Back From the DNF and Novellas in November

dnfWhile my wonderful Tania is recuperating (hopefully quickly), I’ve decided to get on board with some of the things that are happening this month with the book blogger people. One of our favourite guest hosts, Laura from Reading in Bed, created this Back From the DNF motivator. Basically it involves revisiting novels that you did not finish for whatever reason (DNF = Did Not Finish). Middlemarch was a DNF title that I read recently, and this turned out to be a very rewarding experience. I came to it with new eyes fifteen years later, and it was wonderful. For the most part I rarely don’t finish a novel. The ones that I do stop reading are usually terrible, and I know for certain that it is the book and not just me, but there are others in my DNF pile that really deserve a second chance.

  • JSMNJonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – This is a very long and dense book. I remember enjoying the footnotes very much but found the main story a little slow. I just might not have been in the mood for that sort of thing at the time, and if I remember correctly had to put it aside to read something else. I just never got back to it. It has been so long that I’ll have to start from the beginning again, as I don’t remember much about it. It is so beloved by many people with book tastes that I trust that I can’t just let it sit there unread.
  • Anna KareninaAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – I don’t know how many times I started this book, but couldn’t go on. It’s been years since I tried, so maybe I’m ready for it now. I feel silly not having read it.



  • Don QuixoteDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra – This was Tania’s choice for my next self-challenge, so I really have no choice in the matter. I’ve read most of it, and certainly all of the important parts, but I have not read the whole thing from cover to cover, and it has been many years since I’ve read it at all. It is a true masterpiece, and the very first European novel.


  • adaAda, or Ardour by Vladimir Nabokov – I tried to read this one a long time ago and my head just wasn’t in the game. I know that I like Nabakov because I have read his other books, and this is considered to be one of his big ones, so I really must give it another go.


These are all huge novels, so this might take some time, but I will read them all, and keep you updated on how it goes.

Novellas in November was created by our other favourite guest host, Rick from Another Book Blog. It doesn’t look like he is participating this year, but the aforementioned Laura is doing it, and so is our good friend, and hopefully future guest host, Nat from The Wandering Bibliophile. They are both way more ambitious than I am, but, as it happens one of my DNF titles also happens to be a novella, so it will be the first DNF that I read.

wlbfThe Woman Lit by Fireflies by Jim Harrison – I read the other two novellas in this collection, but I just wasn’t feeling this one. I don’t recall why. Jim Harrison is one of my favourite authors. Was this a fumble on his part (I wasn’t crazy about either novella in his most recent collection, The River Swimmer), or was it just me? We shall soon see.




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2 Responses to Back From the DNF and Novellas in November

  1. Glad to hear that Tania is on the mend!

    I am the same as you, there are very few novels that I haven’t finished. But sometimes you’re just not in the right place to appreciate a book. Little Women is one of those for me. I tried so many times to read it. And I always got bogged down in the Pilgrim’s Progress section or the Pickwick Papers. When I finally went back and read it, I LOVED it. But I had to get there. I’ve tried to read Don Quixote but I’ve never managed to get very far. As for Anna Karenina – was it the 80 or so pages on agriculture that killed it for you? LORD.

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