Monday, 20 January 2014

A Clever Gift, Thoughts on Novellas, and the Latest Stack of Books

I've been meaning to post about this since Christmas, but seeing as things have been busy lately (when aren't they busy?) I've only just gotten around to it.

My favourite part of Christmas morning has always been opening my stocking, and this year I was pretty excited over what I found in there. My husband is a clever guy, not to mention he's just as big of a bookworm as I am, which is why he thought to include these with all the usual candy and fuzzy socks:

Novellas! A whole dozen of 'em! He knew there were a bunch I've been wanting to read, so he put them on a flash drive, printed off the covers, and stashed them in my stocking--so much more fun than buying them and just sticking them on my e-reader right away. I was very surprised and impressed with how he went about this.

As I've mentioned before, my reading tends to lag quite a bit when I'm in the writing vortex, and novellas seem to be the perfect solution for that, seeing as they're shorter and require less of a time commitment. I can't wait to delve into these.

You know, at first I wasn't so sure how I felt about this whole novella trend, but now I can honestly say I understand it--both as a reader and a (very wordy) writer. Novellas are a great way to give readers just a bit more of the worlds and characters they love, and they give writers a chance to expand on aspects of their stories they might not otherwise have time to develop as much as they'd like.

I spent a good chunk of December and early January hacking and weeding words out of my manuscript, and I had to part with at least one scene (albeit a short one) that I really loved. While drafting lately, I've wished so badly that I could write more about certain characters or explore other facets of the world I've created. Being bound by word constraints, that just isn't possible though. Novellas, while obviously being stories in their own right, are a wonderful solution to this. I've been thinking lately that some time I might have to try my hand at one, for no other reason than to indulge my love of the story world I'm in right now.

There were books under the tree too, which isn't surprising in our house. I've shared two of those titles with you already, but I've included a couple more in the picture below, as well as some others I've ordered recently. I've already read Wanderlove but had to have my own copy, seeing as the one I read was from the library. January and February are insane as far as the number of books I'm waiting for, so this haul is only going to grow over the next while (insert giddy laughter and clapping here).

What are your thoughts on novellas? Have you ever tried writing one? Any particular titles you're eagerly anticipating in the next while?


  1. What a lovely gift!

    I've never tried writing a novella but after reading this post, I'm definitely tempted. It really would be an amazing way to explore characters just that little bit more.

  2. The only novellas I've read are DESTROY ME and FLAT-OUT MATT. Since I'm always trying to meet my Goodreads Challenge, I usually end up spending my time on full-length books. For some reason, I just can't bring myself to count them as 'actual books' for my challenge. That said, I would never have been able to read UNRAVEL ME the same way without gaining further insight into Warner in DESTROY ME. I think they're a great idea for that reason and others you've mentioned. Pretty cool gift, Trev. :-)

  3. I like novellas a lot! I'm glad you liked your gifts! :D

  4. That is such a thoughtful gift, and I love the way your husband presented it. He must be very attentive when it comes to your reading habits! I have never read a novella, but now you've got me all interested. I'm thinking I might read Erin Bowman's STOLEN, which is a novella that goes with her TAKEN trilogy. It's about Bree, my favorite character. :-)

    You've got some amazing books in your pile! I loved WANDERLOVE, and I'm reading THESE BROKEN STARS right now. So far, it's fantastic. I've been intrigued by the RUBY RED trilogy for awhile now... I'm pretty sure I remember Jaime talking about how good those novels are on her blog. I'll have to be on the lookout for them.

    Happy reading, Erin!

  5. Aww, that's such a sweet gift from your husband! Love how he packaged it. I read one novella that I got at BEA last year - it was called CAMP KISS. It was cute and I liked the fact that it was a teaser to the full-length novel companion.

    I could see myself reading other novellas that go along with series I like. I'm with Katy in wanting to read STOLEN since I loved TAKEN. :)

  6. What a wonderful gift from your husband. I love how much thought he put in to it.
    I've only read romance novellas. I love the ones by Laura Florand and Courtney Milan. I want to read the ones Cassandra Clare has done with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson though. I'm not sure whether I have to have read all the Mortal Instruments first though.

    Enjoy your books you got some fantastic ones!