Do you want to read outside your comfort zone in 2019?  Take Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge—a list of 24 categories of books that you may not have read before.  To keep you motivated, we’ll feature one of the categories each week in the e-newsletter along with suggestions from our collection and beyond.  We’re going to feature the categories in order of how they appear on the list, but feel free to tackle the them in any order you like!  For the full list from Book Riot, click here.

The Folklore of Maine by Horace P. Beck
This is not a scholarly book in the pedantic sense nor is it intended to be one. Neither is it a complete collection of Maine folklore. Rather, it is a selection of tales, beliefs, superstitions, songs, and customs of the people of English-speaking stock in Maine. It is a book that attempts to give illustrations of most of the major aspects of folklore that are, or have been within the last twenty years, extant in the state. Undoubtedly some aspects, dear to the heart of a reader, will have been left out. If such is the case, the author hopes sincerely that the critic will see fit to fill in the vacant spaces.

Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch
For almost a century and a half, Bulfinch’s Mythology has been the text by which the great tales of the gods and goddesses, Greek and Roman antiquity; Scandinavian, Celtic, and Oriental fables and myths; and the age of chivalry have been known.

The Encyclopedia of Eastern Mythology by Rachel Storm
This is an authoritative A to Z guide to the mythologies and legends of the East, from ancient Egypt to Japan. It features over 500 alphabetical entries that describe the central mythical figures of each culture and their importance to the ancient civilizations of the day. Superb pictorial spreads illustrate the themes and symbols at the heart of each culture, from the pyramids and ziggurats of Egypt and Babylon, to the sacred rivers of India, and the Seven Gods of Fortune of Japan.

On the Trail of Elder Brother: Glous’gap Stories of the Micmac Indians by Michael B. RunningWolf
Follows Glous’gap, the embodiment of the Great Spirit, during the time he lived among the Micmac. When he arrives, the earth is barely formed. Glous’gap helps to shape it and populate it with creatures and plants. He teaches his people the right way to live, and how to live together harmoniously in the natural world. He battles the monsters who threaten them–a water-hoarding monster, a fearsome lake serpent, a giant bird of prey, and an evil sorceress, among them. By the time he leaves, the world has become a more settled place.

Twelve Grindstones: Or a few more good ones, being another cultural roundup of Maine folklore by John Gould
Twelve Grindstones continues the laughter and wisdom, the leg-pulling and the literate chuckling of John Gould. Starting down the road to hilarity, there are some old stories and some new stories, all of them great stories from the canon of Maine folklore. Within are some long and some tall tales about blueberry picking, railroading, wood buying, lobster wars, and bootlegging.

Every tongue got to confess: Negro folk-tales from the Gulf states by Zora Neale Hurston
A book of folktales about love, slavery, faith, family, race, and community, collected in the late 1920s, represents a large part of the author’s literary legacy and details African American life in the rural South.

Happy Reading!