Category Archives: Book ends

Spring-cleaning the blogsite

springcleaningI know officially we are still in winter in the northern hemisphere so it might be a little premature to think about spring-cleaning. And indeed I’m nowhere ready to throw open all doors and windows into the house to let in the clean air which was my grandmother’s preparation for cleaning the house top to bottom. It’s far too cold right now for that kind of malarkey.  But with the fifth anniversary of this blog imminent it feels the right time to do a bit of a dust and polish of the site. I’ve also been goaded into action by some tips shared via a podcast I follow called Pro-Blogger which has some useful advice on how to make your blog more effective.

I’m gradually working my way through all the 100-plus editions of the podcast. Some are not relevant because they are designed for people who want to monetise their site or have a self-hosted domain. But one piece of advice I’ve started to follow is about improving old content.

Darren, the guy behind Pro-Blogger says he has a weekly habit to revisit old posts and assess if they can be improved – maybe redirecting links to more recent content, adding new ones or updating the content with more current information.   His point is a few minutes spent on tweaks can mean readers get a better experience of the site. Plus each time you refresh the page, it is crawled by Google so you get more chance your site will be included in search engine results.

I’ve started with my posts from year one of the blog. What an eye-opener that has been. When I started back in 2012 I really didn’t know a) how to blog b)how to write a good review. So the early posts were very insubstantial. No links, no formatting of text to help guide readers around the page more easily, no photos to break up the text. These are all changes I’ve been making over the past week. I’ve also changed categories, tags and headings. Often I’m making small cosmetic changes such as ensuring consistency in the format and colour used for headings and book titles. I don’t want to alter the actual content unless I think a reader would get to the end of it and wonder why they bothered wasting their time. So with a few of them got more of an overhaul – like my first Booker prize title review The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens where I combined the review with some earlier published content about the author.

I’ll finish 2012 by the end of the week and then move onto the next 12 months. It’s something I can do easily in about 20 minutes per post and watch TV at the same time.

One positive thing has come out of this exercise – it’s shown me than in five years though I still consider myself to be still very much a learner, I have definitely improved.

How are your blogging skills?

Though I’ve learned a lot in the last five years there are still aspects of blogging that mystify me so I’ve been making a conscious effort to learn how to fix issues and some new techniques. What have you learned recently that has made a difference to your own blogging?

Taking a break

patient-careBooker Talk is going to be rather quiet for the next few weeks since I am going into hospital tomorrow for some rather extensive surgery. Even if there is a reliable Internet/WIFI connection in the hospital I don’t expect to be in the frame of mind or physical condition for blogging etc.

I had grand plans to write some blog posts in advance to keep you amused. But they never got beyond the planning stage. I’m sure you will manage perfectly fine without me however. I just wanted you to know in case you were wondering why I am not replying to your comments. I promise it’s not that I don’t love you any more. Normal service will resume soon I hope.

#12days of Christmas – and the winner is

winnerThe results are all in. The judges have cogitated (with the aid of all toes and thumbs, a few glasses of vino and a nibble or two of mince pies). And are ready to declare the results. So in the age old tradition

Third Prize: turning in a consistent performance which gave her a very laudable score of 37 was Rebecca who lives in the UK and blogs at bookkaholic.com .

Second prize: neck and neck with Rebecca (there was only one point difference) were Debbie, from Nova Scotia who blogs at exurbanis.com and Emma of bookaroundthecorner.wordpress.com fame.

Pride of place however – and the winner therefore of the prize is a blogger well known for her love of fiction from Down Under. Let’s hear the applause for Lisa at anzlitlovers.com who achieved an outstanding score of 46 points. Lisa went into an early lead which she maintained by giving us sometimes six titles for each day of the song where some of us struggled to think of even three.. Lisa I have emailed you about how to collect your prize.

Thank you to everyone who took part – some people joined for a few days, others stuck it out until the end! We had some very creative interpretations ….On day 12, when we had to think of book titles or author’s names reflecting 12 drummers drumming, Rebecca came up with ‘Conundrum’ by Jan Morris where Lisa gave us ‘Salt Story’ by Sarah Drummond. On day 11 when the prompt was ‘pipers piping’ which perplexed me and several others, Whispering Gums came up with Sherlock Holmes stories like ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ on the basis Mr Holmes smokes a pipe.

I hope everyone enjoyed the challenge before our brains turn to mush by watching too many slushy Christmas TV adds or over indulgence with the chocolate… If you didn’t join in do take a look at the ideas people came up with. They might even help you add to your TBR…….

#12Days of Christmas book game: day 12

drummers

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

Twelve Drummers Drumming

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

We made it! Today is the 12th and final day of our 12 Days of Christmas book game. Well done to everyone who has stuck with it thus far – just one more push and we’re done. Today we’re still in the world of music and have to find book titles or authors names etc which relate to drummers and the playing of drums.

Booker Talk Titles for Day 

I happened to be out doing some Christmas shopping today and quite by accident found myself in a book shop ( MrBooker Talk will no doubt perform his ritual raising of the eyebrows at that comment). They had a table featuring Christmas related books and guess what one of them was called –  Twelve Drummers Drumming! I kid you not…… This is apparently the first in a series of Father Christmas mysteries by C.C Benison (not an author known to me at all). It features an Anglican priest called Tom Christmas who leaves the city and finds a new home in one of those English rural communities where everything seems perfect except that there is a murder. Sounds a bit too much like the Midsomer Murders tv series to me.

My second link is rather more cerebral. It’s The Tin Drum by Gunter Grasse, a book I read when I was about 16 and in my phase of looking for obscure books from other countries with which to impress my mates. Can I remember anything about it – no, not a thing beyond the fact it was tough going.

For my third and final choice, I am scratching the barrel here having run out of ideas for drummers. But drummers are often in a band so with a slight deviation I give you one of my favourite Conan Doyle stories: The Speckled Band./ I know its a different kind of band but thats just hard luck – at this late stage in the game beggars can’t be choosers.

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 drums, drummers and drumming. I hope you fare much better than I did……  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 17.

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 10

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

Ten Lords-a-Leaping

Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

I thought when I saw this “Oh blimey this is going to be tough” but somehow I managed it. We need to find titles or images or author names reflecting the tenth day in which lords went leaping about.

Booker Talk Titles for Day 

Very little came to mind for this – I can’t think of a single book containing the words Lord or Lords except for Lord of the Rings which I already used up on day 5. So I feel guilty about using it again.

At a push I can come up with the poet Lord Byron whom Lady Caroline Lamb allegedly described as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’. She would have known since she was his lover in 1812 until he tired of her. She wasnt happy about being spurned and kept pursuing him, leading to a number of scandalous encounters. Byron of course was one of the big names in the Romantic movement along with Wordsworth and Coleridge though he was less precious about the craft of writing than those two guys.

For other associations I’m going to have to go down the path of leaping which is of course one element of dance. I give you two links:

Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin – this is a true life story of how a boy rose from poverty in a small village in China to become a world class ballet dancer as a result of a whim by Chairman Mao’s wife. Having been exposed to the realities of life in America (a far cry from what the China political regime tells him to expect) Li Cunxin found he couldn’t return to his native land and sought political refuge in the United States. This is a really moving account of a young man’s determination to achieve success and the freedom to live his life the way he desired. Highly recommended.

How can I talk about male ballet dancers who abandon their home country and not mention the greatest dancer of his generation – Rudolph Nureyev?. From the moment I started taking ballet lessons as a small girl, he was this magical figure that I saw only in glimpses on a rather small screen black and white tv set. How I would loved to have seen him in a live performance but alas I had to make do with the tv version. It didn’t stop me reading everything I could get my hands on – a love affair which lasted well into my early thirties. One of the best biographies I read was Nureyev by Diane Solway which came out in 1998. She interviewed more than 200 people to put together a detailed account of his life including his defection, hedonistic life style and his fight against AIDS. His supporters were so protective of Nuryev that on his last public performance  in 1992,  they made sure he saw only the reviews that didn’t mention AIDS. It’s a fascinating read about a fascinating man

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 lords or leaping. 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 15.

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 9

ladies-dancing

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

Nine Ladies Dancing

Day 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

We only just completed the day of the maids, now we’re into presumably their mistresses. We need to find titles or images or author names reflecting the ninth day in which these ladies indulged in a little dance exercise.

Booker Talk Titles for Day 9

Now I wish I hadn’t chosen Margaret Forster’s Ladies’ Maid for day 8 since I can’t use it again.

My TBR came to my rescue fortunately, delivering   Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Devoted Ladies by Molly Keane (aka M.J. Farrell).

Lady Audley’s Secret was published in 1862 and became her most successful novel. The critic John Sutherland  described the novel as “the most sensationally successful of all the sensation novels”. Elements of the novel mirror the real-life case of Constance Kent upon which Kate Summerscale based The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. I’ve yet to read it though its been on my shelf for four years.

Devoted Ladies is one I have read. After a shaky start I warmed to this is as you see from my review.

For my last choice I’m indebted to my Goodreads wishlist which gave me Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet which apparently is considered his seminal work. The first draft was written while Genet was incarcerated in a French prison; when the manuscript was discovered and destroyed by officials, Genet, still a prisoner, immediately set about writing it again.

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 ladies or dancing.   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 Wednesday Dec 14.

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 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.

 

#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.

 

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