Novellas in November Wrap-Up

This is the first year that Novellas in November ran as an official blogger challenge. Cathy and I have been bowled over by the level of response: as of the time of this writing, 30 bloggers have taken part, publishing a total of 89 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 books!

We’re already thinking about how to adapt things for next year if we host #NovNov again.

A few specific books were reviewed more than once: The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey, The Spare Room by Helen Garner, and Train Dreams by Denis Johnson.

Three different novellas by Georges Simenon featured, and two by Hubert Mingarelli.

Other novellas discussed more than once were Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, and Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

Aside from the above, here are other frequently mentioned authors who tend(ed) to write short books perfect for Novellas in November: James Baldwin, J.L. Carr, Penelope Fitzgerald, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, John Steinbeck, Nathanael West, and Jacqueline Woodson.

Along with Charco Press and Peirene Press, two more UK publishers whose books lend themselves to this challenge are And Other Stories and Fairlight Books. (If you have more ideas of authors and publishers, let me know and I’ll update these sections.)


And here’s my statistics for 2020:

Total number of novellas read this month: 16 (the same as 2019; vs. 26 in 2018)

Favorites: Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (nonfiction); La Symphonie Pastorale by André Gide & Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan (in translation); The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris


What’s the best novella you read this month?

22 responses

  1. […] can check out Rebecca’s wrap up post here and once again thanks to everyone who has taken […]


  2. It’s been SUCH good fun – I never thought we’d get anywhere near 85 posts. I now have a massive list that I want to read next year 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was so impressed by the turn-out!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only read two, and while I enjoyed Cath Barton’s In the Sweep of the Bay my favourite is Bruce Chatwin’s Utz. Thanks for linking my reviews and also for co-hosting — I look forward to next year’s fest!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for taking part! It’s never too early to start thinking about novellas to read next year 🙂 I’ve only read On the Black Hill by Chatwin, which I loved. I need to read more of his stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I so enjoyed joining in, some highlights for me were A Girl Returned by Donatella di, A Month in the Country by J L Carr and Surfacing by Margaret Atwood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your reviews, Ali! I’m glad you enjoyed the Carr, and your reread of the Atwood.


  5. I loved taking part! Thank you for hosting #novnov, Rebecca! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your contributions!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Maybe my favourite was Sam Sevlon’s The Lonely Londoners. We both fetched up in Londo at about the same time – he as part of the Windrush generation, me as a small girl from rural Yorkshire. In our different ways’, we were probably equally bemused. I loved this books strong voice and sense of place and the seamless way in which he ‘transcribed’ the patois of the protagonists. I found it an engaging read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you found it worthwhile.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for hosting! I didn’t join in much, but thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s tough to fit in all the November challenges! Creative multitasking is a must.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for hosting this event! I didn’t have time to read as many novellas as I wished but I enjoyed taking part to this event.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for joining us!


  9. Glad you enjoyed such a good response!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it was a great success considering it was its first official year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve still got three in my stacks — The Factory, Binti, and Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) — and still vaguely hope that I’ll read them by the end of the year. Sometimes there are entire days around the holidays that turn out to be good reading days and I have the feeling that might be even more true this year! Congrats on so many great reads and all your organizing and enthusiasm, you and Cathy both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been fun, and only slightly overwhelming at times. I was so pleased to see people take the challenge to heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for hosting, I enjoyed taking part with my two non-fiction contributions (and I bought a fiction novella, too …)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. […] Last year, our first of hosting Novellas in November as an official blogger challenge, we had 89 posts by 30 bloggers. This year, Cathy and I have been simply blown away by the level of participation: as of this afternoon, our count is that 48 bloggers have taken part, publishing a total of 198 posts covering nearly 250 books. We’ve done our best to keep up with the posts, which we’ve each been collecting as links on the opening master post. (Here’s mine.) […]


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