Book review

November reading plans

My pile of novellas

I don’t usually plan my reading that too far ahead, but next month there are various reading events hosted by some of my favourite bloggers all happening at once, and I don’t want to miss out.

I’ve dug out all my novellas so that I can participate in Novellas in November (#NovNov) hosted by Cathy at 746 Books and Rebecca of Bookish Beck, and to ensure I can kill two birds (or is it three?) with one stone, I have ensured there’s some in the pile by Australian authors for Brona’s #ReadingAusMonth and a few translated from the German language for Lizzie’s #GermanLitMonth.

I’m not going to read everything in the pile photographed above, but it’s nice to have plenty to choose from depending on mood and time. Here’s what’s in the pile:


  • ‘In the Winter Dark’ by Tim Winton
  • ‘The White Woman’ by Liam Davidson
  • ‘The Long Green Shore’ by John Hepworth
  • ‘The Orchard Thieves’ by Elizabeth Jolley
  • ‘Girl with a Monkey’ by Thea Astley


  • ‘You Would have Missed Me’ by Birgit Vanderbeke (translated by Jamie Bulloch)
  • ‘Two Women and a Poisoning’ by Alfred Doblin (translated by Imogen Taylor)
  • ‘The Last Summer’ by Ricarda Huch (translated by Jamie Bulloch)
  • ‘To Die in Spring’ by Ralf Rothmann (translated by Shaun Whiteside)


  • ‘And the Wind Sees All’ by Gudmundur Andri Thorsson (translated from the Icelandic by Borg Arnadottir and Andrew Cauthery)
  • ‘The Man I Became’ by Peter Verhelist (translated from the Dutch by David Colmer)
  • ‘Untold Day and Night’ by Bae Suah (translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith)
  • ‘The Faces’ by Tove Ditlevsen (translated from the Danish by Tina Nunnally)
  • ‘Assembly’ by Natasha Brown
  • ‘A Feather on the Breath of God’ by Sigrid Nunez
  • ‘One Fine Day’ by Mollie Panter-Downes
  • ‘Touch the Water, Touch the Wind’ by Amoz Oz (translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange)

I’m really looking forward to reading as many of these as I can in November, but where to start?

Have you read any of these books? Recommendations for what to read first are very welcome!

27 thoughts on “November reading plans”

    1. I had to build my TBR from scratch when I repatriated in June 2019 as I only bought 12 books with me. But I live in a place where I’m surrounded by bookshops, including a second hand book warehouse literally 2 minutes from my front door, so it hadn’t taken long to be over run by books… again!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. When I first moved to the UK, I came with one suitcase and one bag, so only brought a few favourite books. I then went abroad for a year of fieldwork, moved every 6 months or so into new student rental etc. So I relied for a long time mainly on libraries, but then… slowly… they started creeping back in.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m ashamed to admit: 1) that, of the entire list, I have read only Winton’s ‘In the Winter Dark’; 2) that I very seldom read German for pleasure. But the Winton book is excellent.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Our only overlap is Assembly. I’m also planning on doing Nonfiction November which doesn’t require reading per se, but does require reading and commenting on others’ blog posts, which steals time from novellas, German and Aus literature. Maybe I need a month off work…?!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good to know! I remember when Peirene didn’t have a staff! I used to go for coffee wtih Meike so she could pick my brain about blogging. I have had a subscription with them since the start, but cancelled it when I repatriated cos I was having to cut costs. I have pretty much every Peirene title up to 2019, but have only read a handful.


  3. I’ve read The White Woman and The Orchard Thieves, they’re interesting reading.
    I have a stack of potential books too, goodness knows if I’ll read them, I’m terrible at reading plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My reading plans normally go out the window, too, but I’m trying to stay focused and these are a good distraction for other things going on in my life. I always prefer short novels over longer ones, so I don’t think I will have a problem reading at least four of these.


        1. Well, I could get into Victoria but then it’s unlikely I’d be able to get back into WA because of the strict border controls, and if, by some miracle, I could re-enter Perth I would have to do 14 days hotel quarantine at my own expense. So, I think the Christmas trip is going to have to wait until 2022 🤷🏻‍♀️ It is what it is… no use complaining.


          1. It’s a sort of Catch22: if the vaxx rates are high enough the controls get relaxed, but without covid in the state, people don’t feel an urgency to get the vaxx.


          2. Which is probably why the WA Government is now pressing to mandate vaccines for anyone who works with the public. The company I work for has given everyone 4 days to prove their vax status. I was on annual leave when the email went out from HR so I don’t know how this news has gone down but I work with a lot of young blokes who aren’t jabbed, because, as one of them told me, “I don’t plan on getting covid” 🥴🙄

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I reckon a lot of these blokes who mouth off are just sooks about getting injections.
            The Ex used to tell a great story about national service induction… there’d be all these blokes lined up in a hall to get their typhoid shots for overseas service, and they were dropping like ninepins in a dead faint, just at the sight of the syringe!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Phew, I’m glad you said you don’t expect to read them all. I should make myself a little list. I have an Australian novella I hope to read so that will fill two bills. I have a Zweig book of short stories/novellas I’ve been meaning to read from so I might try that, but it will depend.

    I’ve reviewed Orchard thieves on my blog. Like it. I read In the winter dark look before blogging, and though it’s not really a genre I read, I remember being impressed. The latter would be a fast read, I’m pretty sure! If that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could probably read a maximum of two novellas a week, so around 8 in total. There’s 17 in this pile, so I couldn’t finish them all in a month. I’ve got a pile more on the Kindle too, but it’s harder to work out which ebooks are novellas and which aren’t because it’s not like you can pick them up to see how big they are!

      I’ll will have to go look at your review of the Orchard Thieves. Good to hear you liked the Winton too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh, nice pile! I can’t make mine till the end of the month, as I don’t fancy pulling out all the novellas then putting them back again and I need to capture a photo of my TBR. Anyway, there will be one, and I’ve managed to overlap novellas and Nonfic November and Nonfic November and AusLit month, if not all three!

    Of your pile, I’ve read Assembly, and was … ambivalent, is that the word? about it. So I’ll be interested in your take on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting to hear your view on Assembly. It’s one of those books I have heard people rave about but I’ve held off reading any reviews until I actually read the book. I will keep you posted!


  6. Thank you for the shout out.
    I’m starting to feel a little concerned about Nov as I have NO pre-planned posts lined up to go – not even the first day welcome post!! I have read stacks of Aust books but just have to find time to review them. Coming out of strict lockdown has been harder this time around, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it helps, when I ran Southern Cross Crime Month earlier in the year I had no pre-planned posts whatsoever throughout the entire month because no sooner had I announced I was running that month, I received notice that my rental flat was going on sale and then it was a mad STRESSFUL situation trying to find somewhere else to live in an overheated, oversubscribed rental market! (I ended up buying another flat and had to keep my fingers crossed that my rental would not sell before settlement.) I basically just winged the reading month, putting up two posts a week of books I had (luckily) read the previous month. With hindsight, I probably should have cancelled but it was actually a good distraction to have a lit project to focus on.


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