On Myth and Monsters

By Anne C.

As the shadows lengthen and the autumn winds begin to wuther, you might find your fancy turning to the darker corners of the world and the things that creep and lurk there. Things that growl. Things that hunt.  Magical things. Terrifying things. Monsters.

But, what is a monster? Where does the idea of monstrousness come from, and why are we so fascinated with it? For insight, you need look no further than the library’s nonfiction collection.

On Monsters: An Unnatural History of our Worst FearsClick here to find On Monsters in the SPL catalog, by Stephen T. Asma. Explore an array of “monsters,” from biblical figures to folktale characters and frightening creatures of flesh and blood, both animal and human.

Click here to find Killing Monsters in the SPL catalogKilling Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-believe Violence, by Gerard Jones. Should we be alarmed by the childhood fascination with conquering “bad guys”? Maybe not.

Click here to find The Lucifer Effect in the SPL catalogThe Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, by Philip G. Zimbardo. The author of the Stanford Prison Experiments examines many specific examples of human “evil” to see how it came about and what we can learn from it.

Click here to find Shadow Dance in the SPL catalogShadow dance: Liberating the Power and Creativity of your Dark Side, by David Richo. There is a shadow, a monster, in each of us. Can embracing and understanding it make us stronger?

Click here to find Monsters of the Gévaudan in the SPL catalogMonsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of A Beast, by Jay M. Smith. In the mid-18th Century, residents of rural France were terrorized by stories of a great beast. Find out what truths underlay these tales and how the two are connected.

Find these books and more in The Seattle Public Library Catalog by selecting the search option “lists” and using the keywords “Monsters (nonfiction.)” Or just click here!

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