Novellas in November Begins!

Burnt out on doorstoppers after Victober? Wondering how you’ll ever reach your reading target in this strange year? It’s time to stack up the short books (anything under 200 pages) and get reading towards Novellas in November!

Here’s a reminder of the weekly themes Cathy and I are taking it in turn to host:

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)

Leave your links here and/or on Cathy’s intro post at 746 Books and we’ll update our blogs through the month to include them. We look forward to seeing what you read!

Don’t forget to tag us on Twitter (@bookishbeck / @cathy746books) and Instagram (@bookishbeck / @cathy_746books) and use the hashtag #NovNov.


Novellas in November 2020 posts:

Mrs Caliban by Rachel Ingalls (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

The Spare Room by Helen Garner (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson (reviewed by Hopewell’s Library of Life)

Three Novellas – Bythell, Carey and Diop

Mostly Hero by Anna Burns (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

Dark Wave by Lana Guineay (reviewed by Lisa at ANZ LitLovers)

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey (reviewed by Susan at A life in books)

The Man from London by Georges Simenon (reviewed by Helen at She Reads Novels)

Cyclone by Vance Palmer (reviewed by Lisa at ANZ LitLovers)

Short Fiction from Steinbeck and Triolet (reviewed by Carol at cas d’intérêt)

Contemporary Fiction novella recommendations (Monika at Lovely Bookshelf)

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (reviewed by Kim at Reading Matters)

Surfacing – Margaret Atwood (1973) (reviewed by Ali at Heavenali)

Simenon, Greg & Moss (reviewed by Annabel at Annabookbel)

10 Favorite Nonfiction Novellas from My Shelves

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide (reviewed by Margaret at BooksPlease)

300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

The Poisoning by Maria Lazar (reviewed by Juliana at The Blank Garden)

Summerwater by Sarah Moss (reviewed by Lisa at ANZ LitLovers)

The Invisible Land by Hubert Mingarelli (reviewed by Susan at A life in books)

The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck (reviewed by Lisa at ANZ LitLovers)

Two Reviews for Non-fiction Novella Week (Cathy at 746books)

A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar (reviewed by Imogen at Reading and Viewing the World)

Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson (reviewed by Juliana at The Blank Garden)

Runaway Amish Girl: The Great Escape by Emma Gingerich (reviewed by Hopewell’s Library of Life)

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante (reviewed by Radhika’s Reading Retreat)

8 Novellas in Translation (reviewed by Grant at 1streading)

Nonfiction novella recommendations (Monika at Lovely Bookshelf)

Four More Short Nonfiction Books for Novellas for November

Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen (reviewed by Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog)

Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to Happiness (reviewed by Annabel at Annabookbel)

The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth (reviewed by Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings)

Chess by Stefan Zweig (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

Popcorn by Cornelia Otis Skinner (reviewed by Ali at Heavenali)

The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera (reviewed by Imogen at Reading and Viewing the World)

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben (reviewed by Hopewell’s Library of Life)

The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

Three novellas: Albertalli, Meruane, Moore (reviewed by Dr Laura Tisdall)

A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli (reviewed by Karen at Booker Talk)

Wendy McGrath’s Trilogy (reviewed by Marcie at Buried in Print)

Dog Island by Philippe Claudel (reviewed by Susan at A life in books)

The Man behind Narnia by AN Wilson (reviewed by Margaret at BooksPlease)

Fall on Me by Nigel Featherstone (reviewed by Nancy at NancyElin)

An interview with Cath Barton, author of novella The Plankton Collector, by Kathryn at Nut Press

Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates (reviewed by Kim at Reading Matters)

Translated novella recommendations (Monika at Lovely Bookshelf)

Happiness, As Such by Natalia Ginzberg (reviewed by Jacqui at JacquiWine’s Journal)

Dolores by Lauren Aimee Curtis (reviewed by Nancy at NancyElin)

The Provincial Lady Goes Further by E.M. Delafield (reviewed by Hopewell’s Library of Life)

The Pigeon by Patrick Süskind (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio (reviewed by Ali at Heavenali)

Sweet Days of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

Icefall by Stephanie Gunn (reviewed by Nancy at NancyElin)

Five Novellas in Translation

Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses by Georges Simenon (reviewed by Margaret at BooksPlease)

The Silence by Don DeLillo (reviewed by Kim at Reading Matters)

My favourite classic novellas (Cathy at 746books)

10 Favorite Classic Novellas

Short Classics recommendations (Monika at Lovely Bookshelf)

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys (reviewed by Imogen at Reading and Viewing the World)

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey (reviewed by Radhika’s Reading Retreat)

The Spare Room by Helen Garner (reviewed by Brona’s Books)

The Jew’s Beech-Tree by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (reviewed by Juliana at The Blank Garden)

Daughters by Lucy Fricke (reviewed by Lizzy’s Literary Life)

What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez (reviewed by Kim at Reading Matters)

The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt by Eduardo Mendoza (reviewed by Reese Warner)

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton (reviewed by Calmgrove)

Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks (reviewed by Juliana at The Blank Garden)

Short Classics: Orwell + Austen, Buchan, Capote, Wharton (Margaret at BooksPlease)

Follies and The Power of Privilege (reviewed by Liz at Adventures in reading, running and working from home)

The Strange Bird by Jeff Vandermeer (reviewed by Annabel at Annabookbel)

Girl Reporter by Tansy Roberts (reviewed by Nancy at NancyElin)

The House of Dolls by Barbara Comyns (reviewed by Ali at Heavenali)

Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth Von Arnim (reviewed by Brona’s Books)

Simpson Returns by Wayne Macauley (reviewed by Nancy at NancyElin)

Miscellaneous Novellas: Murdoch, Read & Spark; Comics; Art Books

Three short classics from the 746: Mann, West, Atwood (reviewed by Cathy at 746books)

Writers on Writers: Josephine Rowe on Beverley Farmer (reviewed by Brona’s Books)

Utz by Bruce Chatwin (reviewed by Calmgrove)

A Novellas Inventory (Market Garden Reader)

Three novellas by Ivan Turgenev (reviewed by Book Around the Corner)

The Lifted VeilSilly Novels by Lady Novelists by George Eliot (reviewed by Helen at She Reads Novels)

The Weight of Things by Marianne Fritz (reviewed by J. C. Greenway at 10 million hardbacks)

Theo by Paul Torday (reviewed by Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog)

Another novella by Triolet (reviewed by Carol at cas d’intérêt)

The Three Graces of Va-Kill by Emily Herring Wilson (reviewed by Hopewell’s Library of Life)

Miscellaneous novellas: Oates, Moss, Orstavik, de Moor, Hull (reviewed by Naomi at Consumed by Ink)


See also this terrific list of Australian novellas put together by Brona, a list of 17 intriguing novellas you can read in a day (or an afternoon) put together by Kim, and Louise Walter’s thoughts on the writing (and publishing) of novellas.

33 responses

  1. And just as libraries are being forced to close their doors once more. *sigh*. Will it ever end?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a shame. I have one more volunteering session on Tuesday morning — you’d better believe I’m going to be stocking up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Started my first novella this morning!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well done! I’ve been reading the new Edward Carey (160 pages) for review, plus I started a nonfiction one last night and have another little stack to get to today. (You know me, always reading 20+ books at once…)


  3. I can see my TBR list expanding yet again! I do have two titles up for review which fit the novella bill over the next couple of weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great to hear it! Might one be The Swallowed Man? 🙂


    2. I’ll be reviewing it later this week as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have any suitable books on the TBR but will be enjoying all the posts! Have fun, hope it goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It looked like a few on your latest TBR photo might be right around 200 pages? 😉 But no worries; there’s never any pressure! Enjoy your month’s reading and maybe we’ll overlap on Nonfiction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, weird, I must have managed to make them look particularly svelte in my pictures! There’s nothing there under 200p, except a teeny tiny one about how white people can be allies by June Sarpong, which I was saving for when my best friend and I have finished reading Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Nothing else on the whole shelf, though!


  5. I have just started Surfacing by Margaret Atwood, not sure if that counts as contemporary though as it was first published in 1973,though it’s not as old as many books I read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would class that as contemporary. And of course it goes towards #MARM as well — nice double-tasking!


  6. […] my TBR, broken down by the weekly themes Cathy and Rebecca came up […]


  7. I’ve already got a couple under my belt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hurrah! I’ve got a few brand new ones to review later this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m joining in with the challenge this year – I’ve started with Jenny Offill’s Weather which just about qualifies as a novella, and is definitely contemporary. Following up with Hisham Matar’s Month in Siena, plus some Yuri Herrera (Transmigration of Bodies), Jean Rhys’s Good Morning, Midnight and Marion Milner’s A Life of One’s Own… Interested to see what everyone else is up to

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful choices! I loved Weather; it’ll definitely be on my Best of 2020 list. I’m considering a Rhys novella as well. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your reading and leave us a link if you manage to review anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Cyclone by Australian author Vance Palmer: not contemporary, I’m afraid, but it doesn’t fit any of the other categories:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just going by the age, I think we’d call it a Classic. It’s no problem posting during any week of the challenge; we’re happy to have people participate whenever!


      1. Alas, I wouldn’t call it a classic, because a classic is a book that endures and is read again and again by successive generations. This one, alas for contemporary readers who come across it, is one that quite rightly faded into obscurity!


  10. […] never officially join #NovNov, which is co-run by Rebecca and Cathy, because, much in the same way that some people can’t stand short stories, […]


  11. What an overwhelming number of links you’ve got collected: wow! I always enjoy reading novellas, but I haven’t (yet?) successfully binged on them. Just last night though, I did finally finish one of the four that I’d selected with this month in mind: Daniel Polansky’s The Seventh Perfection. Strangely enough, I think it took me longer to read it than it took to read 4 300-pagers…it just kept getting shoved to the bottom of the stack while other duedates pressed. You know how it goes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been a challenge to keep up with all the #NovNov posts! I try to check for the hashtag on Twitter daily, but there have been plenty of reviews that I missed and had to copy from Cathy’s master post 😉

      Some of my novellas have been quick reads; others, not so much — The Wasp Factory is taking a while because I don’t like spending too much time in the narrator’s company at once…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. […] take part in Novellas in November as, well, I didn’t have any novellas to hand, but Bookish Beck and 746 Books include non-fiction in their challenge and I did have some short non-fiction! Of […]


  13. […] bloggers have taken part, publishing a total of 85 posts. (I’ve collected all the links on this master post.) Thank you all for being so engaged and helping to spread the love of short […]

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for adding the link to Theo. By the way, you can also add this link to “Quicksand & Passing” which are two novellas (longish ones) by Nella Larsen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will do! So sorry for missing it in the first pass. You take us closer to 90 posts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! That’s amazing!


  15. […] month was #NovinNov – we were encouraged to read novellas this month. I read 11, most of them sweet holiday […]


  16. I added one more to my list, also by Elsa Triolet and in French. I mentioned it in a post from today. Triolet is a remarkable author. I’m glad this challenge got me to read her work. Thanks for the mention above.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. […] that I’d like to take part in again this year: #SciFiMonth and #NovellasInNovember (co-run by Rebecca and Cathy). Serendipitously, I tend to get on a lot better with SF novellas than with any other […]


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