Novellas in November 2021

I’ve collected together a selection of novellas in advance of Novellas in November, hosted by Cathy of 746 Books and Rebecca of BookishBeck. These are all books of under 200 pages.

From top to bottom they are (I’ve given the actual page numbers in my copies):

  • Another Part of the Wood by Beryl Bainbridge – 159 pages -literary fiction set In a remote cottage in Wales where two urban couples are spending their holiday with the idealistic owner and his protege. The beginning is idyllic but catastrophe lurks behind every tree.
  • The Great Divorce by C S Lewis – 118 pages – a fable and allegory in which the writer, in a dream, boards a bus on a drizzly afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell.
  • The Invasion of the Moon 1969: the Story pf Apollo 11 by Peter Ryan – 189 pages, non fiction about the flight of Apollo 11 and the men who went to the moon and back.
  • Rebus’s Scotland by Ian Rankin – 131 pages (not including the photographs). Ian Rankin’s guide to the places in Scotland that have provided inspiration for his bestselling Inspector Rebus novels.
  • The Sovereignty of Good by Iris Murdoch – 105 pages, philosophy – three essays, exploring questions of good and bad, and myth and morality.
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay 189 pages – a novel for the reader to decide if it’s fact or fiction. On St Valentine’s Day in 1900, nineteen girls and two schoolmistresses visit Hanging Rock. Some were never to return. 
  • On Chesil Beach 166 pages by Ian McEwan, It is July 1962. Edward and Florence, young innocents married that morning, arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their private fears of the wedding night to come. The events of that evening will haunt them for the rest of their lives. (This will be a re-read)
  • A Life of Walter Scott: The Laird of Abbotsford by A N Wilson 185 pages, ‘weaving together the life and the works, and discussing all Scott’s best-known books as well as many which are less familiar.

22 thoughts on “Novellas in November 2021

  1. I hadn’t realised Picnic at Hanging Rock was so short. Are you planning to read all of these or are these your options? I started pulling my options from the shelves yesterday in anticipation, I seem to have more than I thought. The dilemma is that it’s also Australia month and German month.

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  2. You’ve got some great choices there, Margaret! I’ll be especially interested in what you think of the Bainbridge (she had such skill at building suspense!), the Rankin, and the Lindsay. But they’re all terrific choices, and I hope you’ll enjoy them.

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  3. I have always regretted not making more of the Novellas in November initiative, because it clashes with my German Lit Month challenge. So this year I am going to be very clever and combine the two! I like the sound of the Bainbridge novella, one with which I am not familiar.

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    1. I also have some novellas on my Kindle – The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben is 192 pages, is nonfiction – as his book, The Inner Life of Animals if those would interest you.

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  4. I finally read Picnic at Hanging Rock a few years ago. It is very interesting and interesting to speculate about.

    Rebus’s Scotland sounds like a must-have for my literary travel shelf. I love books like this!

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    1. I’m glad you found Picnic at Hanging Rock interesting, it does look intriguing. If you’re a Rebus fan then Rebus’s Scotland is a must, even though the black and white photos are rather disappointing as they are dark.

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  5. I’ve seen the movie and TV versions for Picnic at Hanging Rock — that tale never really gets old. It’s such a superb mystery, and till the end, you just keep wondering… I hope you really enjoy these novellas.

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