Sometimes when you’re facing a reading slump or in the midst of a long read, there’s nothing better than a short story or novella to jumpstart your batteries. Short and often fast paced, novellas pack a fast punch to the gut, tugging your emotions in the most unexpected ways. And, since this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish), there’s no better time to share my novella TBR list!
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter: A lyrical, atmospheric look at grief in the form of a pesky Crow, threatening not to leave until two brothers have come to terms with the unexpected loss of their mother. (114 Pages)
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault: Bilodo lives for his schedule – he delivers his postal rounds and returns home for a solitary dinner, and to steam open undelivered letters for his own reading. Through this, he stumbles on a poetic exchange between the lovely Segolene and Gaston, a master poet, but when Bilodo witnesses Gaston’s death, he takes the chance to write to Segolene himself, impersonating Gaston without hesitation. (128 Pages)
The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming: A witty collection of cartoons revealing the buffaloed ideas some of the greatest men in history believed about women. (128 Pages)
In the Orchard, the Swallows by Peter Hobbs: In the foothills of the mountains in northern Pakistan, there is a beautiful orchard, full of swallows and the mesmerizing scent of jasmine, an image that’s sustained a young prisoner for fifteen years, all the while hoping to see the orchard again, or per chance a glance of a swallow. (139 Pages)
Beast by Paul Kingsnorth: Isolated and alone in a west-country moor, Edward Buckmaster faces the elements and himself, both equal adversaries, but unawares, he’s also tracked by an unknown creature. (168 Pages)
Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens: As Lore is about to give birth, after refusing an epidural or any modern assistance, her mysterious past is revealed, creating a vivid portrait of childbirth and the emotional turmoil brought with motherhood. (176 Pages)
Mother Sunday by Graham Swift: A dazzling emotional novella flowing back and forth through time as Jane recalls her torrid, seven-year affair with an heir to a neighboring estate. (177 Pages)
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin: An affecting nightmare come to life, Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic with a mysterious young boy by her side, a stranger, a child not her own, and yet he’s earnest to provide comfort as she desperately traces every last memory of her daughter. (183 Pages)
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer: Area X is an unexplainable, pristine forest that sprang into existence almost overnight and studied by the Southern Reach, a government agency, for years without any clue to its origin or intent. Now, on the twelfth expedition, four women travel into the unknown, uncovering a poignant and heartbreaking look at humanity’s relationship with the wider world and each other. (195 Pages)
The Solace of Monsters by Laurie Blauner: Created by a grieving father, Mara is just the latest in a series of Maras he’s made. After making her escape, she discovers the world outside, from the forest to the city, hoping to find her own bit of solace in life, her own meaning to life itself. (200 Pages)
What novellas would you recommend?