In case you've not heard yet, this week is Terry Pratchett Reading Week here at At Armchair by the Sea, celebrating the life and work of a great author. Today's post has been written before in many variants throughout the blogosphere, so I'm going to attempt to round up some of the most helpful posts I've found along with my own pointers for the Pratchett newbie (of which I know there are a few floating around!). If you've never read Pratchett before it can be easy to be intimidated by the sheer amount of books available, and everybody will give you different advice on where to start and which is their favourite so here's my opinion!
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There are many articles available which will give you details breakdowns of all the various mini series and characters, and in the interest of not writing something that's already been written I shall just point you in their direction.
Various starting points suggest themselves and I'm sure others will have their own suggestions, which I hope they'll share in the comments! My suggestions would be...
The Bromeliad (Truckers, Diggers & Wings) - this is where most people I know (but not me) started with Pratchett. I'm reading Truckers for the first time this week and I can see why - it's light, a little bit satirical and generally hilarious. Full of fantasy but so related to reality that at time, as often happens with Sir Terry, you forget it's fantasy you're reading.
The Wee Free Men - The first book in the mini series about Tiffany Aching (a 9 year old witch) and the Nac Mac Feegle. This series is technically YA and the tone is a little more accessible if you're not used to Pratchett's writing. It's also hilarious (of course), and the Nac Mac Feegle are as full of drinking and swearing and general debauchery as you'd wish for little leprechaun type characters to be. After you've read this and the other three Tiffany Aching books (A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight) you can head backwards and read the rest of the Witches books (starting with Equal Rites).
Hogfather - A really good introduction to the characters of Susan and Death and a satire of Christmas and particularly Father Christmas. You can also watch the Sky adaptation starring Ian Richardson and David Jason which is pretty good. It's also pretty easy to go backwards from here and acquaint yourself with Susan's backstory via Mort.
Going Postal - Although this comes relatively late in the series it's as good a way as any to acquaint yourself with the Discworld. Moist von Lipwig, a conman, is saved from the death penalty by Ankh-Morpork's ruler, Lord Vetinari, and put in charge of restoring the Post Office to all its former glory. Hilariousness (and a few assassination attempts) ensue! You can follow it up with Making Money if you like, and there's also an adaptation of this too - worth a watch.
So those are my recommendations. I'd love to hear yours, or what you're planning to start with if you're new to this wonderful world! You can link up your posts this week here and use #pratchettreadathon on twitter and instagram!