No Books Were Harmed. Or Read.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy what we live in and is therefore not that far away at all now that I think about it… there lived a cat. His name was Maurice. He had style. And a band of merry rodents.

Last year, I undertook a dangerous mission to retrieve books – lots and lots of books – the majority belonging to Terry Prachett’s Discworld series. …”Retrieve” doesn’t sound very dangerous, does it? Rescue. I was rescuing books. From the…um…vicious Mouse. Of doom.

Long story short, a mouse had gotten into the chest of drawers my books were in, and had itself a holly jolly time. The end.I rediscovered this post over the weekend, tucked away in my Drafts – a post I had planned to publish as a new series introduction last year. For some reason I decided against it in the end, but I was always on the lookout for an appropriate time to share it. Admittedly, the wordsmith’s passing wasn’t the impetus I was looking for, but a catalyst’s a catalyst.

As I gazed out of the kitchen window at the winter drizzle and darkness, giving the books a safety clean, I had been reminded of a post over at Ramisa the Authoress. She devoured a whopping 65 books in 2014, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed in myself. I could probably count on my hands how many I had read last year. (Unless we were counting academic books and/or plays, then we’d be cooking).

For the last six years, my head has been full of plays instead. Name it, I’ve read it. (And if I haven’t, give me a copy and I’ll hand it back in under an hour). But no one ever says they’re off to “sit down with a good play”, do they?

Except maybe script readers, from university students to any professional in most industries. Or people who like plays. Great analogy, Laidig, well done.

Should I get the opportunity, however, it’s invariably a binge read on a holiday. And during those last six years, I’ve been visiting the Discworld.

The Amazing Maurice & his Educated Rodents’ was the first Terry Prachett novel my eyes had the good fortune to read. Ten year old me dove in at the first page, and hours went by before I resurfaced. It is an astounding book, and my usual starting point for any newcomers to the Disc.

It would seem, however, that unless you’re given the “special” tour of the Discworld, it is apparently a daunting leap for new readers…? Well, I’m here to call bollocks on that one. And I’m at a loss on what constitutes “special”, anyway. For one thing, he gives you a list at the beginning of every bloody book. I would imagine if you can’t grasp the concept of a list, might I suggest you also steer clear of operating heavy machinery?

I am not a reviewer, I couldn’t tell you the novel of the moment (except plays, did I mention I’ve read a lot of them?) and I’m certainly not going to suggest that you read the Discworld novels according to an impressive chart that I’m still trying my very hardest to decipher. But if I were to recommend a starting point, seriously, Maurice is the guy. Or cat.

Several years ago, I made the commitment to finish the Discworld as and when they were published. Fingers crossed the series continues, and the end is not nigh.

Where are you up to in the series? Discworld novice or expert? Maybe the Wee Frees are more your thing, or maybe you’re reading something else altogether.
Time to name your favourite title – go!


6 thoughts on “No Books Were Harmed. Or Read.

  1. I’m probably going to have to share this Sunday as part of the Best of the Week posts I share on Twitter. Really good post.

    • I’m probably going to have to take that as a compliment, snookums. I was still in two minds over posting this, so thank you for making me feel better about it :)

  2. I think I have read everything by Pratchett except The Long Earth, most of it multiple times. Wee Free Men, Going Postal, Monstrous Regiment…It is hard to decide on a favorite. I usually start people off either with whichever book I think will somehow touch their secret view of the world and have them laughing at their own and the world’s absurdity…or I just start them on whatever I am most enamored of at that moment, usually the last book I read.

    • Well, if I were to pick a second favourite, it’d have to be Small Gods. I think it has something to do with the image of a grumpy turtle shouting orders and nobody listening.

      I wish I was at that point of rereading – instead, I have more left to read than have been read, it’s irritating. It’s great because I have lots left to enjoy, but it’s irritating because I have lots left. Although, as I am working my way through the series, I am choosing to reread the ones I’ve already read rather than skip because I’ve read them before. Getting close to Witches Abroad and Wyrd Sisters again – love me some batty grannies!

  3. Wow, thank you so much for the mention! :D Although I believe I had one or two plays within that 65 books as well. ;)
    In my personal opinion, plays require heaps of dedication as well, and should be regarded just as important as books. Plus, they’re especially helpful in your creative line and profession. :D I’m wishing you the absolute best for your writing.
    (PS: I have a borrowed Terry Prachett sitting on my shelf! Unfortunately, it’s two days overdue, and it should really be returned someday soon)

    • You’re welcome!

      I agree. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to forget that drama is also a form of literature, because it initially goes onto a stage and novels don’t. Very silly, really.

      Oo, which Pratchett? I’d love to own the full Discworld series, but other than gift form, the only way I can read most of them without breaking the bank is ebook. Not ideal, but it’s a means to an end for now.


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