Book Reviews

12 Days of Christmas book game #12days

On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me
a Partridge in a Pear Tree.


You all know the song the Twelve Days of Christmas even if you can’t remember exactly the number of leaping lords or laying geese. This was the subject of much hot debate at our family Christmas lunch last year where we each had to contribute 12 quiz questions based on the festive theme. One of mine was how many birds are in the song….. (the answer is at the foot of this page …)

As its approaching the season to be merry (as if we are miserable all other times of the year) I thought I’d give you a little challenge as an antidote to all the mush of TV adverts, shopping, cooking, wrapping etc. There’s an incentive of a prize at the end too….. see ‘rules of the game’.

So here goes – starting on December 1 each day I will ask you to come up with a list of books that matches that day in the song. So on Dec 1 (day 1) can you name books which feature a partridge or a pear tree either in the title, or the cover image or even as  a character…. This is a time to be creative so don’t take the prompt too literally. As an example on day 7 you might be tired of all those birds and have run out of options. But how about authors called Swan (and variations of that) or books which feature swimming…

I may have set the bar too high – only you can tell me. But its not meant to be serious – I’m just curious what you all come up with.

If you use Twitter or want to do a post on your own blog site, use the #12days hashtag

Here’s the list so you can get thinking….entries before Day 1 (December 1) will not count!

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

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.

How many birds are in the 12 days of Christmas? 

Answer is of course 23


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

28 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas book game #12days

  • I hate to say it but I think your sums about the birds are wrong as well – on the basis that day 1 = 1 (partridge); day 2 = 3 (2 turtle doves + another partridge); day 3 = 6 (3 french hens, 2 turtle doves, + 1 partridge) and so on.

    Do I win any prizes for pedantry?

    • Well yes if you totalled every mention of the bird (i.e. every time it is in the cycle) then it would be way above 23 but I thought that would confuse people. And I don’t have enough toes and fingers to do all that counting anyway

  • Pingback: The landmark week | BookerTalk

  • I might take part in the sure and certain knowledge that I will fail miserably at it!

  • That’s a great idea.
    I’ll try to think about it.

    • You have the option also of using titles in French….

      • There’s a French version of this song. It’s by Henri Dès and here are the items
        1) moineau (sparrow)
        2) caramel
        3) poules (hens)
        4) pissenlits (dandelions)
        5) poussins (chick)
        6) poésies (poems)
        7) pincettes (tweezers)
        8) parapluies (umbrellas)
        9) bonnets neufs (new hats)
        10) bigoudis (curlers)
        11) pierres ponces (pumice stone)
        12) ventouses (suction cup)

        It has to rhyme with French numbers so the result is a little weird (not a lot of words rhyme with onze or douze)
        But it’s a great version of the song.

  • Well this sounds quite tough but I’m always up for a challenge – I’ll be back to add my contributions.

    • I did think about making people do the same number as in each day of the song but realised that was way too hard!

  • Great fun I will do my best to contribute some answers.

    • I bet you’ll come up with something unusual – those Virago editions do have strange titles sometimes

  • Sounds like a lot of fun! However, I am already in over my head with all the Christmas programme planning I don’t think I’ll have time for this. :(….but I’ll definitely be popping in to check.

    Have fun!

  • Sarah

    What fun! I’ll have a go at this, I do love quizzes and challenges like these. One thing though, maybe I’m being twp but I can’t work out how 3 posts on the 6th and 5 on the 11th = 14 points!

    • ok confession time – i goofed on the calculation because I managed to edit out another part of the sum. So I just corrected this.

  • Nordie

    Good luck with this, hope you have fun. If I can think of something to contribute, then of course I will take part


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

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

%d bloggers like this: