Lots of us make a habit of prioritizing novellas in our November reading. (Who can resist that alliteration?) Perhaps you’ve been finding it hard to focus on books with all the bad news around, and your reading target for the year is looking out of reach. If you’re beset by distractions or only have brief bits of free time in your day, short books can be a boon and Novellas in November is the reading challenge for you!
The definition of a novella is loose – it’s based on word count rather than number of pages – but we suggest aiming for 150 pages or under, with a firm upper limit of 200 pages. Any genre is valid. As author Joe Hill (the son of Stephen King) has said, a novella should be “all killer, no filler.” With distinctive characters, intense scenes and sharp storytelling, the best novellas can draw you in for a memorable reading experience – maybe even in one sitting.
In 2018 Laura Frey surveyed the history of Novellas in November, which has had various incarnations but no particular host. This year Rebecca of Bookish Beck and I are co-hosting it as a month-long challenge with four weekly prompts. We’ll 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 we’ll take turns introducing a theme each Monday.
2–8 November: Contemporary fiction (Cathy)
9–15 November: Nonfiction novellas (Rebecca)
16–22 November: Literature in translation (Cathy)
23–29 November: Short classics (Rebecca)
It’s always a busy month in the blogging world, what with Nonfiction November, German Literature Month, Australia Reading Month, and Margaret Atwood Reading Month. Why not search your shelves and/or local library for novellas that count towards multiple challenges?
See my recent post for ideas of how books can overlap on a few categories. Or you might choose a short Atwood novel, like Surfacing (186 pages) or The Penelopiad (199 pages).
We’re looking forward to having you join us! Keep in touch via Twitter (@bookishbeck / @cathy746books) and Instagram (@bookishbeck / @cathy_746books) and and feel free to use the feature image above and the hashtag #NovNov.
Here are a few of the novellas that I hope to read during the month!
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!