The Norse Myths, Gods of the Vikings, Kevin Crossley-Holland, published by Penguin Books, 1987, ISBN 0-14-006056-1
The Scandinavian myths form a linked chain of stories -- creating a mighty, fantastical world, teeming with gods and goddesses, master-smiths and magicians, where battles between gods and gians exist alongside unexpected love matches, until the final days of destruction with their promise of rebirth.
Using his talents as poet, translator and author, Kevin Crossley-Holland brings myths alive, revealing a dynamic culture in which is reflected the Norseman's spirit and confidence, his ruthlessness and cruelty, arrogance and generosity.
In the Introduction, Crossley-Holland describes the cosmology, the layout of the worlds and provides a brief history of the Vikings. The Myths are then presented, in somewhat of an order, with a very explicit Notes section in the back.
This book is excellent for beginners, as it provides the required mythologies which are a starting point to understanding a culture.