Reading Projects

It’s time to dust off your novellas!

I’m a big fan^^ of novellas — those works of fiction, generally less than 200 pages, that can be read in a matter of hours but linger in the memory for much longer — so I don’t normally need an excuse to read them. But this month is Novellas in November (#NovNov22) hosted by Cathy at 746 Books and Rebecca of Bookish Beck so I’m devoting the month to reading as many as I can from my existing TBR.

And because there’s a couple of other reading months happening, I’ve made sure 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.

Here’s what’s in my pile:



  • ‘The Last Summer’ by Ricarda Huch (translated by Jamie Bulloch)
  • ‘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 Thirty-Nine Steps’ by John Buchan
  • ‘Catholics’ by Brian Moore
  • ‘And the Wind Sees All’ by Gudmundur Andri Thorsson
  • ‘The Man I Became’ by Peter Verhelist
  • ‘Confessions of a Mask’ by Yukio Mishima
  • ‘The Faces’ by Tove Ditlevsen
  • ‘A Feather on the Breath of God’ by Sigrid Nunez
  • ‘The Lost Daughter’ by Elena Ferrante
  • ‘From the Land of the Moon’ by Milena Agus

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!


^^ Some of the best books I have ever read have been novellas. Some examples include ‘Academy Street’ by Mary Costello, ‘The Lover’ by Marguerite Duras and ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ by Jay McInerney. For more truly memorable novellas, please check my list of 17 intriguing novellas you can read in a day (or an afternoon).

34 thoughts on “It’s time to dust off your novellas!”

    1. I was lucky enough to find most of Moore’s backlist in my local secondhand bookshop (someone must have had a clear out of their library), which is where this one has come from.


  1. I’ve read a lot of novellas this year, but not one single one is on your list! Well done for adding to our list of possibilities 🙂

    And thank you for including a couple of Australian ones.


  2. Great list … some of my most memorable books are novellas too.

    I use around 150 pages as my definition … but have gone to 200pp. I would read the Astley … just because it’s one I want to read! But I may not this month. Hope to post my first novella post today or tomorrow …


      1. Yes, I know … and what reader can know the count of words anyhow. BTW I’m posting mine next week, as I see that Cathy has themes again, and mine fits better into Week 2. I nearly decided to post it anyhow, but instead I did the first Non-fiction November and held this one (post not completed yet anyhow) for next week!


  3. Alas, I’m no help to you. I’ve only read Girl with a Monkey and The Thirty Nine Steps. (Well, I might have read Blueback but if I did, I don’t remember it.)
    Anyway, that’s an interesting pile and I look forward to adding to my novella collection by reading your reviews:)


    1. To be honest, this year’s #NovNov pile is almost the same as last year’s! I just took out the ones I have read since last year and added a couple of new ones I’ve purchased over the last 12 months. The Winton is a kids book / YA.


    1. I saw a stage adaptation of 39 Steps many years ago and it was brilliant so will look forward to reading the book! I admit to sometimes struggling with Thea Astley but figure a thin book should be less intimidating!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m finding that I only read on weekends these days … I’m too exhausted to read after work and it doesn’t help my bedside reading lamp is rubbish (I’ve been meaning to buy a new one for about 6 months!). I’ll be happy if I can read two novellas every weekend, but we’ll see…


  4. I’ve only read The Lost Daughter from your list and really enjoyed it (read before the Neapolitan novels, which I wasn’t as enthusiastic about as most people). Recently watched the movie version of Lost Daughter (good, but book was better).


    1. I’m reading The Lost Daughter now and really enjoying it. Like you, I wasn’t a fan of the Neapolitan novels (I only read the first one; I couldn’t be bothered with the rest) so I’m pleasantly surprised by this one. In a weird way, the icy tone and limpid prose is very soothing.


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