Tag Archives: Orhan Pamuk

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 Novellas.org 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?

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The Faber Firsts

I am feeling very lucky this morning as yesterday when I came home there was a rather large parcel awaiting me in the hallway, now I dont know about you but I get really excited when any new parcels pop through the door so I couldnt hold on and simply tore it open in the kitchen. I was greeted by a delightful set/series of books from the lovely people at Faber & Faber… 
The Faber Firsts (And A Pineapple - I Opened Them Hurridly In My Kitchen - Apologies)

The Faber Firsts (And A Pineapple - I Opened Them Hurridly In My Kitchen - Apologies)

Now from my rubbish picture (please ignore the pineapple – it was a hurried opening in my kitchen like I said) you cant really see what arrived. It was the ‘Faber Firsts’ which is a selection of ten books republished specially by Faber to mark their 80th Anniversary (oddly I met a book cover designer from Faber at a party a while back, he did the Molly Fox cover) and they have published ten of the first books by some of Fabers most popular writers in the last 80 years. These are…

  • The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (which I think has the most stunning cover)
  • Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  • Cover Her Face – P.D James
  • The Barracks – John McGarhern
  • The White Castle – Orhan Pamuk
  • A Pale View of Hills – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureshi
  • Bliss – Peter Carey
  • The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
  • Such a Long Journey – Rohinton Mistry

I have to admit I havent read a single one of these which is most shocking, so really I dont quite know where to start! Any suggestions? Now before you get suggesting bear in mind something rather fabulous that Faber & Faber have offered to do!

As you know I am setting up the Book Group with the lovely Kim from Reading Matters/Kimbofo which I am hoping some of you will be attending and as I am choosing the first book (see the Book Group part of the site for more) if it happens to be a Faber book then Faber will send a copy of the book for every single member of the group to read – for free!!!! Now there will be a condition that you need to attend the book group to get it but more on that on the Book Group page nearer the time.

Now where where we? Oh yes… which books would you recommend, where should I start?

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