The best part of Novellas in November is the research. Once you start looking, there are <200 page books all over the place, just waiting for the appropriate alliterative month to begin! Here’s a round up of my 2021 discoveries and ambitious TBR.
The official buddy reads
Cathy and Rebecca have included weekly buddy reads in this year’s event, and since all four books were easily procured for no cost (library and Project Gutenberg), I’m going to try and keep up.
- Week one is a contemporary novella, Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson. I’ve seen this book everywhere, and it got a glowing review from Rachel, so I’m in.
- Week two is a work of short nonfiction, The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. I was obsessed with Helen Keller for a while in elementary school and look forward to revisiting.
- Week three is a novella in translation, Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima, translated by Geraldine Harcourt. I’ve had good luck with Japanese novellas in the past.
- Week four is a classic novella, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. I *think* I’ve read it (it’s crossed off in my 1,001 Books page, anyway) but I can’t remember much and seems due for a reread.
The books in my library
Unread novellas from #NovNovs past and recent additions.
- My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley is 199 pages exactly and arrived last week. It’s a sign.
- The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, a leftover from this year’s 20 Books of Summer
- Quartet by Jean Rhys, ditto.
- And on loan from the library, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, recommended by Caribbean Girl Reading the World.
The novellas that have crossed my path leading up to #NovNov. Will I get to any of these? Almost certainly not. But maybe… in time…
- Committed Writings by Albert Camus is a perfect nonfiction novella combo, a collection of speeches and letters, and sounds fascinating. Reviewed by Brona.
- The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe won a novella prize, and is in the tradition of Wide Sargasso Sea (another solid #NovNov pick), in that it takes a side character from a classic novel and gives her new life. Reviewed by ANZ Litlovers.
- Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, profiled in The Guardian.
- A wide selection of novellas by women in translation, selected by Naty.
I’ve made my novella recommendations, now on to my own reading intentions. I will not finish all of these, mostly due to the fact that I am beginning the month 500 pages into 1000-page Ducks, Newburyport and 2 hours into the 24-hour audiobook The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Whoops.Continue reading