Read A Myth Challenge and A Little Help, Please

It was exciting to open my Google Reader this morning and discover that JoV of Bibliojunkie and Bina of If You Can Read This are hosting the Read A Myth Challenge which begins January 1 through December 31, 2011.

Here are the levels:

Level 1 Athena: That’s a Myth!
Read any two (2) books about myths.

Level 2 Erlang Chen: Demystify the Myth!

Read any four (4) books about myths.

Level 3 Mimir: World Myth!

Read any 6 books from the myth series must covers 2 different countries, including any one from the following list:

  • non-fiction book on the study of mythology (figure), or
  • Karen Armstrong’s A short history of myth,
  • or The original text of myth (many to choose from the Greek Mythology)

Level 4 Ogma: The God of all Myths!
Mix and match of any 8 books from the myth series or any mythology books, with the following conditions:

  •  Must cover more than 3 countries.
  •  Must contain at least 1 non-fiction book on mythology study.

So, here’s the deal. Knowing that I love novels best, I wanted to find books which were based on myth. In my search, Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase came up, as well as his Kafka On The Shore, both of which I’ve read. But, these are exactly the kind of thing I want: a wonderful author doing something unusual with myth in there somewhere.

Only, I don’t know many titles like that. All I have so far is Angela Carter’s The Magical Toyshop.

 So, do you have any suggestions for me?

After a bit of research, I’m thinking of these titles:

Have you any thoughts on these? To me, they all look wonderful!

18 thoughts on “Read A Myth Challenge and A Little Help, Please”

  1. I'm sorry I cannot help you. I can only tell you that this challenge is making me reconsider my "no challenges" theme for next year. I am desperate to take part. Though, I admit, on a lower level. I'm assuming you already looked at the suggested reading list, because there are quite a few "reworkings" of myths on that one.


  2. There's the Canongate Myth series which are retellings by contemporary writers. Also, on an offside as I'm not sure whether you would read this, but Dan Simmons has written an alternative Greek myth sff book called 'Ilium' (sequel is 'Olympos') which I found strange but interesting.


  3. So excited you signed up! 🙂 The Angela Carter looks good, I have to admit to not having read anything by her so far.Have you looked at the suggested reading list on our site? I'm also curious about the titles others will come up with. I've found it helpful to choose a specific myth and than google it, to come up with novels (e.g. Pgymalion myth -> Glatea 2.0 by Richard Powers)But when I find more titles, I'll add them to our list 🙂


  4. Read a myth challenge welcomes you! I am personally interested to know more about Angela Carter's "The Magic Toyshop". Bina and I will be happy to expand our suggested reading list when we hear more about new titles. 🙂


  5. I have looked at the suggested lists on the site, and I find them very helpful. I know traditional mythology books, have several in fact on my classroom shelves. It's just that I was especially looking for something novel-ish (is that a word?) revolving around those famous myths. That's a great idea to google a specific myth; I've been googling 'contemporary mythology' or 'fiction based on myths' and coming up with not much. I've not yet read anything by Angela Carter, either, by the way. 😉


  6. Bellezza ~ As you might imagine, the Proserpina who inspired my current post is not at all myth-challenged. She has classical training and background – a native of Italy – and knows absolutely everything about myth. She reads voraciously and knows her authors. I'll give her a link to this and see what she might come up with.


  7. Oh Bellezza, I'm not supposed to be joining challenges…did you really need to tell me about this?!! 😉 This is one of many areas where my reading is seriously lacking, but my 9-year-old has been so interested in mythology lately that my interest has been sparked as well. Don't know if this will be of any use to you, but when I first read your post, I ran off in search of ideas for reading and found this list someone had posted on Amazon. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with.


  8. I'm not positive about the myth part, but Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad I think based on Penelope of The Odyssey? Surely I'm not completely making that up… You know who would be a great source? Ana/Nymeth. I bet she could tell you right off the bat books that are based on myth. I know she's talked about several but titles escape me.


  9. Linda, I really enjoyed your post on color, and thank you for sharing Proserpina with me/us. I'm sure she'd have a ton of suggestions having to do with myth; she seems such a fascinating person.Debi, thanks for the link. And, please consider joining us? You (and Chris and Anna) are far more knowledgeable in mythologgy and fantasy than I could ever hope to me!Suko, I was stymied myself until I researched far into the night. Look how long it took me to come up with less than ten titles as possibilities!Trish, no need to ever apologize to me! I love all your thoughts, especially if I think them, too. 😉 Seriously, your suggestions are important to me.Fleur Fisher, thanks for visiting me. I so enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog.


  10. B, if you've read The Odyssey, The Penelopiad would be a wonderful thing for you. But if not, while still being a nice enough book, you'll miss underlying meanings and other things.xo


  11. A response from Proserpina, via Shoreacres, with a huge thank you from me:On my WU blog I mentioned the play by O’Neill “Mourning Becomes Electra”, and the well known book by James Joyce “Ulysses”. 1. Renault. The King Must Die (Theseus and the Minotaur)The Bull from the Sea (Thesues' later life)Evangeline Walton The Sword Is Forged (Theseus and Hippolyta)Henry Treece. JasonThe Eagle King (Oedipus)The Amber Princess (Electra)Gladys Schmidt. ElectraRichard Powell. Whom the Gods Would Destroy (Troy)Robert Graves. Hercules, My Shipmate, aka The Golden Fleece(the Argo)Homer's Daughter (the Odyssey, in a way)Leonard Wibberly. Homeward to Ithaka (the Odyssey, by way of Ireland and the Cattle Raid of Cooley) John Erskine. Penelope's Man (the Odyssey–I didn't much like thisone)The Private Life of Helen of Troy (after the Trojan War)Michael Ayrton. The Maze-Maker (Daedalus and the Making of the Labyrinth)


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