The Discworld Series; Terry Pratchett
There are over 20 Discworld novels, to see them, click here
Terry Pratchett is a living legend and has been called the greatest humorist writer of the twentieth century. And, boy, does he deserve this reputation! The Discworld series is a group of standalone novels set on the Discworld – which is a flat world that travels through space on the back of four giant elephants which themselves stand on the shell of Great A'Tuin – the Star Turtle!
If this sounds mad, then it's just the start. The Discworld books are simply amazing, they are not just slightly humorous, but laugh-out-loud funny! You find yourself laughing at the books when reading them in public places – but you just don't care!
There are currently twenty five DW books – and I own them all. All the paperback ones, that is. The newest one (The Truth) is still in hardback (in Britain), and a poor student like me can't afford it. Besides it would wreck the nice uniformity of the books on my shelf!
These are books that can be read again and again. I've read most of the books at least twice and I've read some many more. In fact, sometimes you have to read a book more than once to get the most out of it. I had to read Lords and Ladies four times before I got a major plot point!
There is generally a moralist message in the books. These never get in the way of the story but subtly enhance the story.
I have said that the DW books are each standalone. This is true, but as the series has progressed, certain groups of characters have appeared again and again. Although each book can be read by itself, the characters tend to evolve over the books that they are in, so there are some jokes that just go over your head if you haven't read earlier books. This, in no way, spoils the book, but you do get more enjoyment out of it if you have read the earlier books.
There are now five mojor groups of characters. Rincewind the (non) wizard and his Luggage; the wizards of Unseen University, the Discworld's premier college of magic (including a 300lb orangutan); the witches of Lancre; the city watch of Anhk-Morpork, the largest city on the Discworld; and finally, my personal favourite character – DEATH (and the Grim Squeaker – the Death of Rats).
The Discworld series really is fantastic. If you don't want to start from the start, then I would start with Mort or Wyrd Sisters. Both of these are excellent starting points to enter the orderly chaos that is the Discworld. It is a series that has almost universal appeal, from students to pensioners. Try it. You won't look back.