Oh, my, but all the books are very popular. I never would have guessed. After putting several on hold, A Thousand Ships was available.)

Posted by
17 posts

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is a classic (I think it is a kid's book but I enjoyed it as an adult).
Another vote for Song of Achilles and Circe (both adult) and Percy Jackson (middle grade).

Posted by
3118 posts

You can't go wrong with Edith Hamilton's Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

Posted by
16 posts

Another vote for Edith Hamilton's Mythology. I found her writing style enjoyable, easy to read and I was able to retain (well at least a few years ago) a lot which made the sites and museum pieces we saw more meaningful.

Posted by
94 posts

Ok, I'm convinced . I'll drag out my raggedy decades-old college paperback by Edith Hamilton. I remember enjoying it back then. But that's all I remember! I'm enjoying Ariadne right now. It's quite appropriate since it starts on Crete, the Minotaur is killed by Thesus, prince of Athens, and he sails off with Ariadne to abandon her on Naxos (the cad). Dionysus shows up and befriends her. And the rest of the story to come.

Posted by
2316 posts

You have more than you probably have time for, but a good friend of mine recommended listening to the Steven Fry "Mythos" (or "Heroes" or "Troy") as an audio book. He narrates it himself and she said they are pretty spectacular. Have fun getting up to speed (or confused...that would probably be me, too)

Posted by
94 posts

Lots to read, CL. The hubbs might enjoy the audio! Thank you!

Posted by
13 posts

We borrowed a few from our local library system and found the easiest to read were those in the YA young adult section. There is also a DVD by the History Channel called 'Ancient Greece - Gods and Battles. Just picked this up from our local library, expecting a single DVD - but it is 5 DVDs so time for some binge watching.

Posted by
94 posts

Thank you for the recommendation of the dvd's. Unfortunately, my library doesn't carry them and I'm not sure I want to purchase them. However, I downloaded the audiobook of Edith Hamilton's Mythology, and I'm listening to that. This has been an informative post. I hope that it helps others when they search for answers.

Posted by
94 posts

I want to add that I really enjoyed Ariadne by Madeline Miller, especially since we're going to both Naxos and Crete. The book covers a lot of the gods, goddesses, and mortals that are prominent in Greek mythology. I found it more "important" and revealing than Circe.