Day 3 of #12Days of Christmas book game



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 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.



What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

16 thoughts on “Day 3 of #12Days of Christmas book game

  • I’m not reading other comments not to be influenced by others’ choices.

    – Nana by Emile Zola for two reasons. One, it’s a French book. Second, Nana is a cocotte, a courtesan and “cocotte” is the colloquial way to call a courtesan and also a hen.

    – Any scary book would do because “to have goose bumps” is said “avoir la chair de poule”, meaning, “to have hen’s skin” So let’s The Shining by Stephen King

    – Reynard (Le Roman de Renart, in French) because who likes to break into a henhouse? 🙂

    • Love the connection to Nana….Its the one Zola book I couldnt get into but it might just have been my mood at the time so I will give it another go

  • A Chicken in Every Yard: the Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping (very useful book!)
    Chicken Little
    The Little Red Hen

  • Again, it’s kids’ books to the rescue. The Little Red Hen is a fairytale that I don’t remember from growing up but discovered when I volunteered at a local primary school.

    There’s also a book called French Kissing that I want to read. It’s by Catherine Sanderson, who used to blog as Petite Anglaise, and I loved her blog.

  • To list all the books I’ve read that have a French link would take the rest of the year. Instead, let’s do the hens.

    In October of last year, I read The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun M. Huang. It’s a South Korean fable-like story about a hen named Sprout who wants to do more with her life than lay eggs she’s not allowed to hatch.

    In 2012, I read and enjoyed Chickens, Mules, & Two Old Fools”, subtitled Tuck into a slice of Andalucían Life, a charming memoir by Victoria Twead. Twead and her husband Joe, tired of the dreary British climate, decided, as they neared their retirement, to sell their British home and move to sunny Spain.

    Finally, in July 2015 I read another memoir Coop: a Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting by Michael Perry. “Living in a ramshackle Wisconsin farmhouse—faced with thirty-seven acres of fallen fences and overgrown fields, and informed by his pregnant wife that she intends to deliver their baby at home—Michael Perry plumbs his unorthodox childhood for clues to how to proceed as a farmer, a husband, and a father.”

  • I’ll stick with chickens:

    1. Artichokes & City Chicken: Reflections on Faith, Grief, and My Mother’s Italian Cooking by Jan Groft, a so-so memoir I read this past summer.

    2. The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker, her somewhat bizarre book about raising chickens (read in 2013).

    3. On my TBR is Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever by Bill Gifford, about anti-ageing medicine and technology.

  • I’m going to go off-piste with books written in French too, because it’s easy: I’ll start with
    *Le Rendez-vous de Venise (Rendezvous in Venice) by Philippe Beaussant because I’m actually reading it at the moment, (very slowly!) in French.
    Then another one I read in French was *Indiana, by Georges Sand
    and finally the one I’d like to be able to read in French (but have read in English) *Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust.

  • Great choices three French title
    The red notebook
    Book of my mother
    Off top of my head

  • Oops, I forgot to give a reason for my second one, though I promise I didn’t get it from a Google list but from my head. It’s there because it’s a book I know I should – and in fact would like to – read!

  • Ok, lets go with each of the three words (or variations on them) this time:

    – The three musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas (ok so it’s obvious but it’s the best I can do)
    – Suite Française, by Irene Nemirovsky
    – Henny Penny, by Paul Galdone – a favourite book when I was growing up

  • Dawn French wrote a novel! Two, actually; one is called Oh Dear Silvia and I can’t remember the title of the other. My dad loved them both, though; he’s very fond of well-written comedy (Mark Twain is another of his great faves.)

    Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series is, hands down, the best crime series I’ve ever read. Her writing is top-notch, lit-fic-quality stuff, and her understanding of human motivations is comprehensive.

    Might I also add The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander? A children’s fantasy book from the 1960s that follows the fortunes of lowly assistant pig-keeper Taran. (Bonus points: the pig is called Hen Wen!)

  • 1. ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ by John Fowles;
    2. ‘The Three Musketeers’ – Alexandre Dumas
    3. Well, I struggled with a third, but eventually came up with a ladybird reader that I remember from childhood – ‘The Little Red Hen and the Grains of Wheat’ retold by Vera Southgate and illustrated by Robert Lumley.

    • Children’s books do seem to be coming to the rescue for more than one person.

  • 1. Three Hens and a peacock. My daughter’s books have come in very handy for this song. This one is a picture book about three hens who get jealous of peacock on their farm because the peacock draws people to the farm. They try to switch places then learn that each animal makes their own valuable contribution.
    2. Mastering the art of French Cooking by Julia Child. because lots of chicken recipes 🙂
    3. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by Fowles. Hen is a scottish term for woman. Loved this book.

    • I’ve seen the film based on Julia Childs story but never seen the book in print. the film make the recipes sound complex


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