#12Days of Christmas book game: day 7

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

Seven Swans-a-Swimming


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 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

11 thoughts on “#12Days of Christmas book game: day 7

  • My favourite ever fairy tale is Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s very dark. Other than that I think other people have already said the ones I had thought of:

    Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
    Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

    Which again are both excellent books.

  • The Swan Book by Alexis Wright. A brilliant book by an eminent indigenous Australian author this book deservedly won the Miles Franklin Award.
    Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. Not as stunning as Cloud Atlas, but I would read a shopping list if David Mitchell wrote it.
    Swimming, a Novel, by Enza Gandolfo, one of the first books ever sent to me for review on my blog, and a thoughtful meditation about life as a middle-aged childless professional woman. (It says a lot that I remember it so well from 2008).
    Swimming Home by Deborah Levy. recommended to me by one of my favourite Aussie authors and then shortlisted for the Booker. I haven’t got Hot Milk yet but will read it on the strength of this one.
    My off-piste choices:
    Vicky Swanky is a Beauty by Diane Williams: Entertaining reading even if I didn’t understand all of it
    The Automobile Club of Egypt by Alaa Ali Aswany: A serendipitous find from the library. A clever critique of colonialism without beating the reader over the head with it.
    The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Wiswanathan, a four star read about the aftermath of the 1985 Air India bombing. Some bloggers I know didn’t like it much, but I thought it showed tremendous empathy.

  • My first thought was the same as yours.

    1) The Swimming-Pool Library by Allan Hollinghurst. i haven’t read it but I loved The Line of Beauty

    2) Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust.

    3 Nager sans se mouiller by Carlos Salem (Swimming Without Getting Wet) The story of a hit man who’s sent on a mission in a nudist camp in Spain. Where to conceal his weapon is his first problem…Excellent

  • fun game! I don’t have time to participate on my blog, but the only Swan title I have read is Th Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova, the author of The Historian. They are very different form each other, but I would recommend both.
    And, to be creative ;-), there’s definitely Swann’s Way lol

  • The Swimmer by John Cheever better known for short stories, turned into a film with Burt Lancaster looking pretty hot in his swimming trunks.
    At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O’Neil gay love story set against the background of the Easter rebellion. The title is based on
    At Swim Two Birds (two birds with one stone!) famous book by Flann O’Brien and all I have to say about that is that it’s very funny but don’t read it if metafiction isn’t your thing because it’ll irritate you a great deal.

  • I had thought perhaps Swann by Caole Shields was so obscure that no one would have heard of it, much less read it (as I did in April of this year), but Rebecca proved me wrong!

    Jen mentioned Elizabeth Kostovo’s Swan Thieves which I read early in 2011. I remember struggling a little with this story of a psychiatrist trying to figure out a patient who had attacked a painting in a museum. (As I recall anyway.).

    And, finally, in March 2016 I read Three Bags Full: a Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann. As you might imagine from the title, the sheep solve the murder of their shepherd.

    P.S. Sue, selecting Winton’s Breath is a stroke of genius. :-). IMHO

  • Swann’s Way by Proust
    At Swim, Two Birds by Flann O’Brien
    Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst

  • 1. The only ‘Swan’ book I’ve actually read is Mary Swann by Carol Shields, about the search to understand a murdered writer.

    2. The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin is on my TBR. It’s about Truman Capote and his NYC circle in the 1950s.

    3. Swan by Frances Mayes, also on the TBR. I’ve read a couple of her travel books so would be interested in trying her only novel (from 2003). It’s set in Swan, Georgia.

  • 1. Daughter of the forest by Marillier. I read this several years ago and loved it. Rebelling of a fairy tale. Main character’s evil step mother turns her 6 brothers into swans (there are 7 s children in the family).

    2. Swan thieves by Kostova is currently on my TBR but I didn’t love her other book so who knows if I will ever get to it.

    3. Black Swan Green by Mitchell. One of his few books that I have yet to read. I try to space them out because I love them so much and I like the idea of having a book to look forward to

  • Haha Karen, I used The snow goose for Day 6!

    My choices are a little obscure this time I think – one an author’s name and the the other two the subject of the book.

    The author:

    Leah Swann’s Bearings (a book of short stories I reviewed a few years ago)

    And the two books which feature swimming:

    Christos Tsiolkas’ Barracuda, which is about a rising swimming star and what happens when things don’t go according to plan

    Tim Winton’s Breath which starts with young boys swimming and holding their breath under water before moving on to surfing.

  • 1. The Way by Swanns’ – the first volume of Marcel Proust’s wonderful ‘In Search of Lost Time’. I’m all set to start the third volume in the new year and I can’t wait.

    2. ‘Swimming Home’ – Deborah Levy. I managed to read all of the shortlisted Booker nominees the year this made it to the list. I really enjoyed its haunting melancholy.

    3. Well Done Secret Seven’ – Enid Blyton. I chose this as it makes a hat-trick – I’ve actually read all of my choices today! 🙂


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