The Culture of the Teutons, by Vilhelm Gronbech: Spend enough time in Asatru and Heathen circles, and you’ll see the same arguments and counters pop up with such certainty that you can set your watch by them. Someone brings up this book or that author, and some “scholar” will pop up and dismiss anything said because they can’t find a connection of some kind in the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, or the Culture of the Teutons. Well, I’m only in the beginning of the book but I’ll say this; I’m beginning to wonder how much these scholars read it, because I’m finding loopholes to their own arguments within. Damn good book though.
The Hobbit, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkein: I swear that I basically read this book once or twice a year from 5th grade up through 12th, and I still read it once or twice after. Now I’m reading it to SH each night at bed, with the lady pet holding up the graphic novel version, so the five year old attention span has something to visually digest. I also had the graphic novel version at one point, when I was just beginning to read and embrace my inner dork, so it’s probably been on of the more awesome things our little family does.
Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman: I’ve been on the look out for interesting children’s books (because Bilbo won’t last forever, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a bit beyond a five year old) and interesting variations of Norse myth (because, well, Odin). Imagine my surprise when I encountered both in the same…written by Neil Gaiman, an author who I had been told had a certain “Pratchett-ness” to his writing style. Very short, but extremely awesome. Was not disappointed in the slightest. Also realize how much I need to look into Gaiman now.
The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander: I started with this series in 7th grade, and I revisited the first book out of the aforementioned question for children’s literature worthy of bed time. I was surprised how poorly the book had aged. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it didn’t hold up to the memory. The Hobbit did, and it’s hard to put a finger on what Tolkein brought to the table that Alexander left out. Still a good book, and once I get my hands on a copy of Hero with a Thousand Faces I plan on revisiting the book to contrast and compare in regards to how Tarran of Caer Dallban stacks up in regards to the hero’s journey.