The most recommended Discworld books

Who picked these books? Meet our 33 experts.

33 authors created a book list connected to Discworld, and here are their favorite Discworld books.
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Book cover of Making Money

Ian Pagdin and Michelle Hardy Author Of Investment and Portfolio Management: A Practical Introduction

From my list on making finance interesting and engaging (especially if you’re not an academic).

Why am I passionate about this?

We first met about 10 years ago at Sheffield Hallam University, bonding as work colleagues over a love of enabling students to understand wealth management and finance in a way that we hoped they would find interesting and accessible. The books we chose mix our love of storytelling and making finance accessible by using real-world experiences. They do this in a unique way, challenging the reader to think about their understanding and perspective, something we try to do every day. It has been lovely to reread these books before writing the reviews, reminding us of what makes us tick. We hope they help you to find your tick too. 

Ian and Michelle's book list on making finance interesting and engaging (especially if you’re not an academic)

Ian Pagdin and Michelle Hardy Why did Ian and Michelle love this book?

From the moment I first read a Discworld novel, I was hooked by the unique and whimsical twist, given by Terry Pratchett, to the situations his characters find themselves in. His clever use of humor allows him to entertain his readers while making complex financial concepts accessible to readers of all backgrounds. This use of humor and the underlying message that finance is as much about human nature as it is about numbers underpins my teaching and writing.

He highlights the quirks and motivations of bankers and entrepreneurs which I recognised from my time in the industry. But importantly he highlights the personal transformation and ethical dilemmas a quest for wealth can bring. For me, this resulted in really considering the true meaning of success.

That said he doesn’t shy away from addressing economic disparities. But overall, when I read this I was given a chance to view the finance…

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This title features M19, F10, and Extras. This play can by played at various simple settings. Lord Vetinari wants to overhaul the banks of Ankh-Morpork so he appoints former con-man Albert Spangler, aka Moist von Lipwig, to the position of Mater of the Royal Mint, attached to a senior post at the Bank of Ankh-Morpork. Then Mrs Lavish, the bank manager, dies, leaving her dog Mr Fusspot - who also happens to be the majority shareholder - to Moist. Suddenly he finds himself in charge, and his life being threatened by resentful members of the Lavish family. His talent for…


Book cover of Nanny Ogg's Cookbook

Cassandra Reeder Author Of The Geeky Chef Cookbook: Real-Life Recipes for Fantasy Foods

From my list on cookbooks written by storytellers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a food blogger and cookbook author who has been making up recipes for fictional foods from fantasy and science fiction since I was old enough to walk and talk. I love building a bridge between stories, imagination, fandom and food. For over a decade, with a lot of research and some really bad puns, I have been helping other geeks and nerds all over the world make their fictional food fantasies come true.

Cassandra's book list on cookbooks written by storytellers

Cassandra Reeder Why did Cassandra love this book?

Written by the late and great Terry Pratchett himself, this is obviously a must-have for any Discworld fanatic. The actual recipes in this tome range from questionable to delightful, the “narrator,” Nanny Ogg, is the real star of the show. Nanny Ogg’s er… life advice, this book will have you giggling and the recipes will have you intrigued.

By Paul Kidby, Terry Pratchett, Paul Kidby , Stephen Briggs

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nanny Ogg's Cookbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach which just goes to show they're as confused about anatomy as they gen'rally are about everything else, unless they're talking about instructions on how to stab him, in which case a better way is up and under the ribcage. Anyway, we do not live in a perfect world and it is foresighted and useful for a young woman to become proficient in those arts which will keep a weak-willed man from straying. Learning to cook is also useful.'

Nanny Ogg, one of Discworld's most famous witches, is…


Book cover of Sourcery

Jamie Brindle Author Of The Princess In The Tower

From my list on fantasy that is silly but solid at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fantasy, particularly comic fantasy. But there's an art to making something that is mind-meltingly silly feel real and meaningful, at the same time. To make it feel solid. If something is too chaotic, too randomly silly, then the narrative integrity disintegrates. You're left feeling, ‘yes, I know that the troll has now mysteriously turned into a chicken; but really, what’s the point?’ On the other hand, if the story isn’t silly enough…well, then it becomes straight fantasy, which is wonderful when it’s done well, but can feel mundane and derivative when it is not. I've deliberately limited this list to include only two Discworld books. To include any more would seem, well—silly.

Jamie's book list on fantasy that is silly but solid at the same time

Jamie Brindle Why did Jamie love this book?

I said I would limit myself to two Discworld books, so here we have my other favourite. This is quite an early one, before the world is fully formed, but the portrayal of the wizards and their University is beginning to emerge, full of chaos and joy and demented energy. But again, this madcap, surreal mania is corralled masterfully, the characters feeling like real people with real agency, moving through a world that—while full of vivid colours and impossible, surreal things—is also somehow solid and real. It is a testament to Pratchett’s incredible storytelling powers that Ankh Morpork is more real to me than several cities I have actually, physically visited. It is unreal and yet hyper-real at the same time. You should go visit. It is wonderful. 

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sourcery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'May well be considered his masterpiece . . . Humour such as his is an endangered species' The Times

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .

All this books and stuff, that isn't what it should all be about. What we need is real wizardry.

Once there was an eighth son of an eighth son, a wizard squared, a source of magic. A Sourcerer.

Unseen University, the…


Book cover of Reaper Man

Maria Vale Author Of Molly Molloy and the Angel of Death

From my list on stories of death personified.

Why am I passionate about this?

The 14th century had it all: the 100 Years' War, near-constant famines, and, of course, the Black Plague. As a medievalist studying the art of the time, I was struck by the representations of Death that emerged from this near-perfect storm of misery. Yes, Death was often portrayed accompanied by demons and devils, lumped willy-nilly with evil. But it was more often portrayed in the Danse Macabre as a skeletal partner, leading everyone—Pope and Emperor, Lord and Laborer—on a merry dance. I know it was meant as a warning, but I found the Danse Macabre to be oddly comforting, a vision of an ultimate democracy, with Death the final partner and companion to us all.

Maria's book list on stories of death personified

Maria Vale Why did Maria love this book?

We all know what happens when Death takes a holiday, but what happens when Death is given notice? 

Dismissed from the only job he’s ever known, Death must decide how to spend the time he has left. Taking on the random name “Bill Door,” he offers his talents scything hay, “one blade at a time, one time, one blade.” Death is a recurring character in Discworld and has the casually brutal forbearance of someone who has seen it all.

Seen, but not experienced and it is the dawning comprehension that I love most about Reaper Man: “[Death] wondered if he’d ever felt wind and sunlight before. Yes, he’d felt them, he must have done. But he’d never experienced them like this; the way wind pushed at you, the way the sun made you hot. The way you could feel Time passing. Carrying you with it.”

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Reaper Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the "Discworld" humorous fantasy series. Death is missing. Dead Rights activist Reg Shoe suddenly has more work than he'd ever dreamed of, and newly-deceased wizard Windle Poons wakes up in his coffin to find that he has come back as a corpse.


Book cover of Monstrous Regiment

Mercedes Lackey Author Of Gryphon in Light

From Mercedes' 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Mother of Parrots (in the “Mother of Dragons” sense) Doll costumer Jewelry maker Extrovert on paper, introvert in reality Car guy

Mercedes' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Mercedes Lackey Why did Mercedes love this book?

Oh God, how I love Terry Pratchett. Lots of people think they can write comedy. Very few actually manage, much less manage to write it well.

I came to Pratchett only very recently, and I am reading his books very slowly, because he is no longer with us, and once I read the last one, there will be no more new books by him for me, and I will cry. The book takes its name from a horribly misogynistic tract by the religious leader John Knox, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, and pretty much eviscerates said tract in the first chapter.

Don’t worry if you never read anything by Pratchett before this; although it does (presumably) take place in his Discworld ‘verse, there is nothing you need to know beforehand, and it’s quite standalone. Pratchett is well known for taking fantasy tropes and…

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Monstrous Regiment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new stage adaptation of one of Pratchett's best-selling novels The Monstrous Regiment in question is made up of a vampire (reformed and off the blood, thank you), a troll, Igor (who is only too happy to sew you a new leg if you aren't too particular about previous ownership), a collection of misfits and a young woman discovers that a pair of socks shoved down her pants is a good way to open up doors in a man's army."One of the funniest English authors alive" (Independent)


Book cover of Wyrd Sisters

Lindsey Lamh Author Of A Voracious Grief

From Lindsey's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Old book omnivore Author of dark tales Mom to 6 Ordinary saint Intuitive introvert

Lindsey's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Lindsey Lamh Why did Lindsey love this book?

Wyrd Sisters is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

It is unapologetically satirical and seizes upon a well-fleshed-out genre and turns it upon its head, making every last detail into a caricature that somehow creates more interesting, realistic characters than fantasy ever could.

His witches aren’t really mystical but don’t mistake that for lacking power. They’re more like indomitable grandmothers you don’t dare cross.

This book has everything from ghosts to prophecies to bastard sons and lost heirs of the kingdom. Nothing turns out the way you’d expect.

Terry Pratchett’s genius includes an anthropomorphized thunderstorm waiting in the wings after appearing briefly in the opening scenes, only to surprise you with a grand performance in the final act, just when you’d thought it was a very random start to a topsy-turvy story. I’ve never laughed so much!

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Wyrd Sisters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Destiny is important, see, but people go wrong when they think it controls them. It's the other way around.'

Three witches gathered on a lonely heath. A king cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. A child heir and the royal crown, both missing.

Witches don't have these kinds of leadership problems themselves - in fact, they don't have leaders.

Granny Weatherwax is the most highly regarded of the leaders they don't have. But even she finds that meddling in royal politics is a lot more complicated than certain playwrights would have you believe. Particularly when the blood…


Book cover of Small Gods

Robert Pettus Author Of Abry.

From my list on cultivating meaning in the face of societal absurdity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a rural area influenced by both Protestantism and Catholicism, I found that the daily habits of devoutly religious people were often contradictory to the basic practices of their religion. I also discovered that people were every day forced to adjust their beliefs and behaviors depending on which microcosm within the culture they were in at a given moment participating. People unable to play by these ever-shifting cultural rules would quickly lose respect. This scared the hell out of me, as I was never good at adjusting to different social situations on the fly, but I also found it interesting, and it therefore became the primary theme of my book. 

Robert's book list on cultivating meaning in the face of societal absurdity

Robert Pettus Why did Robert love this book?

Most all of Terry Pratchett’s books do an excellent job of turning absurdity into humor while remaining thought provoking, and this one is probably my favorite.

In terms of style and humor, I really found myself thinking of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams while reading this, which is obviously good company to be in. Essentially, the book deals with the question: “What happens to religion when no one believes in its God?”  

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Small Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Sir Terry Pratchett will love this stunning graphic novel adaptation of his bestselling standalone Discworld novel Small Gods. Beautifully brought to life by illustrator Ray Friesen, it takes a close look at religion's institutions, its people, its practices and its role in politics in Pratchett's unique way...

'An intriguing satire on institutionalized religion corrupted by power...' - Independent
'Deftly weaves themes of forgiveness, belief and spiritual regeneration' - The Times
'I loved this book. I wish it could go on and on and on because it was so enjoyable to read. I wish more books are like this…


Book cover of Hogfather

Gareth Williams Author Of Rescuing Richard

From Gareth's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist Historian Pyrenean Mountain Dog lover Mountain man Reader

Gareth's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Gareth Williams Why did Gareth love this book?

I must confess to being a late convert to Terry Pratchett’s hilarious Discworld.

As a younger man, I was disparaging of comic treatments of the fantasy genre. In short, I took myself too seriously! Since I got over myself, I have been romping through the Discworld canon, and particularly enjoy the books featuring Death as a character. This may sound morbid but he is one of the great fictional creations of the past fifty years.

Hogfather is a perfect Christmas read (although I read it in the unexpected heat of a Scottish highland September), the twists keep coming as Death tries to save the day. Involved, gut-wrenchingly funny, and, as always, surprisingly profound, this book takes you to the very heart of what it is to believe in something. Never afraid to poke fun at human frailties, Pratchett does so with a warm affection that leaves me feeling he understands…

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hogfather as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Has the energy of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the inventiveness of Alice in Wonderland' Sunday Times

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .

OH, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE STOCKING THAT MAKES A NOISE, said Death, OTHERWISE WHAT IS 4:30 A.M. FOR?

Superstition makes things work in the Discworld and undermining it can have Consequences. It's just not right to find Death…


Book cover of The Science of Discworld

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

From my list on combining fantasy and social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

My great interests have been ships and space travel, and if one takes time to consider the similarities the parallels stand out. Ships, especially submarines, travel in a medium and through an environment that is hostile to human life. In space travel, the ‘ship’ becomes the only habitat in which we can survive for any extended period, leaving it without a space suit is a fatal move. I cannot claim to be an expert in closed environments, but it's a subject that has fascinated me throughout my life. Every ‘biosphere’ is unique and incredibly complex and depends on the symbiosis of an enormous number of living creatures right down to bacteria and even viruses. 

Patrick's book list on combining fantasy and social commentary

Patrick G. Cox Why did Patrick love this book?

This book and the others, including The Globe, Darwin’s Watch, and Judgement Day, are wonderful in their mix of fantasy – Pratchett’s Discworld Wizards mixing it up in their quest to understand the “Round World” they accidentally created – and real science introduced and explained by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. The fantasy and the science are seamlessly interwoven in a way that make some complex subjects not just understandable but very readable. Like the explanation of exploring particle physics in the Large Hadron Collider by comparing it to a race that has never seen a piano, cannot see the piano, and try to determine its function and properties by hitting it and eventually pushing it out of a window five stories up and then naming the sounds it makes on hitting the ground…

By Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Science of Discworld as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a wizardly experiment goes adrift, the wizards of Unseen University find themselves with a pocket universe on their hands: Roundworld, where neither magic nor common sense seems to stand a chance against logic. The Universe, of course, is our own. And Roundworld is Earth. As the wizards watch their accidental creation grow, we follow the story of our universe from the primal singularity of the Big Bang to the Internet and beyond. Through this original Terry Pratchett story (with intervening chapters from Cohen and Stewart) we discover how puny and insignificant individual lives are against a cosmic backdrop of…


Book cover of Guards! Guards!

AC Donaubauer Author Of The Order

From my list on taking a fantastic break from the current reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mixing the known with something new and creative–molding two universes in a way that still feels whole and plausible for the reader. Reading is, for me, part entertainment and recreation and also part education. I refuse to divide books into instructive and non-instructive–because broadening my horizon can happen while I enjoy myself. It’s something I treasure in my favorite authors and, therefore, also aim to provide. This requires a certain insight into human nature to build a credible story about how we, as a species, would deal with different circumstances; also the ability and patience to do some proper research before sitting down and shaping it all into a story.

AC's book list on taking a fantastic break from the current reality

AC Donaubauer Why did AC love this book?

I fell in love with how absurd the books are in their brilliance and how they seem to evolve together with the reader.

When reading them as a young adult, I found them funny, creative, and quirky, yet with progressing education and experience, re-reading them reveals Pratchett’s philosophical genius with the many things that are hidden in the plots and many details. Only after reading them the third time did I notice how a simple and impressive description of string theory shaped the plot. After finishing my master's in business psychology, I recognized several behavioral patterns from my lectures and reading materials.

What still impresses me most about it is that not realizing the hidden treasures in the stories still makes it possible to follow them without feeling stupid or as though something is missing.

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Guards! Guards! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First book of the original and best CITY WATCH series, now reinterpreted in BBC's The Watch

'This is one of Pratchett's best books. Hilarious and highly recommended' The Times

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .
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'It was the usual Ankh-Morpork mob in times of crisis; half of them were here to complain, a quarter of them were here to watch the other half, and the…