EventualDay wrote:first of all, can someone give me a brief idea of what the Discworld series is about? I mean, I recognize it's a huge franchise so I don't need a lot of detail; I guess what I'm more curious about is for those who have tried to read it, was it worth your time? I generally hear positive things, but it's such a long (and ongoing) series that it seems like a big commitment.
The Discworld books can be grouped into different, for lack of a better word, storylines or arcs, with each generally dealing with the same people and places. There are also a few more stand alone books, but there is some overlap between these and also between the main storylines.
Copying from the Discworld wiki (with my added notes):
The Rincewind books (featuring Rincewind and The Luggage and often the other Wizards of Unseen University) - Rincewind is a very unlucky (or some would say, very very lucky) wizard who generally lands in his next misadventure by having run away from the last one.
The Witches books (featuring Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg et al) - The Witches go about helping the people of rural Lancre with hard work, "headology" and if they absolutely have to, magic.
The Death books (featuring Death and Susan Sto Helit, often against the Auditors) - Death is the anthropomorphic personification of, well, death, whose job it is to take people into the next life, but sometimes he can't help but get curious about the lives they currently have.
The City Watch books (featuring Sam Vimes and the rest of the Watchmen) - The Watch are the police of the city-state of Ankh-Morpork, one of the greatest (and dirtiest) cities on the Disc. These stories often play out as a bit of police procedural, only occasionally with dragons.
The Post Office books (featuring Moist Von Lipwig and the staff of whichever service he's working for) - Ex conman Moist is tasked to revamp and revitalise several of Ankh-Morpork's public services -or else.
The Wee Free Men books (the children's Discworld series with Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle) - Tiffany is a young witch who meets, gains the respect and friendship of, and goes on various adventures with the Wee Free Men or Nac Mac Feegle, a clan of fairies who were kicked out of Fairyland for causing fights and being drunk at two in the afternoon. Ties in with the Witches books.
Here's a reading order guide, showing the groupings and the first book for each group.http://www.pinterest.com/pin/273523377343253086/
I know it looks a bit complicated, but the best would probably be to pick a storyline you think sounds interesting and read a few of those books in their given reading order. If you're not sure, the City Watch books might be a good place to start. I don't recommend starting with the first book published, The Colour of Magic, since it's a bit more loosely put together plot-wise than the later books and can put a person off from the whole series, which would be a terrible shame.
As for worth my time, Terry Pratchett is my absolutely favourite author ever and I have read and own almost all of the Discworld books. Feel free to ask me anything else you'd like to know. XD
On topic: I'm just over half way through both The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Assassin's Apprentice, first in the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb.