now this is what we call cover art
Le Morte D'Arthur, by Sir Thomas Malory. Completed in 1470 this compilation of Arthurian tales is pretty much definitive. Unless you are a purist, we recommend you skip the original Middle English version. There's only so much
"So torne we vnto sir Lamorak that rode toward Arthurs courte / and sire Tristrams wyf and Kehydyus took a vessel and sailed in to Bretayne vnto kynge Howel where he was welcome"
one can take without wanting to throw oneself on an actual sword to end the agony.
The Constitutional Peasant
Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Okay, so it's not a book. Get over it. It's a legend in it's own right and if you've never seen it, you are depriving yourself of the unique experience of laughing so hard that you pee your pants. Grab and pair of diapers and rent it.
The Once and Future King, by T.H. White. Drawing heavily from Malory's definitive text, The Once and Future King was once required reading for all high school students. There's a reason for that.
The queen of Camelot herself, Mary Stewart
Mary Stewart's Arthurian Saga. Written in the 1970s, Mary Stewart thrilled Camelot fans with her quintet of books. The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment and The Wicked Day are all still widely available in used bookstores.
Helen Hollick's The Pendragon's Banner Trilogy. Hollick's hunky, yet very-bad-boy Arthur is a must-read for fans of the legend. This is a fairly recent release here in the U.S. and one of our favorites.
The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Focusing on the women of Arthurian legend, The Mists of Avalon has garnered an almost cult-like following since it's publication in 1982. Bradley later collaborated with author Diana L. Paxson and wrote an entire series on the women of Avalon, but none surpass the original.
Twilight of Avalon (planned) Trilogy, by Anna Elliott. Rounding out a superb field, author Anna Elliott deserves to be included for her portrayal of Trystan and Isolde and their role in Arthurian literature. Elliott leaves behind the sappy romance in favor of a strong plot, complex characters and an all-around engrossing story. We fell in love with Twilight of Avalon, the first of the trilogy, and the second installment, Dark Moon of Avalon, hits bookstores today. Trust us, it's pretty fabulous.