November Novella’s

Now I know that I said a few days ago that I wouldn’t be joining in any more challenges but rules are made for breaking aren’t they? I saw on Lizzy’s blog that she was joining in with Bibliophiles “The November Novella Challenge” and the temptation to read a selection of books I wouldn’t normally reach out for, though I have now found I have read quite a few unwittingly, seemed too great and so before I knew it I had signed up. Before I went gaily whizzing off into the internet ether or ran full blaze to the local charity shops in the hunt, which is what I would normally do, I stopped and did some research instead.

I really wanted to know how long a novella actually is and unhelpfully Wikipedia only gives you the length in words. I don’t know about you but I tend not to count the number of words in a book as it sort of distracts you from the reading of it. I decided to go with the definition and count a novella being between 60 – 150 pages long. I also saw they had a list of top novellas which I wrote down only to be shocked by how many I have already read, not loads but more than I thought…

Notes on Novella's

I then made some big decisions. I would definitely do the challenge but there had to be some rules as I have already set myself the goal of reading books that take my fancy, no planned reading and also buying less books (though as you will see from a post later in the week this has already gone down the swanny somewhat after being up north and having a binge) so I needed rules. Well actually there were only two. First rule had to be that I wouldn’t set a goal of how many I would read or an order, I would simply dip in and out of them. The second was that I could only read novella’s I already owned, which seeing as I had read most of those listed was a bit of a pain until I discovered I actually owned quite a few in my endless TBR.

Novellas to hand

  • The Visitor – Maeve Brennan
  • The Skeleton in the Cupboard – Alice Thomas Ellis
  • The White Castle – Orhan Pamuk
  • The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark
  • Fire in the Blood – Irene Nemirovsky
  • A Study in Scarlet – Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Lady Susan – Jane Austen
  • Death in Venice – Thomas Mann

I actually think I own more than this but these were the books that were to hand and I couldn’t go ferreting around forever as I would loose reading time (and as I haven’t yet started 1984 for book group tomorrow I need to be reading lots today) I may come across more as I wander through my TBR shelves and boxes who knows, but the main idea is no pressure. So let’s see how I do. I was going to try and sneakily say We Have Always Lived at the Castle by Shirley Jackson was the first November Novella but actually I read it in October.

Is anyone else joining in with this, can I tempt any of you? What have your experiences with the novella been? Have I chosen a good diverse mix? Which ones have you read in the past and loved or loathed? Do you like novellas or not? Would you much rather read a book you can get engrossed in than ones that’s concise?


Filed under Book Thoughts

16 responses to “November Novella’s

  1. That sounds fun. I have only read the Muriel Spark, and found it very entertaining. The good thing about novellas is that yo ucan get alot of books read very quickly!

    • Hahahaha thats very very true and is partly why I am attracted to reading them but I wont do it in a forced way I shall see how it goes. You should join in Verity!

      I do love Muriel Spark, it was a close call between this and Memento Mori.

  2. Interesting selection of novellas there, Simon.

    I have “The White Castle” in my TBR. Perhaps we could join read it, next week.

    I confidently predict you will adore “Death in Venice”.

    • Oh do you now! Well lets see if your predictions come true. We could read the book at the same time next week the only slight niggle I would have with that is I am trying not to plan read but will pop it on the top of the set for next week.

  3. I’m excited to see The Visitor on your novella pile! I’m looking forward to comparing thoughts on that.

    I currently have a novella on the go but more of that later this week… I tend not to consciously go for novels or novellas (or any other form) but go for what I’m wanting to read at that particular time, no matter the length. If I’m pushed for time though then novellas are great as you can fit in a number.

    One of the best novellas I have read that is on my mind at the moment is The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

    • I havent heard of The Awakening, will see if the library have it am trying to not buy any more books at the moment which is easier said than done. How will I cope if I do decide to not buy any at all next year?

      Looking forward to your mystery novella!

  4. fleurfisher

    Nice list. I’m curious about The Visitor and The White Castle, but I’m only reading novellas I own or ones I can get from the library.

  5. Eva

    Wow! I love your pile, and I’m impressed you already own so many. 🙂 I’m already joining in this challenge-I think I’m mainly going to try out lots of new-to-me international authors! I’m eyeing that Pamuk now quite jealously. 😀

    • Hahahaha I have to say I dont have any expectations of Pamuk at all so this could be a very very interesting read. I am also currently avoiding blurbs and just diving in.

      Glad to see someone else who is doing this and looking forward to hearing about all your novella’s!

      • Eva

        I didn’t enjoy my first Pamuk novel but really liked the second. So it’d be nice to get another taste off him without committing to a huge book. 😉

  6. CarolineC

    The novella website is Interesting, Simon. I have Fire in the Blood on your list also the Shirley Jackson one you’ve recently read. A couple of my favourites are A Month in the Country by J.L.Carr and a quirky one, called Fup by Jim Dodge. Susan Hills novellas are always good too. I will keep my eye out for your novella reviews.

    • Oh I have heard great things about A Month in the Country I do need to keep my eyes peeled for that one at the library when I next go which as am planning a library book binge this weekend may be very soon.

  7. Great list! I found that novellas are often really cheap at used book stores (your charity shops?). I got a bunch for 50 cents and a dollar.

    • I am avoiding all charity shops like the plague as my book spending known no bounds and it really should. Am going to have a good hunt around in the library though, mind you I think this pile is quite enough to be getting on with ha!

  8. Pingback: The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark « Savidge Reads

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