#12Days of Christmas book game: day 11


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

Eleven Pipers Piping

Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

We’re almost at the end of this game and its much harder than I imagined. Today is particularly challenging – not a single book title comes to my mind that involves pipers unless its related to cake decorating.


Booker Talk Titles for Day 

Help! I can’t think of a single book containing the words piper or piping. There’s the folk legend of the Pied Piper of Hamlin which is probably in text form somewhere but I don’t know that for sure.

So I’ll have to think tangentially – what do pipers do? They mend or lay pipes maybe but thats not very interesting and probably not the intent of their song – I can’t imagine anyone being very pleased to unwrap a gift of a pipe on Christmas morning. Probably whoever created the song was thinking of the kind of pipers who make music.  That’s more like it – here are my choices:

Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

This was only the second novel by Tremain that I read and I did so purely based on the fact I had enjoyed her earlier novel Restoration. This one too is set in the seventeenth century though this time we are in Denmark not England. It features a lute player who gets a position in the King’s orchestra and then falls in love with the Queen’s companion. He doesn’t realise what he is getting into because the court, for all its show of harmony is a hotbed of evil.  It wasnt as good a book as Restoration unfortunately – I found it rather confusing.

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

This was a wonderful book about the love between two highly gifted musicians. One is Michael, a violinist, the other is Julia a pianist. They split up but now 20 years later she re-enters his life and their romance is re-ignited. But Julia has a secret that might get in the way of their love. A magical story which takes place to in two of the most atmospheric cities in Europe – Venice and Vienna.

And finally, something completely different – a crime story with a strong musical theme. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny is one of the novels in her Chief Inspector Gamache series set in Quebec province. It sees Gamache, head of homicide, travel to a remote island which is home to a community of monks. They are a silent order yet ironically have become world-famous for their prowess in singing Gregorian chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.” As I indicated in my review at the time, I loved this book, not just because its well plotted but I desperately wanted to hear some of that music. So I went and bought a CD of Gregorian chants. If ever you have trouble sleeping and need something to restore a feeling of peace and calm, this kind of music could be the answer.

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 pipers and piping 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 Friday Dec 16.

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

15 thoughts on “#12Days of Christmas book game: day 11

  • I enjoyed a lot that book by Louise Penny, well like all of them, but the unusual setting (for her series) was fantastic

  • Oh dear, this is a hard one:
    Australian author Christine Piper wrote a really interesting novel called After Darkness which is set in a remote internment camp during WW2 and is about the struggle of one of the Japanese internees to come to terms with events in his life. A very accomplished novel which won the Vogel Prize for an unpublished novel.
    But Liam Pieper (pi#per) wrote a book called The Toymaker which I thought was an insensitive use of the Holocaust, and I don’t recommend it at all.
    OTOH Zoe Morrison made a beaut debut this year with her novel Music and Freedom. It won the Readings Prize for New Fiction, and although it tackles the topic of domestic violence it’s surprisingly uplifting.
    With the number eleven, I have something more cheerful: I can’t resist a beautiful picture book for children called The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base. Base does gorgeous vividly coloured illustrations that are rich with symbolism that even little kids enjoy. I used to read his books all the time when I was a teacher-librarian, and he was one of our favourites.

    • The Christine Piper sounds rather interesting even though not the most comfortable of subjects

  • Sarah

    For my first pick, I’m loathe to admit I’ve chosen Paul Coelho’s ‘Eleven Minutes’ – if it’s anything as cloyingly new agey and full of feelgood ten-a-penny wisdom as ‘The Alchemist’ I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.

    My next choice is ‘The Piper’s son’ by Melina Marchetta.

    My third is a bit of a stretch as it’s not a book as such but a chapter title. ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ is from Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’, and was also used as an album title by Pink Floyd (when they were good). Even if it’s cheating, I’m sticking with it as I love ‘Wind in the Willows’ and any excuse to mention it is alright by me! 🙂

    • I have carefully avoided Coelho having heard about the Alchemist and decided it really was not my thing

  • I have no idea of books with pipers or piping. In French, for the eleventh day, it’s “onze pierres ponces” or eleven pumice. Not easier.

    So I’ll stick to your idea of books related to music:

    – The Time of our Singing by Richard Powers (music is central in the book)

    – I Married a Communist by Philip Roth (one of the characters is a harpist)

    – Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust. The Vinteuil Sonate is a key piano piece of Swann’s love for Odette. Music is very important in In Search of Lost Time. Later, there will be a character named Morel who is a talented violonist.

    PS : There’s also a book by San Antonio “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe)

    • isn’t “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” also the name of the painting by Magritte?

      • Yes that’s a wordplay on it.

      • PS une pipe is also a blow job…and when you’re in San Antonio’s world this meaning is not to rule out.

        • thanks for the little cultural education. I shall be sure to take care where I use the expression – might get some strange looks otherwise

  • I feel like I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel for this one!

    1. On my TBR is Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World by Mary Pipher. I love the subtitle, and I’m guessing her surname is pronounced “Piper.”

    2. I loved Nocturnes: Five Stories Of Music And Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro.

    3. Frog Music is not one of my favourites from Emma Donoghue, but it’s fairly enjoyable historical fiction.

    • I have number 2 and 3 on my TBR shelf. Sorry to hear the Donoghue isn’t all that brilliant

  • I love Nevil Shute! I read his Pied Piper in 2004. It’s about a man traveling across France during WWII, to take a child to safety. As he goes, he collects more and more children.

    In 2011, I got partway into and abandoned Maigret’s Pipe by Georges Simeon. It just wasn’t for me.

    And that’s all the pipes I have. So I’ll offer Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s set in the near future. Although I don’t usually read dystopian lit, I enjoyed this last year.

    • i don’t much care for dystopian fiction either – so despite hearing great things about Station Eleven I haven’t added it to my wishlist.

  • Hmmm … tough I agree:

    Bill McKibben’s Oil and honey includes quite a bit about the Keystone (I think it was that one) pipeline
    Sherlock Holmes stories, let’s say The hound of the Baskervilles, could work – he smokes a pipe doesn’t he?

    And for my third I’m trying to think of a musical piper or bagpiper or panpiper but am struggling. Ah, of course, I’ve got it – a story perhaps not a book, but The Pied Piper of Hamelin! Woohoo.

    One day to go.


We're all friends here. Come and join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.