Rebecca of Bookish Beck and Cathy at 746Books are co-hosting Novellas in November as a month-long challenge with four weekly prompts.
They will both put up an opening post on 1 November where you can leave your links throughout the month, to be rounded up on the 30th, and they are taking turns introducing a theme each Tuesday.
1 – 7 November: Short Classics (Rebecca)
15 – 21 November: Short Non-Fiction (Rebecca)
8 – 14 November: Novellas in Translation (Cathy)
22 – 28 November: Contemporary Novellas (Cathy)
29/30 November: My Month in Novellas/ New to my TBR
(It is suggested that 150–200 pages as the upper limit for a novella, and post-1980 as a definition of “contemporary.”)
What is a Novella?
There are a number of definitions for a novella most indicated by word count. Simply put it is a work of fiction between a short story and a full novel. I have seen the word count starting at 17,000 – 20,000 & finishing at 40,000 – 49,999 words to be considered considered a novella.
Cathy and Rebecca who are hosting:- ‘…we suggest 150–200 pages as the upper limit for a novella, …’
So anything under 200 pages seems good for this challenge.
I’m going to start with one book for each week and if I can fit in more I will do. I also want to say that even though I’m indicating a specific read for each week if needs be I will change it for something I’m more in the mood for.
My reads for #NovNov22
Week 1: Short Classics
The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Born into the oppressive, colonialist society of 1930s Jamaica, white Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent beauty and sensuality. After their marriage, however, disturbing rumours begin to circulate which poison her husband against her. Caught between his demands and her own precarious sense of belonging, Antoinette is inexorably driven towards madness, and her husband into the arms of another novel’s heroine.
I also have The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon, Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Time Machine by H G Wells should I want a different book or if I manage more than one book.
Week 2: Novellas in Translation
Under the Snow by Kirstin Ekman (Trans. Joan Tate)
In a village nestling at the foot of a snowy mountain in Lapland, Constable Torsson receives a phone call from an outlying district. He skis off to investigate the death of a teacher following a drunken brawl. The dark deeds of winter finally come to light under the relentless summer sun.
Week 3: Short Non-Fiction
God & Caesar (personal reflections on Politics and Religion) by Shirley Williams
A tough week for me as I don’t read a huge amount of nonfiction but I found this on my shelves. I’m going to give it a go. I got this signed book when we went to see a talk by Shirley Williams, I think in 2004, at The Lowry.
Week 4: Contemporary Novellas
In no particular order I hope to read more than one of the following. Of course Foster is the buddy read this year but I assume that this will also count in this section. I really hope I can get to all four.
Cathy and Becky have indicated that ‘post-1980 as a definition of “contemporary.”’
1. Foster by Claire Keegan (used the NYR link)
2. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett – London Review of BooksVol. 29 No. 5 · 8 March 2007
3. Every Trick in the Book by Iain Hood (gifted book).
4. The Hermit by Louise Walters (purchased)
29/30 November: My Month in Novellas/ New to my TBR
Over the final days I’ll post a comprehensive, albeit short, list which links to all the previous weeks reading.
In a change from last year, they are hosting one buddy read throughout the month and this year they have chosen Foster by Claire Keegan.
If you want to join in, you can read Foster online here (it still seems to give access at the moment but it is a limited time access to NYT Review article) and review it at any point throughout the month. You could also try and catch the Irish language film version of Foster – An Cailín Ciúin– which was released this year to rave reviews and is widely tipped for an Oscar nomination.
You can buy Foster by Claire Keegan Bookshop.org (affiliate link)
Good luck to all those who are participating I hope you read some great stories. If you have any comments on my choices or have read them do feel free to leave your thoughts below. It’s always good to hear from you.
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