My annual celebration of the publishing industry’s bastard child, the novella. Throughout the month I’ll be reading as many as I can in the hopes of finding a few forgotten gems. Please come along and do the same. Short stories and novels get enough press these days. It’s time to give the middle child some attention.
I started Novellas in November two years ago on another book blog (cleverly titled Another Book Blog) because it may, in fact, be my favourite literary form. To paraphrase Warren Cariou, the novella blends the focus and impact of the short story with the emotional and character development of the novel. It’s the best of both worlds!
Novellas can be read in a single sitting, and yet they’re long enough to take you on a bit of a journey. If you find a really good one (*cough*EthanFrome*cough*), it may just change your reading life.
Regrettably, I wasn’t able to tackle Novellas in November last year, but thankfully the loose ball was picked up by Laura over at Reading In Bed. She’s every bit as into it as I am, so I was incredibly happy to see that she kept it alive in my absence. Now that I’m back, I’m even happier to know that she’s coming along for the ride with me again this year.
My goal each year is to tackle 10 novellas. I’m not quite sure which ones I’m going to be reading just yet, which is great because that lets me gather some advice from much smarter readers than myself. So please, give me some suggestions in the comments! I’m more than happy to explore any genre.
My tentative list, which I’ll whittle down as things get closer to November 1st:
- Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin
- And if all goes well, its sequels The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight
- The Burning Man by Tad Williams
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
- Indomitable by Terry Brooks
- Shopgirl by Steve Martin
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
- The Fifth Child by Dorris Lessing
- The Suicide Shop by Jean Teule
- The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
- The Wonderful World of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- The Sojourn by Andrew Krivek
- The Tenth Man by Graham Green
- Three Blind Mice by Agatha Christie
- The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig
- The Shoebox Bible by Alan Bradley
- The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy
- Hatter: A Legend of Wonderland by Daniel Coleman
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
There are so many amazing novellas just waiting to be read! Gah! The only problem with Novellas in November is you simply run out of time. (I suppose we could always just keep reading them at our leisure once December rolls around, but where’s the fun in that?)
Again, suggestions are more than welcome. Or, if you’ve read some of the ones I’ve listed, I’d also love to read your thoughts on those as well. Shout ’em out in the comments.
And please! If you’re up for the challenge, I’d love for you to come along with Laura and me. Whether you blog about it or not, all we want is for people to find a newfound appreciation for the coolest of literary forms. (Laura, if I’m putting words in your mouth, I don’t care.)
Get into it!
Edit: Follow along and spread the word on Twitter by hash tagging your posts with #NovNov