Hello, I'm new to the forums.
'Small Gods' was my first Discworld book and first experience with Sir Terry Pratchett. I have seen people recommend different orders of reading to familiarize with the Discworld setting, but chance and dumb luck threw 'Small Gods' at me first. I have read almost every book authored or co-authored by Sir Pratchett now, and I have to say that 'Small Gods' is still my favorite. It is actually my favorite book from any author. It moved, reshaped and changed the way I look at the world in a way that no other book has come close to, and I'm no stranger to books. I ended up creating an indie band under the band name smalltortoise and I develop amateur indie games under the developer name smalltortoise games. When I say amateur, I am not just being humble. Not even Brutha could help me out there, but it's OK because it's fun.
There's a lot of things I do these days that some would have you believe should only be left to the pros. I've gotten into tinkering with DIY projects, electronics, programming, painting, poetry, other arts, and even tried my hand at being a stuntperson in an indie movie for a short film competition (entirely on a whim). I've been more outgoing over time, traveled the world more in the past years than in my whole life, met new people, and generally tried new things more than ever before. Largely, I've enjoyed celebrating other cultures and others' passions in religious and spiritual views even if I do not adopt them myself.
And I owe quite a bit of my new adventurous spirit to 'Small Gods.'
In reading and rereading the book, I introspected what each character and event reflected about myself. What I took away from the book was life-changing for me. I know that the bulk of the book has major religious tones, but that's not all I took from it. Religion's everywhere, so there were definitely great things to think about interpersonal intelligence related to religion and spirituality, and I enjoyed the references to various iterations of religion throughout history. However, I also took a lot from the book about living life more fully, when to put the garden tools down and go "carpe diem," the power of determination, the responsibilities associated with shared confidence, and compassion for others (even the intolerant and hateful).
Sir Pratchett opened me up to an entirely new world full of positive experiences with 'Small Gods.'