Disclaimer: I haven’t read all of Terry Pratchett’s books. Maybe the ones I’m yet to read will be my favourites. However, I’ve read at least 20 of them, so I reckon this qualifies him to be my recommended author this month, joining my previously featured authors: Daphne du Maurier, Stella Gibbons and David Wiesner.
You’ve probably heard of the Discworld series of fantasy novels. According to the official author website, there are 41 of them, beginning with The Colour of Magic (1983) and ending with The Shepherd’s Crown (2015). There are many brilliant things about these books. For a start, they’re funny and eccentric. They also parody our own world, with a fantasy spin. The recurring characters seem like old friends once you’ve read a few of the books; different books focus on particular groups of characters, such as the witches, Death and his family, the Watch (policemen) and the wizards at Unseen University (whose librarian is famously an orangutan).
My own favourite Discworld books include the Moist von Lipwig trilogy (Going Postal, Making Money, Raising Steam), Lords and Ladies and The Light Fantastic. You don’t have to read any of the series in their order of publication, although it may be a good idea to start with the first few books as an introduction to the characters. A few of the books are for a YA audience but there isn’t much difference between those and the books for adults, except for The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, which is more obviously a children’s book. There are also graphic novels, atlases and guides which are based on the Discworld novels.
The late Sir Pratchett has published many other books. His quirky books for children, including the Bromeliad trilogy (Truckers, Diggers, Wings), the Johnny Maxwell trilogy and The Carpet People are all worth a read. He also collaborated with science fiction author Stephen Baxter on the Long Earth series for adults, which I haven’t yet got around to reading, and wrote Good Omens with Neil Gaiman. Since Terry’s death in 2015 there have been new editions of his work and he’s remembered fondly by legions of fans.