It seems appropriate that I'm going to recycle two books from my 2017 reading list for this challenge, as I've chosen for my "theme within a theme" my favorite archetype, the nature spirit called the Green Man.
The Green Man hearkens back to the god Pan in Greek mythology, although instead of being half goat he's half (or more) vegetation. Numerous medieval churches and cathedrals include his image and I've always been fascinated by their presence, which remains the subject of much theorizing among cultural historians. Sometimes exuberant, sometimes comic, sometimes gruesome, the Green Man echoes the contrasts of the natural world.
This fun challenge, hosted with enthusiasm by Carolyn of Riedel Fascination, is the perfect nudge for me to read more about him. Learn more about it here, and please note that it runs February 1, 2018, through January 31, 2019, providing a nice offset with other challenges that stick to the calendar year.
The Land of the Green Man: A Journey Through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles - Carolyne Larrington
new: The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama - Lord Raglan (husband of Lady Raglan, who first researched the Green Man, and the Joseph Campbell of his day)
If I can find and read more books on this topic, I will. For now, I'm happy to keep the bar pretty low.