Counting down to Novellas in November
Less than two weeks to go before Novellas in November so it’s about time I got my act together and thought about what I might read.
I’ve become a fan of novellas in recent years and have built up quite a collection. It would be tempting to spend the whole month just reading these but I’m going to have to be realistic. November is going to be a busy month.
See next month is also Aussie Reading Month for which I am joining Brona of Brona’sBooks and Bill @The Australian Legend for a readalong of Voss by Patrick White. Plus I have a chunky novel to get through for our book club (The Magician by Colm Toibin). And I’m joining a book tour for Small Acts of Kindness by Jennifer Anthill at the end of the month.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to squeeze in two or maybe even three novellas. These are the titles I’ll look to first. .
The Ardent Swarm by Yamen Manai
An allegory about a North African country in the aftermath of revolution and how it affects a beekeeper in a remote and desolate village.
Fox Fires by Wyl Menmuir
Described by the publishers, Salt, as “a novel about the sensual experience of the city, of its sights and sounds, its hidden paths and the ambitions of those who walk them.” I loved his debut novella, The Many, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize so am hoping for something similarly engrossing.
The Newspaper of Claremont Street by Elizabeth Jolley
I’m not sure which Australian blogger I can thank for introducing me to Elizabeth Jolley but I’ve loved two of her books so far. This one sounds just as good.
Despite the title, it’s not about a newspaper or even a journalist. It’s the story of an old cleaning woman—known as “Weekly” or “The Newspaper” to the residents of Claremont Street for whom she works—who dreams of escape from the parasitic demands of both her past and her present.
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
At 192 pages, this just about qualifies as a novella. It’s very different from the only other book I’ve read by Swift – his Booker winning Last Orders.
This one is subtitled “A Romance” so appropriately begins with a secret assignation between two lovers; one a maid at a country house and the other, the heir to an estate. From that point in the spring of 1924 the novel skips around different points in time to reveal the woman’s life.
Novellas in November is hosted by Cathy at 746 Books and Rebecca at Bookish Beck. There’s a new theme each week that will celebrate the many different types of novellas. I’m fully expecting to be tempted by some of the titles I’ll see other bloggers reading.
1 – 7 November: Short Classics
8 – 14 November: Novellas in Translation
15 – 21 November: Short Non-Fiction
22 – 28 November: Contemporary Novellas
28 thoughts on “Counting down to Novellas in November”
Eeeeeeeeeeee so hard to decide what books to read! All my favorite challenges are in November!
Small Things Like These probably qualifies as a novella. It’s my favorite book of 2022 so far. That sounds like a fun thing to do and a good way to reduce my TBR pile. It’s quite a pile. I remember loving The Magician by the way.
The Keegan novella is one of my favourites too James. The depth she achieves in so few pages is remarkable
Thanks for taking part again! It’s been a long time since I’ve read any Swift so I look forward to hearing about Mothering Sunday.
Now I shall feel guilty if I don’t get to read it (just kidding)
I’m doing Novellas, NonFic November and Aus Reading Month – fortunately I even have one book that covers all three! I have fallen behind though in reading, reviewing and blog reading, so need to get my act together for the introductory posts and piles.
It’s the time of the year when my TBR list gets even longer thanks to Cathy and Rebecca. I loved Mothering Sunday.
I know, I shall just have to make a note of the books that interest me most and come back to it when I’ve cleared some space on my shelves.
November is such a busy month, but I have a few novellas lined up and am hoping to read at least one or two of them. I have read Mothering Sunday and enjoyed it!
I’ll be curious what you end up reading.
This is quite a tempting challenge, bur November’s a busy month. We’ll see…
I know. I used to do non fiction November as well. Just cant see how I can fit it all in though
Typical, no, I’m not organised yet. But I’ll (probably) get there!
You’ll pull something out of the hat at the last moment I’m sure
I am having a real block to reading so have decided to read novellas more frequently the rest of the year. Having read so many really serious books for book group and our bookshop shared reading I need something I’ll finish faster in order to get my mojo back.
Novellas can certainly do the trick. Though I’ve found their length can be deceptive – they are often still quite intense
Preparing for that as well, though it will all be classics novellas for me
I can’t seem to find any classic novellas unread in my book case which was a surprise
I have yet to decide what to do about next month; I have been reading lots of Novellas and not enjoying them all that much because they’re not the genre that I prefer; that gothic…moody atmosphere with coldness, bleakness, turmoil, and tumultuous lackluster being in existence is more my reading style; unsure if I have made sense; anyhow, I don’t yet know.
Have you tried Woman in Black – that has a gothic type atmosphere
The next (paper) book I’m planning to read is just 136pp so I guess I accidentally at least am doing one novella in Nov. I also have two must-read audiobooks – must-read in that I have committed to review them – of which Voss is one. Hopefully my trip home from Darwin to Perth will be enough time for them both.
Technically the paper back wouldn’t count as a novella – max is 120 pages according to Cathy. But I don’t get too hung up on that kind of thing…..
Oh my, I just happened to be reading novellas this month! I read Sparring Partners by John Grisham which is 3 nonvellas – and I read The Last White Man is more of a novella than a novel – as is Mohsin Hamid ‘s earlier book, Exit West. Maxine Paetro has one out (with James Patterson, natch). At 130 pages, The Employees is short enough to be a novella. It’s by Olga Ravn
But I really recommend the 2021 book, “Small Things Like These” by Claire Keegan. Setting Ireland 1985. It’s 70 incredible pages. I gave it a 10.
Enjoy! I’ll be reading some more novellas because they’re just perfect for when you have a few hours. They can be sooooo dense with many meanings or they can be quickie thrillers. Love ’em when that’s what I want.
Agree wholeheartedly about the Claire Keegan book – absolutely fabulous that she was nominated for the Booker prize.
I’ve yet to get to Exit West, a copy is floating about in the house (somewhere)
November’s a potentially busy one, but I will try to read at least one novella!
I can predict you will come up with something ….
You always select the most interesting books!
I try my best!