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Best Folklore Books You Must Read

Until you’ve consumed all of the best Folklore books, can you even claim to be a true fan?

1. The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore (2015)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadMonsters, ghosts, fantastic beings, and supernatural phenomena of all sorts haunt the folklore and popular culture of Japan. Broadly labeled yokai, these creatures come in infinite shapes and sizes, from tengu mountain goblins and kappa water spirits to shape-shifting foxes and long-tongued ceiling-lickers. Currently popular in anime, manga, film, and computer games, many yokai originated in local legends, folktales, and regional ghost stories. Drawing on years of research in Japan, Michael Dylan Foster unpacks the history and cultural context of yokai, tracing…
Author(s): Michael Dylan Foster, Shinonome Kijin

2. Favorite Folktales from Around the World (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) (1988)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadFrom Africa, Burma, and Czechoslovakia to Turkey, Vietnam, and Wales here are more than 150 of the world’s best-loved folktales from more than forty countries and cultures. These tales of wonder and transformation, of heroes and heroines, of love lost and won, of ogres and trolls, stories both jocular and cautionary and legends of pure enchantment will delight readers and storytellers of all ages.With black-and-white drawings throughoutPart of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library…
Author(s): Jane Yolen

3. Encyclopedia of Beasts and Monsters in Myth, Legend and Folklore (2016)

 Best Folklore Books You Must Read"Here there be dragons"–this notation was often made on ancient maps to indicate the edges of the known world and what lay beyond. Heroes who ventured there were only as great as the beasts they encountered. This encyclopedia contains more than 2,200 monsters of myth and folklore, who both made life difficult for humans and fought by their side. Entries describe the appearance, behavior, and cultural origin of mythic creatures well-known and obscure, collected from traditions around the world….
Author(s): Theresa Bane

4. Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees (Dover Pictorial Archive) (2003)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadThis profusely illustrated archive of more than 200 flowers, plants, and trees was compiled by Ernst and Johanna Lehner — two of the world’s foremost collectors of pictorial symbols (who also happen to be devoted flower enthusiasts). Their comprehensive collection, with illustrations selected from rare sources, extends from the image of a pomegranate, the Chinese symbol of fertility, to a basket of flowers in a nineteenth-century Valentine silhouette. A profusion of bouquets, wreaths, flowers of the months, and other floral designs are also…
Author(s): Ernst Lehner, Johanna Lehner

5. British Goblins: Welsh Folklore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (2017)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadOne of the most beautiful and complete collections of stories, legends, myths, folktales, and traditions to ever emerge from Wales. Compiled by an American—the United States consul for Wales in the late nineteenth century—this volume was the work of several years’ labor.Scouring the hills and valleys of Wales after falling in love with the land, the author wrote down the oral traditions, stories, myths, and legends related to him by the people he met on his travels. The result was a spectacular work, divided up into four sections: “Faerie Realm,” the…
Author(s): Wirt Sikes

6. Appalachian Folklore Omens, Signs and Superstitions (2011)

 Best Folklore Books You Must Read‘Appalachian Folklore: Omens, Signs and Superstitions’ explores the historical and cultural evolution of the pioneers who first ventured into the Appalachian Mountains. It includes hundreds of whimiscal superstitions as well as folk cures, charms, and chants practiced by the early settlers of Appalachia….
Author(s): Nancy Richmond

7. Chinese Mythology: A Captivating Guide to Chinese Folklore Including Fairy Tales, Myths, and Legends from Ancient China (2018)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadMost Americans know about Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology. But folk stories from ancient China give different viewpoints and a deeper understanding of society’s roots. It can be challenging for Americans to find a comprehensive collection of Chinese myths considering that there are several versions and translations available. How many of these Americans miss out supernatural Chinese tales that could educate and excite them…without even realizing? You see, most readers make the same mistakes – they either can’t find a good collection of Chinese myths, or they only find dull textbooks. You may…
Author(s): Matt Clayton

8. Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs (2002)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadOver a decade in the making, Medieval Folklore offers a wide-ranging guide to the lore of the Middle Ages–from the mundane to the supernatural. Definitive and lively articles focus on the great tales and traditions of the age and includes information on daily and nightly customs and activities; religious beliefs of the pagan, Christian, Muslim, and Jew; key works of oral and written literature; traditional music and art; holidays and feasts; food and drink; and plants and animals, both real and fantastical.While most books on medieval folklore…
Author(s): Carl Lindahl, John McNamara, et al.

9. Backwoods Witchcraft: Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia (2019)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadIn Backwoods Witchcraft, Jake Richards offers up a folksy stew of family stories, lore, omens, rituals, and conjure crafts that he learned from his great-grandmother, his grandmother, and his grandfather, a Baptist minister who Jake remembers could “rid someone of a fever with an egg or stop up the blood in a wound.” The witchcraft practiced in Appalachia is very much a folk magic of place, a tradition that honors the seen and unseen beings that inhabit the land as well as the soil, roots, and plant life.The materials and tools used in Appalachia witchcraft are readily available from the land. This “grounded approach” will be of keen interest…
Author(s): Jake Richards, Starr Casas

10. Slavic Witchcraft: Old World Conjuring Spells and Folklore (2019)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadA practical guide to the ancient magical tradition of Russian sorcery and Eastern Slavic magical rites • Offers step-by-step instructions for more than 300 spells, incantations, charms, amulets, and practical rituals for love, career success, protection, healing, divination, communicating with spirits and ancestors, and other challenges and situations • Reveals specific places of magical power in the natural world as well as the profound power of graveyards and churches for casting spells • Explores the folk history of this ancient magical tradition, including how…
Author(s): Natasha Helvin

11. Folklore of the Scottish Highlands (2000)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadThe folklore of the Scottish Highlands is unique and very much alive. Anne Ross is a Gaelic-speaking scholar and archaeologist who has lived and worked in crofting communities, which has enabled her to collect information firsthand and assess the veracity of material already published. In this substantially revised edition of a classic work first published 25 years ago, she portrays the beliefs and customs of Scottish Gaelic society, including seasonal customs deriving from Celtic festivals, the famous waulking songs, the Highland tradition of seers and second sight, omens and taboos, chilling experiences of witchcraft, and rituals…
Author(s): Anne Ross

12. Myths Legends of Japan (Classic Reprint) (2015)

 Best Folklore Books You Must ReadExcerpt from Myths Legends of JapanIn writing Myths and Legends of Japan I have been much indebted to numerous authorities on Japanese subjects, and most especially to Lafcadio Hearn, who first revealed to me the Land of the Gods. It is impossible to enumerate all the writers who have assisted me in preparing this volume. I have borrowed from their work as persistently as Japan has borrowed from other countries, and I sincerely hope that, like Japan herself, I have made good use of the material I have obtained from so many sources.I am indebted to…
Author(s): F. Hadland Davis

Best Folklore Books You Must Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some folklore books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Mystical Year: Folklore, Magic and Nature

Author(s): Alison Davies
ID: 2773355, Publisher: Quadrille Publishing, Year: 2020, Size: 10 Mb, Format: epub

A Dictionary of Hinduism: Its Mythology, Folklore and Development, 1500 B.C.–A.D. 1500

Author(s): Margaret Stutley, James Stutley
ID: 2392088, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Format: epub

Islamic Folklore The Staff of Prophet Musa AS (Moses) English Edition

Author(s): Jannah Firdaus Mediapro
ID: 2405998, Publisher: Jannah Firdaus Mediapro Studio, Year: 2019, Size: 7 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are truly best-sellers according to Los Angeles Times, others are drafted by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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