Novellas

I was thinking about my previous weekend of reading novellas, and what fun it was, and musing about what I’d read were I to repeat the experiment… and toying with doing so on the weekend 4th-5th December. So I went around my bookshelves, pulling things off that I wanted to read, and that were around 200pp. or less. And now I have a pile of 13 books… I’m not going to reveal them just yet, because I think that last time it rather spoilt the surprise of what I’d read, and maybe led to book-mention-fatigue (just be grateful Miss Hargreaves isn’t under 200pp.! As the bloggers who met Thomas the other day discovered, I can work Miss H. into more or less any conversation.) But the beady-eyed amongst you may be able to deduce one or two…


If I did provisionally put aside that weekend for novella reading, would anyone be interested in joining me?

Obviously I wouldn’t be able to read all thirteen, but I daresay I’d make something of a dent, and it would be fun to know that other people were engaging in the activity elsewhere in the country. It might be shortened by a potential trip to Cheltenham to see a musical, but… well, we’ll see. December seems somehow appropriate for novellas. Although it also seems appropriate for enormous novels, which is why I have Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch earmarked for a dark post-Christmas evening.

Do let me know if you’d be interested, and spread the word. You don’t have to give up the whole weekend, of course – maybe just try to read one or two novellas at some point? It certainly demolishes the reading pile a little!

18 thoughts on “Novellas

  • November 24, 2010 at 12:30 am
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    I d be interested simon ,Know I m off that weekend so have time to read a few novellas and have a good few waiting to be read ,all the best stu

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  • November 24, 2010 at 2:09 am
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    I spy a Penguin, a Persephone & possibly a Peirene Press novella but no surprises spoiled – maybe a black & White Tove Jansson?

    I am going book shopping & to the ballet with Verity but will try to join you on the Sunday? Weekends between now & Christmas are a bit crazy but putting a dent in the TBR is irresistible.

    Yes I can testify to you being capable of fitting Miss Hargreaves into any conversation ;)

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  • November 24, 2010 at 2:13 am
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    P.S. Speaking of December being appropriate for enormous novels: I am in a quandary about packing The Pickwick Papers & only The Pickwick Papers for my trip home at Christmas…

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  • November 24, 2010 at 4:36 am
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    I have several novellas that I won't get through for the November novella challenge and would be happy to join you and see what others are reading.

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  • November 24, 2010 at 5:04 am
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    Who are you calling beady-eyed?!? :) I'm sort of doing a novella week this week during/around our Thanksgiving holiday. I would love to join in the virtual fun with ya'll, but the 4th is stacking up to be a fairly full day. I'm not complaining, though. I love choral singing and one of the activities that day is participating in a sing-it-yourself Messiah. That's worth giving up a little reading time for me. :)
    Enjoy!

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  • November 24, 2010 at 10:59 am
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    I would, but I appear to be busy doing things EVERY weekend up until Christmas now (presents, when will I find you!?). Lovely idea though…

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  • November 24, 2010 at 11:20 am
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    I could just be up for this one as I do need to get my reading back on track and I want to get through a good load of my books at the moment as I need to cull and read and cull. So I have pencilled it in Mr Thomas.

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  • November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm
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    Hi – I'm another Oxford DPhil English student (PRS) – and Sophie Duncan suggested I pop over here. Glad to see another blogger!

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  • November 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm
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    Your definition of Novella is thicker than mine. For me the page count has to be three digits and start with a 1. So, 199 pages = novella. 200 pages = novel. There is something about that 200th page that really makes a difference.

    And funny you should mention Miss Hargreaves, I just turned the 200th page this morning.

    I think I recognize the "novella" on the bottom of the stack.

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  • November 24, 2010 at 6:24 pm
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    Perhaps I am a slow reader but today having spent 4 hours on a chapter, I don't think I could get through one novella in less than a weekend! :D It's a great idea in theory!

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  • November 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm
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    I definitely agree about enormous novels for dark winter nights. I like to read Dickens just before Christmas. And Jane Austen in springtime.

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  • November 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm
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    I tend to pick big books but I'll see whether I have any novellas lounging around on my shelves. If so, I'll be joining you too:)

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  • November 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm
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    I'd love to join! I'm finishing a novella this morning "Sleepless Nights" by Elizabeth Hardwick, which I find rather confusing but love just the same!

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  • November 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm
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    I would love to join in! I think I'll read The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne-Jewett that weekend.

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  • November 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm
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    Sounds fun! I'm going to London on the Saturday, which means a couple of hours on trains, so I can spend that time profitably. May get through a Spark, and I've been meaning to read Sanditon for quite some time…

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  • November 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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    I'll bet I can squeeze in a novella! I'll have to go count and see how many unread I have on my to-read shelf. . . oh dear, it's thirteen, not counting the combined volume of three novellas by Garcia Marquez. Of which I've read only one. That brings me to 15.

    And one of them is A Kid for Two Farthings which is another of the Bloomsburys like Miss Hargreaves! I found three of them at the Half Price Bookstore, a real find. Might be perfect for next weekend. . . .

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  • November 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm
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    I just checked my to-read shelf and counted 13 that were under 200 pages! I'd love to make a dent in that pile. And I'm curious to see your list — I spy a Persephone in the photo!

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