Novellas in November 2018 Round Up #2

And wrap up, because it’s over!

Novellas read: 13
Goodreads Challenge: momentarily caught up, already behind again
Five-star reads: 2

Since my last update, I read eight more novellas. In the spirit of #NovNov, here they are, very briefly reviewed:

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

I thought this was a book about race, but it’s really about the relationship between religion and race and America, all in about 100 pages.

Notes From the Underground by Fydor Dostoyevsky

If Bartelby was Russian. Talk about your unlikable and unreliable narrators (my favourite kind!)

The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke

Read in one sitting, and do not attempt to finish this book on the bus. You’ll have to get off the bus with two pages left and that will be extremely annoying! (Five stars)

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Less sadness, less story than the movie, but not a lesser novella.

Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

I wish we’d seen all forty questions.

So Much for That Winter by Dorthe Nors

So much for me liking experimental writing. Well, I liked half of it!

The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vessas

… what happened?

Mean by Myriam Gurba

The Xennial memoir of my dreams. (Five stars)

Many thanks to everyone who participated! We brought #NovNov to the blogging and YouTube masses, not to mention Bookstagram. See you all next year!



  1. Kristilyn

    You did great! I think I’ll have to see if my library has a few of these. I know I tried James Baldwin at one point but I think I was just reading him at the wrong time because I just couldn’t get into it. I really want to read the Dostoevsky and the Gurba book. And I need to read Dorthe Nors other book first, though now I’m a little nervous. lol

    • lauratfrey

      I got most of these from the library. They were all pretty good, the second Nors and the Ice Palace were the only ones that left me pretty cold (no pun intended on The Ice Palace!)

  2. Naomi

    You rocked Novellas in November this year! “Mean” sounds like something I’d like – I even love the title!
    I’m glad I won’t be alone posting #NovNov in December, πŸ™‚

  3. shoshibookblog

    You’ve got some real winners there! I loved the ‘Ice Palace’ when I read it in the middle of winter a few years ago and ‘The Mussel Feast’ is a truly incredible book. ‘So Much of that Winter’ is new to me – is it much like ‘Mirror, Shoulder, Signal’? Or has it put you off reading anything else by her?

    • lauratfrey

      No, the two Nors books are completely different. The common thread is that all three are about middle aged women in Denmark. And I’m not put off, I will read more!

  4. buriedinprint

    You *don’t* get to hear about all forty? How unfair. Glad you were pleased with your #novnov reading overall!

  5. Pingback: The Brothers Karamazov: A Superfluous Read-along | Reading in Bed

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