Novellas in November: Introduction

Thanks to Another Book Blog for hosting this event – go read the intro post!

This isn’t one of those events with a million rules (thank god) but I think I will hold myself accountable by doing a weekly post on Sunday night(ish) recapping what I’ve read.

As the title suggests, the idea is to read lots of novellas. Naturally, my first thought was “what’s the criteria for a novella?” and the answer is, there is no answer. Some people say under 50,000 words. Some say less than 40,000. It’s not that easy to find word counts, so I’m going with page numbers and calling it 150ish.

All important questions.

Pretty sure I’ve actually Googled each of these at one time or another

On to the books! I have a few more on my Goodreads list, but here are the novellas I’m most excited about.


The Pearl by John Steinbeck (90 pages)
I read The Pearl in 8th grade English. I wasn’t that taken with it, and didn’t read Steinbeck again until I was in my late 20s. I need to revisit this book with adult eyes.


The Suicide Shop by Jane Teule (169 pages)
The premise, which is exactly what it sounds like, appeals to the former goth teen in me. A bargain at $2.95 on Kobo.


The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin (96 pages)
Man Booker shortlisted, lots of buzz. Not shelling out $25 for the hardcover though. Library it is.


Bonjour Tristesse by Francois Sagan (154 pages)
Bonjour Tristesse scandalised 1950’s France with its portrayal of teenager Cécile, a heroine who rejects conventional notions of love, marriage and family to choose her own sexual freedom.” You had me at scandalised.


Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (115 pages)
Do I really need a reason? The title and the author aren’t enough?

I’ll be chatting novellas at #NovNov on twitter. Join in and feel free to suggest other novellas that are must-read!




  1. Brie @ Eat Books

    I have no novella’s to suggest (although I do own some un-read ones), sorry. But sounds fun! And a great way to up your books read in a year 🙂

    So, what’s the difference between a novella and a short story? Or are they the same thing depending on who you ask?

    Also, how do you do a screen shot like the one you did of your google search? (Hilarious, by the way ;))

    • lauratfrey

      Yes, it is a great way to up your number of books. I did that a couple years ago when I was trying to break 100 out of the 1001 books list. Not novellas specifically, but I was choosing books with the fewest pages possible!

      I think a short story is a lot shorter. Novellas are around 20,000-50,000 words, short stories can be just a few pages.

      Screen shot: Ctrl-Alt-PrtScn then open MS Paint and Ctrl-V and crop.

  2. Kristilyn

    Have fun with this! I don’t read a lot of novellas, but I have in the past … it’s nice having a quick read. Though, if you still have The Old Man & The Sea on your list, GOOD LUCK.

  3. Juliana @ Epilogues

    Awesome choices! Can’t wait to see what you think.

    Love that image. Google auto-fills make me smile. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Novellas in November Update #1: Summer, The Pearl, The Night Before Christmas, and Bonjour Tristesse | Reading in Bed
  5. Pingback: Novellas in November Update #2: Memories of my Melancholy Whores and a Vlog | Reading in Bed
  6. Pingback: Novellas in November Update #3: The Suicide Shop, The Testament of Mary and The Wizard of Oz | Reading in Bed
  7. Pingback: Novellas in November 2014: Introduction | Reading in Bed
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