The history of the Earth is littered with wonderful and fantastical historical tales; some are a myth, some are fiction, and others are regarded as history. Here are five of the best books written in 2020 based on famous stories from humanity’s past.
The passage of time often makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction from the millions of myths and fables that permeate human history. Still, the stories are almost always captivating and fascinating.
That’s the reason why people, even in 2020, love to go back and delve into the histories to try and find out the truth or present a new angle to a story that everyone thinks has already been told. These are three of the best that were published over the past 12 months.
Troy: Our Greatest Story Retold – by Steven Fry
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that hadn’t heard of the battle between Greece and the Trojans at the battle of Troy, even before it was turned into a major motion picture starring none other than Brad Pitt as Achilles. The story is so popular, the idea of a Trojan Horse has become ubiquitous with the feeling that something seems too good to be true, and it has impacted pop-culture massively.
For example, there are a plethora of Troy-themed movies such as The Odyssey. Moreover, there are numerous video games like A Total War Saga: Troy, which was released last year. There is even a slot game based on Troy’s story, Legends of Troy, that can be found on various no deposit bonus casinos such as 888 Casino.
Steven Fry doesn’t add any new information to the story. As the title suggests, it is just a retelling of one of the greatest stories ever told with the added benefit of being done up with the Englishman’s typical flair.
Instead, this book’s big selling point is Fry’s artful high-brow humour and the plethora of detail. It is clear Fry is a big fan of the story and setting because he dives deep into the details. It is a must-read for fans of human history, greek mythology, war stories, or even Fry’s witty prose.
Beneath the Moon – by Yoshi Yoshitani
Those with a more general interest in fables need to look no further than the excellent Beneath the Moon: Fairy Tales, Myths, and Divine Stories from Around the World by Yoshi Yoshitani. Rather than delving deeply into a single particular story, Yoshtani unpacks 78 of the Earth’s fascinating legends and myths in this superb opus to the World’s fantastical history.
Unlike Fry’s book, which does a deep dive into a story that is believed to be reasonably close to natural history, Yoshitani’s novel instead tries to find the real-life roots in stories many consider to be works of fiction, such as the Italian origins of Sleeping Beauty and the old German fable that spawn the story of Repunzel.
As an Asian-American of Japanese descent, Yoshtani’s multi-cultural perspective brings a fascinating and compelling element to the stories that will resonate with a wide range of people. Not only is the book thought-provoking and entertaining, but it also provides an exciting context to some of the World’s oldest-known stories.
Race To The Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse
The final book on our list is a bit different from the others in that it is a work of fiction. Still, it is a fantastic book on its own and an essential read in modern times, especially for American readers.
Rebecca Roanhorse’s Race To The Sun is a young adult fiction novel that is the story of seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay as her and her brother’s lives are turned upside down when their father mysteriously disappears one morning after leaving them a note that says: “Run!”.
Aside from being an excellent read, the book makes it onto the list because of its strong use of Native American cultural ideas, particularly Navajo mythology. It is an essential book for young Americans, mainly because of how interesting and relatable it makes some of the important concepts and ideals of the people who originally inhabited that land.
Along their adventure, Nizhoni and her brother learn essential lessons about sacrifice and loyalty and the importance of their people’s history. And they are lessons we can all learn through their exploits in this beautiful book.