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Day 4 of #12Days of Christmas book game


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 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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