Reading Challenge

Want to read along with the podcast, but also read more widely? The Pratchat Reading Challenge is here to help! In what’s now an annual tradition, we’ll give you six prompts to help you find new books across the course of the year, from January 8 to January 8 the next year.

This is meant to be an easy, cosy way to push your reading a bit further afield, while helping you find books that have something in common with Pratchett’s works. We consider anything you read a book – comics and audiobooks are definitely in!

You’ll find details for the current challenge below, with links to previous ones at the bottom of this page. We’ve also set up the challenges on the StoryGraph, a web-based app that helps you track the books you read. We’d love to hear what books you’re reading – let us know!

The 2023 Challenge

You can find the 2023 challenge on the StoryGraph. On social media, use the hashtag #PratchatChallenge2023 if you chat about it!

This year, in addition to the prompts, we’re encouraging all participants to branch out and read books by authors who are black, indigenous, people of colour, queer, trans, disabled or otherwise have a different life experience to your own – especially if they’re underrepresented in publishing.

The prompts below link to the StoryGraph, where you’ll be able to see what other participants have chosen for them, if they’ve made that information public.

A book recommended by another Pratchett fan

Our subscribers have already jumped on the bandwagon for this one, and of course books recommended here all count, but if you have Pratchett fans in your life, ask them who else they read!

Some from our listeners:

  • The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (first in the Broken Earth trilogy)
  • The long way to a small, angry planet by Becky Chambers
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells (first in the Murderbot Diaries series)

A book that blurs the line between science and magic

Pratchett has both made fun of the way magic makes no sense from a scientific sense, and written about magic as if it was just a different kind of science.

An obvious suggestion, already popular with Pratchett fans (and one himself), is Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London and sequels, in which British police officer and apprentice wizard Peter Grant learns a tradition of magic established by Isaac Newton. But we’ll have some more suggestions soon!

A book with an elderly protagonist

From his earliest books Pratchett has been fond of casting older folks as his heroes, most famously Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Cohen the Barbarian. Even the faculty of Unseen University are getting on in years. But there are plenty of others to be found out there!

Suggestions to come.

A book with a child or young person protagonist

At the other end of the scale, Pratchett also writes brilliantly about – and for – children and young people. You don’t have to pick a children’s or YA book for this prompt, either; there are plenty of books about children written for adults.

Suggestions to come.

A book mentioned in an episode note

Now, this might seem like a cynical effort to get you to read the episode notes Ben lovingly compiles each month*, but really its just another way to make use of the book lists we already have! This prompt includes both the episode notes you’ll find in your podcast app, and the longer “Notes and Errata” posts you’ll find here on our website. (You can find links to all of them on the Episodes page.)

A few suggestions:

* He’s a bit behind, but he’s catching up…

A book with one or more talking animals

Pratchett loves a good talking animal. Well…a funny talking animal. Witness Gaspode, Maurice, the rats of the Clan, even the Death of Rats might count. We don’t mind if the animals talk to humans or only to each other; as long as they’re talking!

We’ll have some more suggestions soon, but Ben still highly rates The Bees by Laline Paull.

Previous Challenges

We’ll archive our previous challenges here on the site, in case anyone wants to participate after the fact!