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