Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday [13]

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that allows bloggers to share their top ten lists for that week’s topics

Top Ten Books That Would Be on Your Syllabus If You Taught Norse Mythology in Modern Lit 101

I was inspired by the Tolkien class offered at my undergrad college, and the Scandinavian and Old English lit class I took there.  I was also inspired by my recent reading of the Wolfsangel Cycle.

1 - The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

I had to start with the obvious choice.  But it's also a good place to start to see Norse references in modern lit.  Tolkien was an Old English professor so he was very well versed in the sagas.  He incorporated a lot of themes from Norse mythology in this book in particular (the Lord of the Rings doesn't have quite as many references).  My favorite Norse bit that was brought in was the battle of wits between Bilbo and Gollum aka the riddle contest.  It is so very Odin/Loki.

2 - Thor: God of Thunder from Marvel

As much as I hate how the Norse gods are portrayed in Marvel, it is a major part of modern society.  I would probably pair this with one of the Thor movies as well.

3 - Going Bovine by Libba Bray

This book was recommended to me because of Balder.  I refused to read it because Balder is a lawn gnome.  But despite the horrible inaccuracies of Norse mythology when inserted into modern lit, they are still in modern lit.

4 - Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones

This book has a lot of Odin in it, as well as the mythology surrounding him.

5 - American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This book is littered with mythological references.  The first and foremost Norse reference being that Wednesday is Odin.

6 - Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout

This book deals with more than just Odin, a lot of other Norse gods make an appearance, as does Ragnarok.

7 - The Wild Road by Gabriel King

This one has a suprising amount of Norse mythology for being about cats.  For starters there's Majicou who is essentially Odin.  One for Sorrow who is the incarnation of Hugin and Munin.

8 - Wolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan

This one was a no brainer to be added to Norse mythology in modern lit.  It's all about Ragnarok and the gods being reincarnated in people to play out the end of the world.

9 - Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

This one, I was pleasantly surprised to see that almost all of the gods referenced were Norse.  The best part though, was that they never said who the gods were, you have to use your Norse mythology knowledge to figure it out.

10 - Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Yep, finishing out the curriculum with some Manga.  Norse mythology is huge in Japanese culture for some reason, so it's only right to include the Japanese perspective from their own modern lit.


  1. Great list! I LOVED Going Bovine! You always have such interesting lists so keep them coming ;) I hope to see you around my blog today and please let me know what you think of Sarah Mandell's post!


  2. Wonderful topic and list entries! I've only read one of these... Here's my TTT list.

  3. I've only read three of the ones on your list, but I'm very interested in the topic. I would sign up for your class. :)

    Check out my TTT and my Read This? Watch This! Tag.

  4. Very interesting topic for a class - I can see that being in an actual university too! My TTT

  5. Ooh, unique topic! I'm totally obsessed with Attack on Titan right now --Is Ymir the Norse part of it? I know there's definitely German influence in the names ... but I thought "Greek" when I first heard "Titan." =)

    Rick Riordan's upcoming Magnus Chase series is supposed to be his contemporary take on Norse mythology. Another YA/teen series, The Brotherband Chronicles(?) by John Flanagan I think might fit as well? I haven't read them myself, but my younger brother enjoys them --Norse/Viking inspired fantasy novels.

    1. Yes, Ymir is from Norse Mythology, specifically the creation story. He's a Frost Giant that Odin and his brothers killed, then used his body to make the earth.

      I'm looking forward to the Magnus Chase books, that was one of my Waiting on Wednesdays. I haven't heard of the Brotherband Chronicles though, I'll have to check it out!

    2. Gotcha --I'm inspired to look into Norse mythology now ... it'll be good to be familiar with the basics for Magnus Chase --Riordan's clever to tie it in to Annabeth's family ... not that he needed a connection like that to keep PJatO/HoO fans to keep reading his books. =)

      The series is connected to the same world Flanagan's "Ranger's Apprentice" books --medieval-ish fantasy, I read and really liked the first 4, but haven't gotten around to finishing them --you might enjoy that one too!