Tuning Into the Great A'Tuin: A Guide to Starting Discworld

Tuning Into the Great A'Tuin: A Guide to Starting Discworld

A list by Haley, Programs Specialist
December 8th, 2021

Terry Pratchett’s "Discworld" series can be absolutely daunting with 41 novels written over the course of 32 years. If you're a fan of odd British humor, fantastically imaginative worlds, and a sprinkling of social commentary, then the Discworld may be your cup of tea. Though, with the amount of material that it offers, it may be more like a bucket of tea.

Discworld has many story arcs and it can be confusing to figure out where to start your journey. Though it's claimed that you can enjoy the any of the stories in isolation, there are definitely call backs to other bits of lore and characters throughout the series that make a little more sense if you start from the below list. This list contains only the first books from the different arcs of the series and in chronological publication order from top to bottom if that is more your speed. 

Books

Full disclosure: I had a wonderful pet dog many moons ago named after the main character of this book, Rincewind. He was one of the best dogs I have ever had and as such, I have very fond memories of this title as well despite the fact that I think it may be one of the weaker first books.

"Equal Rites" is truly a book about feminism with a fun and sassy cast and is full of the same wonder and whimsy that Pratchett is loved for.

Mort was my first introduction to Pratchett and Discworld. It was such a fun and interesting take on the traditional reaper figure that I just flew through it.

This book is usually touted as the favorite Discworld novel in the circles I run in and for good reason. NPR even describes it as a "solid entryway" into the series. (My favorite is still Mort though.)

This... this is the only starter novel I have not even read myself because there are so many dang books in this series. One day.

Just a heads-up for any folks out there who detest the word moist. Don't read this book. Or do because it is an absolute riot, but know that the main character's name is Moist Von Lipwig, and he is exactly what his name sounds like.