Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I've given in...

... and joined The Art of the Novella Reading Challenge. It's the brainchild of Frances at Nonsuch Book, but has been heartily embraced by Melville House, publisher of the gorgeous thirty-seven volume set (plus five "Duel" Novellas).

Frances plans to read (and drink) her way through all 42 volumes this month. Realizing that the rest us us are not this crazy ambitious, she has set up alternate levels of participation:

Curious – Read 1 novella
Fascinated — Read 3 novellas
Captivated – Read 6 novellas
Passionate — Read 9 novellas
Mesmerized – Read 15 novellas
Obsessed – Read 21 novellas
Fanatical – Read 27 novellas
Unstoppable — Read 33 novellas
Bibliomaniac — Read all 42 novellas

August is a busy month around here. Moving kids to and from internships and colleges will occupy a minimum of three weekends, but at least ten novellas have caught my eye. Since I'm a realist, I'll play it safe and sign up for the "curious" level, while still entertaining hopes of advancing to "fascinated".

An Austen craving had me pulling Lady Susan down from the shelf last night to get things started. Within just a few pages, I read:
"...but where there is a disposition to dislike a motive will never be wanting..."
Jane's wit and wisdom shine though even in her 'minor' works. This is going to be fun...

Melville House is collecting links to all challenge posts here, so stop by and see what everyone is reading.


  1. Yay! I'm signed on for fascinated but will probably just be curious. :)

    I loved this book! There was a modern retelling (published last year?) where Lady S. comes out as a better person (wrong, wrong, wrong!)

  2. Yay! I'm glad you've joined in the fun. I'm looking forward to reading Lady Susan; it's one of the few things by Austen I've yet to read.

  3. Sounds like a fun challenge especially one that you can drink along with!!!

  4. That Frances, she is a temptress isn't she? My ears perked up when I heard about wine pairings. But, alas, my August is hell month. I'll be lucky to just read blogs, let alone read books or (gasp) review them.

  5. Audrey - I'm a little embarrassed to sign up as curious, but we have a wild month ahead. Lady Susan is turning out to be a gem of a little book!

    Melody - Lady Susan is wonderful. I want to slow down and make it last a little longer!

    Staci - It definitely adds a little more excitement;-)

    Sandy - Oh, I hear you!! That's why I'm only 'curious'.. I should at least be able to do that. If not, I'll just enjoy the wine!

  6. I'll take "crazy!" Works for me. Thanks for playing along when you have such a busy month. Also can't wait to get to Lady Susan.

  7. There are so many great novellas on this list, I'm hoping to get to at least one, probably Madame de Treymes by Edith Wharton. There's a Henry James that intrigues me as well.

    I read Lady Susan about a year ago and really enjoyed it -- Lady Susan is just wonderfully monstrous, by far one of Austen's most despicable creations. My edition also included Sanditon and The Watsons, by Lady Susan was by far my favorite.

  8. Frances - Well then, crazy it is! What a great project.

    Karen K. - Wharton and James are both on my list of ten. I'm loving Lady Susan - it's been years since I've read a 'new' Austen. The Watsons and Sandition are in my edition, too.

  9. Good luck. I've enjoyed many a novella, but not all at once. Lovely reads, most of them. Hope you enjoy your choices.

    Tempted, but behind on six New Yorkers.

  10. I've read one so far. I plan on doing two more, but I fear on my be it for August. I'll be reading many more in the coming months, though.

  11. Midlife Jobhunter - No fair reminding me of my neglected New Yorkers! I think they've been piling up all summer...

    C.B. James - I have three more on hand (wish they were the Melville House editions), so we'll see how it goes. Many more interest me. May consider a longer term project.

  12. I plan to read The Beach at Falesa by Robert Louis Stevenson for this challenge-your choice is a great one

  13. Mel U - Glad you're joining in!

  14. They're addicting, aren't they? I couldn't resist either. Good luck with it!

  15. Marie - Yes, they are addicting. This morning I downloaded The Country of Pointed Firs on my ipad - it will be my first ebook!

  16. Fantastic! I'm just cheerer participants on this year although the "curious' level is tempting!

    Good luck and enjoy the book!

  17. Thanks, Amy! Lady Susan was excellent... still trying to choose what to read next.


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