No contest for this question, there could only every be one answer- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
Currently checking in at 38 individual books (Snuff, book number 39, is due for release in October 2011) and 5 short stories, The Discworld series in really several different series all taking part in the same universe. With the Rincewind series we get traditional big bold sword and sorcery, whilst the Witches focuses more on superstition and a less showy form of magic. The City Watch are police procedurals with a twist and the Death/Susan series are about the ultimate outsiders trying to make sense of humanity. And that’s not including all the stand alone and mini series books.
There aren’t many of these books that I don’t adore, and whilst some of the early ones are weaker compared to the recent books, they all still have endearing qualities. If I had to pick one thing that makes Discworld great as a series is the fact that you don’t HAVE to read the books in order, and missing out the weaker books won’t really prevent you from enjoying the others. I hate to waste time and money slogging though unenjoyable books to get to the good stuff, and these are perfect for avoiding that. For example the first Discworld I read was Soul Music, book 16 of the overall series, and book 3 of the Death storyline, and it didn’t matter! Whilst the various characters grow and progress with the series, all the relevant bits are recapped in a way that is intrusive to a familiar reader but just informative enough to a newbie.
So if you like police books and murder mysteries then just start with the City Watch, if you prefer to focus on the human condition the go for the Death series. Or if you aren’t sure then choose one of the stand alone books like Moving Pictures, Pyramids, Small Gods or Monstrous Regiment. Actually I’d probably list those four amongst my favorites anyway. My all time favorite in the series is probably Fifth Elephant a political mystery focusing on rivalry between vampires and werewolves. The German version is shown above.
Even Better Thirty Day Song Challenge – Day 4 – Track for Feeling Lovesick and Good
One of the few songs both my partner and I agree on, that wouldn’tfreak you all out. Ahem.