#12Days of Christmas book game: day 8

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me

 Eight Maids a-Milking

Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

We’re into the section of the song where people feature more prominently than feathered creatures. Doesn’t make the selection of titles any easier though. I suppose they mean by maidens not ladies in frilly aprons who serve high tea or do the dusting for you? Wonder how many of those can also milk a cow – an unusual skill to show up on your CV…

Booker Talk Titles for Day 

Milking takes me to Hot Milk by Deborah Levy which was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. I haven’t read it – the furthest I got was chapter 1 which featured a dialogue about stinging jelly fish which bored me so much I didn’t feel inclined to read any further.

The other association would of course be the ‘play for voices’ Under Milk Wood by my countryman Dylan Thomas. If he’d stuck to drinking milk instead of spirits and beer he might be alive today. Then again maybe he wouldn’t have produced such distinctive poetry…..

But thats exhausted my list of associations with milk so I’ll switch to maids. Now I could go with the bestselling The Help by Kathryn Stockett which though it doesn’t feature the word maid in the title, is in fact all about maids. More particularly maids in the deep south and how badly they were treated in decades past. Far more enjoyable than I expected it to be – pride of place has to be the set piece where one maid takes revenge on her boss because she wouldn’t let her use the same toilet as the family.

I shall give a bonus today and add a fourth title – Lady’s Maid by Margaret Forster. I love Forster’s work for its blend of fiction and non fiction and this was one of the earliest experiences of her work. It’s a fictionalised account of a woman who goes to work for the poet Elizabeth Barrett and becomes a close confidant of her mistress, even helping in her secret marriage to Robert Browning. It gives a fascinating insight into the life of the poetess who now would probably be diagnosed as suffering anorexia and into Victorian life and culture.

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with maids, maidens, milk or milking.  Let’s see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc . You can mix and match your nominations.

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday, Dec 12.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

#12Days of Christmas book game: day 7

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Seven Swans-a-Swimming

swans

Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

We’re over the halfway mark!. Today is our final bird related lyric (hooray) So we need book titles or author names or cover images featuring swans and/or swimming.

Booker Talk Titles for Day 

Wild Swans, Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang: this was the title that came immediately to mind for me. It’s one of my favourite books. For those of you who haven’t read it, this is the story of three generations of women in Jung Chang‘s family but its also the story of China and the upheavals its people  endured through the Mao regime. Some parts are painful to read but as a way of getting an insight into this country, it’s superb. It’s still banned in China however.

The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B Yeats:  this is a lyric poem by the Irish poet which was  written between 1916 and early 1917 when Yeats was in his fifties. It’s a melancholy poem because it reflects Yeats recognition of the passage of time and his inability to change that.

Here a link to the poem if you are not familiar with it.

The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. This is a lovely novella which I enjoyed reading when I was in my early twenties. It’s about the healing power of love and friendship.  It documents the growth of a friendship between an artist living a solitary life in an abandoned lighthouse because of his disabilities and a young local girl who finds the goose wounded by gunshot. As the friendship between the girl and the artist develop, the bird is nursed back to flight and returns to the lighthouse on its annual migration.
For my third choice I did consider something with the word Swansea (pronounced Swans-y /ˈswɒnzi/, not Swan-sea) in the title – that being one of the major city’s in Wales. But that would be cheating really because the origin of this name has nothing to do with swans. The theory is that it derives from the time when it was a Viking trading post so it’s could be Sveinn’s island(in Old Norse this wold be Sveinsey) comes from the Norse name ‘Sweyn’ and ‘ey’, which can mean inlet.
So I’ve to change tack because I couldn’t think of another book containing the word swan. My third choice is therefore:
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch: I put this on my wishlist after reading The Dinner by the same author. This one is a psychological thriller in which a  doctor to the rich and famous takes his family on holiday with disastrous results.

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with swans or swimming.  Let’s see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc . You can mix and match your nominations.

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday Dec 10.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

Top 10 New to Me Authors

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by Broke and Bookish asks for ten authors whose work I read for the first time this year. At first I thought I would struggle to get to 10 but a quick look at my list of reviews and books read shows I had way more than 10. Some of them were Booker prize contenders, others were authors that I’ve heard about a lot through other bloggers. So here is my list of the best….

 

  • Huraki Murakami: I’d been nervous about Murakami because of his use of magical realism but Norwegian Wood was recommended by a work colleague. Excellent choice that has given me the courage to read something else by this author.
  • Barbara Pym: this is a name thats been on my radar screen for a long time based purely on the number of bloggers I see who enjoy her work. Some Tame Gazelle was a delightful introduction.
  • Elizabeth Strout: I’m not entirely sure how I came across her and read My Name is Lucy Barton. It was certainly before she was shortlisted for the Booker. Some of her backlist has gone on my wishlist as a result.
  • Anne Enright: Irish authors can sometimes overdo the misery but Enright hit just the right note with her Booker prize winning The Gathering 
  • Amelie Nothomb : A Belgian author recommended by a work colleague. Fear and Trembling is actually set in Japan which was her home for many years. A quirky novel about the cultural protocols in that country, particularly as they affect women.
  • Graham Swift:  I finally got around to reading his Booker prize winning novel Last Orders and was taken by his ability to create multi-layered characters.
  • Yoko Ogawa: Another author whose quirky style kept me engaged when I read The Housekeeper and the Professor

And now for three authors that, were it not for the Booker Prize, I wouldn’t have discovered this year. They were all long listed or shortlisted.

  • Ian McGuire:   Superb story telling was on display in The North Water
  • Wyl Menmuir: I read his novella The Many and was bowled over.It’s an atmospheric story that is also a bit of a puzzle.
  • Madeleine Thien: If I say her novel  Do Not Say We Have Nothing should have won the Booker prize, you’ll understand how much I rated this book.

 

#12Days of Christmas book game: day 6

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Six Geese a-Laying

geese

Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

First of all an apology for not getting this out yesterday – I was feeling very poorly yesterday and spent most of the day asleep.

The respite from birds is over since today we are back with them. Today we need to find book titles, cover images, author names etc  that match the sixth line of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas.  So we need book titles or author names or cover images reflecting the idea of gees and laying of eggs. Hm not that easy.

Booker Talk Titles for Day 

The Golden Goose: this is a fairy tale published in a collection by the Brothers Grimm in 1884 (the authorship is unknown). I chose this for two reasons.firstly, the course on children literature I’m doing has a module on fairy tales – its astonishing how so many versions of them exist and many of them rather dark. Second reason – its this year’s panto in  The Archers, one of my favourite radio programmes.

The Ugly Duckling: continuing on the fairy tale path. This one  was first published in 1844 by Hans Christian Andersen first. Apparently he admitted on many occasions that the tale mirrored his own life.

 If you’re interested in fairy tales take a look at this fabulous website SurLaLune which documents many fairy tales and their origins. You’ll never think about Little Red Riding Hood in the same way again…..
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. This is a lovely novella which I enjoyed reading when I was in my early twenties. It’s about the healing power of love and friendship.  It documents the growth of a friendship between an artist living a solitary life in an abandoned lighthouse because of his disabilities and a young local girl who finds the goose wounded by gunshot. As the friendship between the girl and the artist develop, the bird is nursed back to flight and returns to the lighthouse on its annual migration.

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with geese, goslings or laying eggs.  Let’s see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc . You can mix and match your nominations.

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Thursday Dec 8.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

#12Days of Christmas book game: day 5

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Five Gold Rings

gold-rings

Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

A bit later than planned today sorry but at last we get a respite from the birds. Only a temporary one unfortunately because tomorrow we are back with them so lets enjoy the break when we can. Today we need to find book titles, cover images, author names etc  that match the fifth line of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas.  So we need book titles or author names or cover images reflecting the idea of gold, rings or five. Should be easy??

Booker Talk Titles for Day 

This was rather easy today…..

Goldfinger by Ian Fleming: this wasn’t too hard to think of because I was sorting out some boxes last week and found my husband’s collection of Fleming’s James Bond series that he has kept since about the 1970s.  It’s seventh novel in the series and was  published in  1959. Goldfinger. I admit to never having read anything by Fleming nor have I seen the recent film versions.

Lord of the Rings by J.  R. R Tolkein Another novel I have never read despite its status as one of the best-selling novels of all time. It  began as a sequel to Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a much larger work written in stages between 1937 and 1949, . I did try The Hobbit because it was talked about so much in the sixth form and then university but it did nothing for me. It’s this experience that made me realise I don’t take too well to novels with talking animals.

Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell. I do remember enjoying this autobiographical story of how Maxwell, a naturalist, brought an otter back from his travels in Iraq and raised it at his home in Scotland. Eventually it was discovered to be a previously unknown sub species – subsequently named in honour of Maxwell.

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with gold rings  Let’s see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc . You can mix and match your nominations.

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday Dec 6.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

Day 4 of #12Days of Christmas book game

mockingbird-montage

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Four Calling Birds

Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

We’re a third of the way through the song. On day 4 we are still on a bird theme (we get a break from that tomorrow!) but hopefully this one will be easier. Today we need to find book titles, cover images, author names etc  that match the fourth line of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. Don’t know what qualifies as a calling bird? Apparently there have  been, at different times in history, different versions of this song. One had “four canary birds”, another as  “four mockingbirds,” and before that they show up as “colly birds” or “collie birds,” which is the archaic term for blackbirds. To make it easier  lets give ourselves maximum leeway where any bird will count

Booker Talk Titles for Day 

This wasn’t too difficult …..

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: This has been a popular novel ever since its publication in 1960, made yet more popular when it became a film in which Gregory Peck played Atticus Finch, a lawyer in a small Southern town who defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge. In 2015, the novel gained new attention with the discovery after 50 plus years of another novel featuring Atticus’ daughter Scout. Go Set a Watchman was  completed in the mid-50s but lost for more than half a century. Its publication galvanised people to re-read To Kill a Mocking Bird. 

Lark Rise to Candelford by Flora Thompson:  A book “everyone” seemed to be reading back in my younger days but I’ve never read. It’s a trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels about the countryside of north-east Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, England, at the end of the 19th century.The stories were previously published separately as Lark Rise in 1939 , Over to Candleford in 1941 and Candleford Green in 1943. The books describe village life through the seasons of the year. I might give this a go sometime.

My third title is somewhat of  a tangential link but is highly topic. I give you the poet Philip LARKin. This bespectacled librarian was the very antithesis of people’s perception of how a poet should look but the measure of his work is that he gained him innumerable honours and  Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He turned down the opportunity to become Poet Laureate however. This week saw another honour bestowed on him when a memorial plaque was unveiled in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey alongside Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll and D.H Lawrence. One of my favourites is this:

An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd—
The little dogs under their feet.
Such plainness of the pre-baroque 
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.
They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.
They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they
Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,
Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:
Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

 

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with ‘calling birds’ or just ‘birds’ or any specific kind of bird.  Let’s see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc . You can mix and match your nominations.

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday Dec 5.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

Day 3 of #12Days of Christmas book game

3-french-hens

 

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Three French Hens

Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

Our task today is to come up with book titles that match the third line of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. This means yet more birds but hopefully slightly easier than day 2. Remember you can try to stick to the prompt of ‘french hens’  for titles of books or authors (??) or cover images though other than a cookery book I’d be struggling with this. OR you can go off piste and be creative.

Booker Talk Titles for Day 3

I failed even more miserably with French Hens than with yesterday’s prompt of turtle doves, so I have had to think more broadly. I don’tt know that these qualify as hens since the authors are not all female, but here are three French titles from my TBR list.

The Kill by Emile Zola: I became enamoured with Zola when I read Germinal so have been slowly reading other titles from the Rougon-Marquet series. It’s a long term project since there are twenty books in the cycle. Here’s the status of my Zola project so far.  I’ve picked The Kill (in French this book is known as La Curée) because it’s book number 2 in the series. Apparently this is a different kettle of fish to the predecessor  La Fortune des Rougon that I read last year – The Kill is a study of the next generation of the Rougon family and the wealth they acquire but it also a plot involving sexual and political intrigue.

Candide by Voltaire:  I’ve never read anything by Voltaire so when I saw this – the only title of his I’ve heard of – in a secondhand charity shop I snapped it up but in three years I’ve never felt compelled to open it. All I know is that its a satire first published in 1759 which features the young man, Candide, who lives sheltered life in which he is indoctrinated by his mentor, Professor Pangloss. This lifestyle comes to an abrupt end and Candide then begins a painful process of disillusionment. The philosophical content is putting me off rather – have any of you read it? If so, would you recommend it?

My third title is another classic – this time by Balzac who I read for the first time in 2015 and loved. La Cousine Bette. This is an 1846 novel set in Paris which tells the story of an unmarried middle-aged woman who plots the destruction of her extended family.  The book is part of the Scènes de la vie parisienne section of Balzac’s novel sequence La Comédie humaine (“The Human Comedy”).

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with either ‘French’ or ‘Hens’ or both if you are feeling adventurous. Let’s see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc . You can mix and match your nominations.

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday Dec 4.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

Day 2 of #12Days of Christmas book game

 

turtle-doves

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Two Turtle Doves

Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

Our task today is to come up with book titles that match the second line of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. The likelihood you come up with a title including all three words is remote but you may have more luck with either turtles or doves. Remember this can be a cover image or a book title or an author’s name.  Here’s my attempt…

Booker Talk Titles for Day 2

I failed miserably with turtles, there being nothing in my TBR or wishlist or brain that I could fit with that theme. I had a bit better luck with doves.

When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen. This comes from my TBR and was a book I bought in Cirencester on Dec 26 last year (known in the UK as Boxing Day).We went on a little outing to get away from the claustrophia of two days with the family in a rented house. I didn’t expect to find many places open but what a delight to find a branch of Waterstones – equal to my delight at finding a shoe shop with a lovely pair of boots at a crazy price.  I bought When the Doves Disappeared purely because it was on one of the buy one, get one half price offers and it would add another country to my world literature reading list. Almost a year has elapsed and I have picked it up a few times but then found something else that was calling to me more. Maybe I will get to it before it’s first birthday.

The Wings of the Dove by Henry James. This is a 1902 novel that relates  the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her effect on the people around her. I’ve read a few novels/novellas by Henry James with varying success. Portrait of A Lady I found incredibly slow though I warmed to it on second reading. The Turn of the Screw (click the title to find my review) wasn’t anywhere as sinister as it could have been – – I was more intrigued by the question of whether this story about ghosts was a figment of the governess’ fiction. Washington Square (reviewed here) was far superior to Daisy Miller. Because I”ve had such mixed reactions I’m willing to give him another go so Wings of a Dove is on my wishlist.

Sadly I couldn’t come up with a third title without resorting to Google lists (which would be cheating) so I offer you a third literary connection instead ….

Dove Cottage. This was the small home of the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy that I visited two years ago. It’s very close to Lake Grasmere in the Lake District of England which inspired so many of Wordsworth’s poems. The cottage is tiny so would have been rather dark and gloomy in winter but it has a lovely tiered garden at the back. Luxury it is not nor romantic in any sense……But they loved it apparently.

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with either ‘turtle’ or ‘dove”. Let’s see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc . You can mix and match your nominations just as I did.

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday Dec 3.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

Let the game begin: Day 1 of #12Days of Christmas book game

patrdrige-in-tree-1

Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

Our task today is to come up with book titles that match the first line of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me
a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Booker Talk Titles for Day 1

I bombed out on partridge and pears – nothing in my TBR or wishlist that fitted that bill so I had to go on the theme of trees…..

The Tree of Life by Maryse Conde. This was a novel I read earlier in the year as part of Women In Translation Month. I’d never read anything by an author from Guadeloupe. Sadly this wasn’t a great novel though I can see that it had important themes about race and ambition. Here’s my review.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: I’ve seen this mentioned so many times and recommended highly. I’ve added it to my wishlist. Not quite a classic it’s still immensely popular. Published in 1943 it tells the story of a second generation Irish-American girl and her family who live in Brooklyn. It comprises five books which each focus on a different time period in the family’s history. Just hope its not as sentimental as Little Women, another American classic I just finished reading.

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy: This was the first of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Wessex’ novels. I read it a few decades ago when I had a spate of reading Hardy. It wasn’t one of my favourite Hardy novels – I much preferred the harder edge of Tess of the d’Urbervilles or The Return of the Native to this amiable portrait of life in a provincial town. I can’t have thought that badly of it though because i still have that edition of the book in my shelves. Could be time to give it another go.

Now over to you – here’s How to Play:

Come up with book titles or book images or anything book related (could be the name of a location mentioned in the book or a character) that matches with either ‘partridge’ or ‘pear tree’. Lets see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc ..You can mix and match your nominations to give 2 instances of partridge and 1 of pear tree if you want

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself. Why did you choose these titles – are they from your TBR or ones you’ve seen mentioned on a blog. Please try not to just use lists from Goodreads etc.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

The Giveaway

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

To participate, your list of books must be in the comments field by 10pm GMT/5pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday Dec 3.

 

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

On your marks: 12 Days of Christmas book game and giveaway starts tomorrow #12days

12days1

Tomorrow is Dec 1st and the official start of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway that I announced earlier this month.

To play you need to come up with book titles that match the subject of that day in the cycle song The Twelve Days of Christmas – the one that starts with

On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me
a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

There’s an incentive to play along with this which is a giveaway of a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository

How to Play:

Starting tomorrow and for each of the next 12 days I will publish a post which asks you to come up with a list of books that matches that day in the song. So on Dec 1 (day 1) you’ll be asked to name books (ideally 3) which feature a partridge or a pear tree either in the title, or the cover image or even as  a character. On Day 7 you need to find book titles, cover images etc featuring swans. Be creative – if you can’t think of book titles including the word swan then how  about authors called Swan (and variations of that) or books which feature swimming…

Put your titles into the comments field of that day’s post. Don’t just give me the name since you could easily get that from a Google search – tell us something about the book itself.

Feel free to blog about this on your own site or via Twitter using the #12days hashtag

Here’s the list so you can get thinking….entries in advance of the day’s posting will not be counted.

I will put my list of books in the day’s post.

Day by Day Prompts

Day 1:   Partridge in a Pear Tree
Day 2:   Turtle Doves
Day 3:    French Hens
Day 4:   Calling Birds
Day 5:    Gold Rings
Day 6:   Geese a-Laying
Day 7:   Swans a-Swimming
Day 8:   Maids a-Milking
Day 9:   Ladies Dancing
Day 10:  Lords a-Leaping
Day 11:   Pipers Piping
Day 12:   Drummers Drumming

Rules of the Game

1.Each day a post will go live on booker talk.com matched to the task for that day. All you to do is post a comment with your list of books on the page

2. Each day try to come up with 3 titles. No need to think of 11 books featuring pipers or eight with maids in them. This is meant to be fun not mission impossible…..

3. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the names of titles matching each day. But the books do need to be in existence – no scope here for making up your own titles.

4. The number of contributions per person will be totalled and the one with the highest number will win the prize. So if you post three titles for day 6 and 5 on day 11, that gives a total of 8 points.

5. Contributions should be entered on the page within the time limit stated each day – typically I will give 48 hours between the time I post the day’s challenge and when comments will be closed.

6. You don’t need to play every day in order to be entered for the prize. Some days will be easier than others – and anyway you have all that shopping and packing still to do

7. There is only one prize – available internationally. The Prize winner will be announced on the blog around about the 15th of December.

6. The prize is that you get to choose a book up to the value of $20 USD from the Book Depository that I will arrange to ship to you. This will probably not arrive until next year given the last postage dates for international mail.

 

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