Recommended Pagan Books (For Adults)
Updated: Aug 6, 2020
One of the most common questions I see regarding Norse Mythology is where to start and what to read. There are many books I've found that myself and many others recommend. I've sorted them into two (2) categories below: Resource Books and Fiction. I've attached a little blurb to the bottom of each to help introduce the books to you. If you've like to learn more, click on the picture of the book to be redirected to its website.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
This is the best introductory book for adults. The stories are well laid out and easy to follow. Some would argue that Neil Gaimon added his own twist to the stories, but they are more-or-less the same. I recommend this book for people who want to get into Norse Mythology because it's a great 'hook' and it will provide you with all the basic understanding of the myths.
The Poetic Edda by Jackson Crawford
Straight from the source! Of course there aren't many of us who understand Old Norse or the Runic literature, but Jackson Crawford does an amazing job with his translations. They're done in a way that is easy to follow and understand. It's also available on Audible. So if you don't feel like reading, you can listen to it on your commutes. Jackson Crawford is an instructor of Nordic Studies and a Coordinator of the Nordic Program. He teaches the language of Old Norse, Norse mythology, and the history of the Scandinavian languages. He is well-educated, with a B.a. in Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; and M.A. in Linguistics, and a Ph.D in Scandinavian Studies.
The World Of The Viking Gods by Njörður P. Njarðvík
This was my first book on Norse Mythology. I picked it up at the Reykjavík airport in Iceland after my trip to the Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, Sweden. I was set on finding a book that reflected all I had just learned at its Viking Exhibit. It was frustrating to find something offering authentic information. This book ended up being the most authentic of which I could find at the time given the information I had on what to look for in literature. Upon closer look at the author, it makes sense why his book was closest to the information I learned at the museum. Njörður P. Njarðvík is a well educated teacher and journalist who has a Cand. mag degree in Icelandic studies, and a PhD in Norse Philology from the University of Gothenburg, His book is a very quick read and is available in many different languages. The Wanderer's Hávamál by Jackson Crawford
If you really want to dive into the religion aspect of Norse Mythology, The Hávamál is a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking Age known as 'Words of the High One' - probably referring to Odin. I am not particularly religious in any sense of the word, but I really enjoy reading the philosophy being shared through words of advise and wisdom. You'll even notice that I have begun sharing some quotes from The Hávamál which resonate with me on my social media pages. I thought I was biased using Jackson Crawford a second time, so I reached out to a group of die-hard Heathens on Facebook to ask for a second opinion. Most backed-up my conclusion, but one other suggested the translations offered by D.L. Ashliman.
The following books are not created for educative purposes, but they are tales based on lends and myths that exist. If you're looking for a way to escape reality while getting familiar with some of the aspects of Norse Mythology, these will be great for you to check out: Horn of the Kraken by Stephen Pearl
Personally I am blown away by this book! It is book one of a Norse series called 'The Bastard Prince Saga'. It mentions some familiar characters from Norse Mythology like Skoll and Hati, the two cosmic wolves who pursue the sun and moon through the sky in hopes to devour them. The Horn of the Kraken is set in the Sword Age of Ragnarok on the premise that the sun and the moon have been devoured by Skoll and Hati. In this Norse apocalypse, a group of heroes must steal the Horn of Kraken from Hakon - the bastard pretender to the throne of Norveig. It is he who is using the Horn of the Kraken to sink the ships of his brother, Jarl Eric Bloodaxe, in a bid to win the war between them. If you enjoy chilling adventure, excitement and humor, you should really check this out! The author himself is a Pagan Priest who has studied metaphysics, magical practices and cultures of the Ancient Norse, Egyptians, Celts, and a various other Pagan peoples. He instructs classes on Norse Runes and psychic self defense; and his writing ranges from the science-based, deep into the metaphysical without ever losing sight of the fact that the purpose of fiction is to entertain.
The Immortal MacKinnon's Series by Treasa Klöth
This Viking romance series follows strong women who bow to no man and resist love any every turn. Their burning fiery tends to lead them to protecting their own clans, and finding themselves in battles alongside (or against) those they have no interest admiring. With a fight for dominance at every turn, will these main characters surrender to passion? What happens when they have to go into a war that threatens destroys the Nine Realms? Ba ba baaaa!
What I find interesting about this series (other than it sounding like it's made for my YA romance obsession) is that the author takes inspiration for her stories from current history paranormals and her family's viking reenactment lifestyle. The author, Treasa Klöth, is a Romance Writer for Magick Moon, Ink., and has a major in History and Communications. She has studied Cultural Studies, English and German.
For now this is all the recommendations I have. I hope you enjoy reading the books above, and check back often to learn if I've grown the list any. If you have any recommendations, please add them to the comment section below. I'd love to take a look to explore other books and series. As always, thanks for reading, Jennifer Hartman Author, Old Mother Frost A Pagan Kids Book About the Author: A writer of research-based, Norse Mythology books for kids, Jennifer Hartman attempts to connect children of different backgrounds by simplifying the pagan origins of current holidays in a child-friendly format. Her first project, Old Mother Frost, is a Yuletide book set to be self-published and released in November 2020.
For more information, please follow her on Facebook or Instagram under @PaganKids, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.