Get ready for Novellas in November 2021!

Novellas: “all killer, no filler” (said Joe Hill).

For the second year in a row, Rebecca of Bookish Beck and I are co-hosting Novellas in November as a month-long challenge with four weekly prompts.

New this year: each week we will take it in turns to host a “buddy read” of a featured book we hope you will join in reading.

We’re announcing the challenge early to give you plenty of time to get your stack ready.

(We suggest 150–200 pages as the upper limit for a novella, and post-1980 as a definition of “contemporary.”)

1–7 November: Contemporary fiction (Cathy)

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson – including a giveaway of a signed copy!

8–14 November: Short nonfiction (Rebecca)

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (free to download here from Project Gutenberg. Note: only the first 85 pages constitute her memoir; the rest is letters and supplementary material.)

15–21 November: Literature in translation (Cathy)

Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima

22–28 November: Short classics (Rebecca)

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (free to download here from Project Gutenberg)

We’re looking forward to having you join us! Keep in touch via Twitter (@bookishbeck / @cathy746books) and Instagram (@bookishbeck / @cathy_746books) and feel free to use the feature images and the hashtag #NovNov.

Have you any novellas lined up for November?

Do let us know in the comments!

Novellas in November Reading Challenge

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

89 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I enjoy Novellas in November, and I’ve got 10 books to choose from — and that’s just the Australian ones!
    I’ve got three by one of my favourite C20th authors Helen Hodgman and another from the C20th, Barbara Hanrahan. One SF, one satire, and one that was a Miles Franklin nominee. So it’s going to be hard to choose, a nice problem to have. My NF shelves tend to be groaning with heavy tomes, but I might have a couple tucked away where I can’t see them at the moment.
    So I’m looking forward to November — thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your timing is impeccable! Just last night I’d started to pick out ‘nine novellas for November’ as a way of shifting some shorter books off my TBR, so I’m definitely in.

    Of course as soon as I’m aiming for 9 there are 11 that I really want to read and, while Ethan Frome was already on my list, I’m going to be tempted by all the group reads. It’s a nice ‘problem’ to have!

    My list so far that needs cutting down (and may pick up some of the other group reads):
    Mother of 1084 – Mahasweta Devi
    The Dead Lake – Hamid Ismailov
    The Search Warrant – Patrick Modiano
    Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
    The Good Life Elsewhere – Vladimir Lorchenkov
    Passing – Nella Larsen
    Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
    The Old Man Who Read Love Stories – Luis Sepúlveda
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    Elizabeth and Her German Garden – Elizabeth von Arnim
    Woman at Point Zero – Nawal El Saadawi


  3. I enjoyed this last year, so I shall have to look and see what I’ve got that fits the bill for any or all of those weeks. Last year I only read Bruce Chatwin’s Utz and Cath Barton’s In the Sweep of the Bay but maybe I’ll manage one or two more for #NovNov this year (though not the Wharton as it’s not been long since I first read it).


  4. I have a fiction that is only 83 pages. It is an early play by Martin McDonagh, the movie director who directed ‘In Bruges’ and ‘Three Billboards in Billings, Montana’. It’s called ‘The Pillowman’, and my review will appear either late this week or early next week.


  5. I’ll be interested to see reviews of Open Water; I read it a little while ago and was a little ambivalent. I’ve got some put aside for N in N anyway – White Fragility I think fits and I have a novella novel by my friend Katharine d’Souza, and I’m pretty sure I have something else lurking on the back of the TBR shelf, too. I’ll look forward to joining in general, even if I don’t manage the prompts as such!


  6. I will be participating. I have a notion to read only novellas in November, but don’t know if I can stick to that or not. Worth a try, though.


  7. I’m planning to buddy read with you! My fav novellas are by Fredrik Backman: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. Thanks for your buddy read suggestions!


  8. I have a question. Is there a lower limit for number of pages?

    Obviously, I don’t want to go down to short story length, but is 75 pages too few? I have found novellas that are only 50-60 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m reading a novella now, and I have a review of a novella going up next week… Also, I downloaded Ethan Fromme a long time ago, but never got around to reading it. Maybe I’ll use this as a good opportunity to do so finally.


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