The novella is probably my favourite literary form – you know how I love short books, and I really admire an author who can pack a lot into not many pages. Favourites from recent years of reading include The Heir by Vita Sackville-West and The Beacon by Susan Hill. Of course, ‘novella’ is a pretty imprecise term, but I would include more or less anything under 200pp.
Inspired by my love of all things short (including my housemate Mel :p ) and by Simon S’s recent discussions of the novella over at Savidge Reads, I’ve decided to have a little readathon at the weekend, and blitz my way through as many novellas as I can manage. It’s been ages since I had a whole day to myself, without other activities going on, so I shall enjoy a whole weekend with nothing (except church on Sunday) interrupting my reading…
And what have I got lined up? I don’t imagine I’ll manage all of these by any means, but waiting to be devoured are…
The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark (160 pages, but ENORMOUS font)
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James (118pp.)
A Kid For Two Farthings – Wolf Mankowitz (128pp.)
Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman – FC Delius (125pp.)
Stevenson under the Palm Trees – Alberto Manguel (103pp.)
The Hours (screenplay) – David Hare (122pp.)
The Loved One – Evelyn Waugh (127pp.)
And, why not, let’s throw in Quilt – Nicholas Royle, mentioned yesterday (159pp.)
Give me a moment to do some quick mental arithmetic… ok, some pretty slow arithmetic… If I manage all eight books, that’s 1052 pages, I think. Hmm. Ok, I might not manage all of them, but I certainly intend to read as many as I can manage!
I can’t wait, I think it’s going to be a fun weekend. And, of course, it’s open to anyone who fancies joining me. I doubt many of you have the luxury of a weekend to indulge in just reading – but why not grab something under 200 pages that you’ve been meaning to read, and call next weekend your Novella Weekend?