6 Books on Legends and Lore To Start Right Now

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Folklore

To truly know a place and its people, you must understand their legends, myths and superstitions. Folktales are more than stories; they reflect a culture’s values, fears and beliefs. They are passed down through generations to teach as well as entertain, and are inspired by everything from the natural landscape to well-known figures. The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, one of America’s best-known folktales, can be traced to the influential events and figures of our nation’s early history.

Check out the epic reads below for a collection of American legends & lore that would ensnare even the Grimm Brothers’ imaginations. 

Legends and Lore

Legends and Lore of East Tennessee by Shane S. Simmons

Cover image of Legends and Lore of East Tennessee

The mountains of East Tennessee are chock full of unique folklore passed down through generations. Locals spin age-old yarns of legends like Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone and Dragging Canoe. Stories of snake-handling churches and the myths behind the death crown superstitions dot the landscape. Author Shane Simmons explores tales of bravery, lore and bizarre customs within the East Tennessee region. You can find this book here!

Legends and Lore of the Mississippi Golden Gulf Coast by Edmond Boudreaux Jr.

Cover image of Legends and Lore of the Mississippi Golden Gulf Coast

The story of the Mississippi Golden Gulf Coast can’t be told without a few tall tales–pirates, buried treasure, ghosts and colorful characters pepper its diverse past. From incredible stories of the pirate Jean Lafitte to iconic legends like Barq’s Root Beer, travel from Bay St. Louis to Biloxi to discover the legends and lore of Mississippi’s Golden Gulf Coast. You can find this book here!

Forgotten Tales

Forgotten Tales of Wisconsin by Martin Hintz

Cover image of Forgotten Tales of Wisconsin

Martin Hintz makes even the slow times of the Badger State fly by in this collection of Wisconsin’s forgotten memories.  Track down ancient Algonkin legends like the great serpent that swam up the Mississippi looking for copper, and drop in on modern legends like Les Paul, whose guitar spun records into gold. You can find this book here!

Forgotten Tales of Texas by Clay Coppedge

Cover image of Forgotten Tales of Texas

From El Chupacabra to the Marx Brothers, Clay Coppedge has a talent for digging into Texas’s most unusual history. Strange as they may seem, many of these Texas-sized legends are surprisingly true, like Pancho Villa’s film contract and the notorious Crash at Crush, a staged train collision and failed publicity stunt that turned tragic outside of Katy. Whether fact or lore, each tale is part of a fascinating heritage. You can find this book here!

Larger Than Life Figures

Tall Tales and Half Truths of Billy the Kid by John LeMay

Cover image of Tall Tales and Half Truths of Billy the Kid

While many books on Billy the Kid aim to demystify his illusory life, this one-of-a-kind collection proudly has no such intention. Discover all of the  potentially true—but very unlikely and highly embellished—stories of the Kid’s life, death and enthralling life thereafter. Author John LeMay unveils the many forgotten and discarded tales of the legendary William H. Bonney, an everlasting emblem of the American West. You can find this book here!

Calamity Jane and Her Siblings: The Saga of Lena and Elijah Canary By Jan Cerney

Cover image of Calamity Jane and her Siblings: The Saga of Lena and Elijah Canary

The mere mention of Calamity Jane conjures up images of buckskins, bull whips and dance halls, but there’s more to the woman than the storied legend she became. From brother Elijah’s horse thieving to sister Lena’s denial of Calamity Jane tales, author Jan Cerney uncovers the tumultuous Canary family often overlooked in the Calamity canon. You can find this book here!

Can’t get enough? Here are some similar titles in Legends and Lore below! You can also explore more books in this category at arcadiapublishing.com.