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Let the game begin: Day 1 of #12Days of Christmas book game


Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas game and giveaway.

Our task today is to come up with book titles that match the first line of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas.

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

Booker Talk Titles for Day 1

I bombed out on partridge and pears – nothing in my TBR or wishlist that fitted that bill so I had to go on the theme of trees…..

The Tree of Life by Maryse Conde. This was a novel I read earlier in the year as part of Women In Translation Month. I’d never read anything by an author from Guadeloupe. Sadly this wasn’t a great novel though I can see that it had important themes about race and ambition. Here’s my review.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: I’ve seen this mentioned so many times and recommended highly. I’ve added it to my wishlist. Not quite a classic it’s still immensely popular. Published in 1943 it tells the story of a second generation Irish-American girl and her family who live in Brooklyn. It comprises five books which each focus on a different time period in the family’s history. Just hope its not as sentimental as Little Women, another American classic I just finished reading.

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy: This was the first of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Wessex’ novels. I read it a few decades ago when I had a spate of reading Hardy. It wasn’t one of my favourite Hardy novels – I much preferred the harder edge of Tess of the d’Urbervilles or The Return of the Native to this amiable portrait of life in a provincial town. I can’t have thought that badly of it though because i still have that edition of the book in my shelves. Could be time to give it another go.

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 ‘partridge’ or ‘pear tree’. Lets see how creative you can be. I’m looking ideally for 3 titles/images etc ..You can mix and match your nominations to give 2 instances of partridge and 1 of pear tree if you want

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 3.


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

31 thoughts on “Let the game begin: Day 1 of #12Days of Christmas book game

  • Pingback: The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead | ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

  • I see I’m not the first to think of Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg, which I remember fondly from my own childhood, approximately a million years ago. It’s a sort of I-Spy of fairytale characters.

    Sticking with kids’ books, The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton was another favourite. The basic premise has so much possibility. I bought myself a copy of it a few years ago but haven’t been able to bring myself to reread it in case it disappoints.

    And finally, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, which is the least Murakami of Murakami’s books, but still a great read.

  • I’ve had computer problems this week and am late joining. I hope that’s okay.

    I have no books on my “Books Read’ list that have a direct reference to either partridges or pears. The closest I can come is 97 Orchard Street by Linda Granfield and Arlene Alda. It was a photographic and story ‘memoir’ of sorts about the immigrant families who inhabited 97 Orchard Street, New York City in the late 18th century.

    Running with orchards, I also read <i.Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 2012 to fulfill a reading challenge that required a title that started with each letter of the alphabet. (K was unexpectedly difficult to find.) It’s the story of a substitute teacher at a rural school in Prince Edward Island who meets and falls in love with a mute girl. It was horribly sappy and I rated it 1 star.

    And (I feel like I’m playing Six Degrees of Sepoaration), I’ve also read Beyond the Black Stump (stumps are what’s left a tree</i. if it's cut down, right?) by Nevil Shute. It was an excellent book set in the Austrailan outback, about a romance that is tested by the differences between two young people’s backgrounds and cultures.

    If I'm too far out in left field, please accept my apologies.

  • OK, a couple of days behind but I’ll try to catch up:

    Drusilla Modjeska’s The orchard – the original hard cover (and the paperback) have pears on the cover. The hardback is gorgeous.

    Men Fox’s children’s book Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge – about a young boy and an old woman who lives in a nursing home

    Barbara Kingsolver’s The bean trees – because your commenter above reminded me of this enjoyable book (so I went for it instead of a third Aussie one like The tree of man!)

  • Rose Evans

    Well you could always cheat with “The sudden apPEARance of hope’ by Claire North! I have not read it but looked at it wondering whether to suggest it for our book club.

  • You did well to move on to trees. Day one seemed really difficult as I pondered it myself. I am not participating as I have some Blogmas things coming up already, but I have been spreading the word about this event. It seems like a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing what everyone will come up with.

    • Thanks for spreading the word around – thats kind of you. there are a lot of birds in this song!!!

    • You are way too young to remember the Partridge Family. Next thing you know you’ll be singing the Osmond greatest hits

      • Oh I remember the Partridge Family and the first real concert I ever went to was in third grade when my mom took me and my sister to see Donny and Marie 🙂

  • I can warmly recommend Stevenson Under the Palm Trees by Alberto Manguel. Loved it.
    The other two I have not read, they are on my reading list: The Private Lives of Trees
    by Alejandro Zambra, and Mnemonic: A Book of Trees by Theresa Kishkan.
    And here’s one title I stumbled upon during the Rhys Reading Week – The Traveller’s Tree: A Journey Through the Caribbean Islands by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
    I have a lot more titles with the word ‘tree’ on my list since I enjoy reading about nature, but this is enough I will say. 🙂

  • Great idea BookerT!
    1. ‘Each peach, pear, plum’ – a classic children’s book by the Ahlbergs that I read over and over to my children.
    2. ‘I, Partridge – we need to talk about Alan’ (Alan Partridge/Steve Coogan). I can’t claim to have read this, but partridge related reads are thin on the ground.
    3. The Flame Trees of Thika’, by Elspeth Huxley. I’m sure I read this as a child, (although I may just be remembering the tv series 😉 )

    • Gosh I had forgotten about the flame trees – something I read decades ago

  • Am I allowed to get specific with trees? The Country of Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett is one of those books that keeps cropping up in my peripheral vision, and I’ve never read it, but she was a contemporary of Willa Cather so I would really like to.

    The Cuckoo Tree, by Joan Aiken, is a brilliant children’s novel set in an “alternate history” England where James III is on the throne and “the Hanoverian faction” keeps plotting to overthrow him and replace him with a German elector called George… There’s a whole series, which I loved as a kid.

    Then there’s Frances Hardinge’s Costa-winning YA book The Lie Tree, which I haven’t yet read but which Vicky of Eve’s Alexandria has convinced me is worth a go (though I don’t think I’ve read a YA book for over a decade!)

  • 1) The best match I can think of is Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon, on my TBR. The first line of the blurb is rather appealing: “One night in 1917 Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle’s house on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, leaves her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and watches as another woman claims the infant as her own.”

    2) Also on my TBR is Love In Bloomsbury: Memories by Frances Partridge, the last surviving member of the Bloomsbury circle (died in 2004). She’s sure to have some great stories to tell.

    3) (trees more broadly) It’s not my favourite of his books, but I remember enjoying Wildwood: A Journey through Trees by the late nature writer Roger Deakin.

    • love the way you’ve thought about this and found an author whose name is Partridge

  • 1) The Bean Tree by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s the first Kingsolver I read and I enjoyed Taylor and Turtle’s journey.

    2) Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy. I’m in a read-all-of-Thomas-Hardy project and this one I’ve already read.

    3) You said I could use French, so Les yeux dans les arbres by Barbara Kingsolver or The Poisonwood Bible in English. This one stayed with me for the horrible father character.

    • You should do well on day 3 which is themed on ‘french hens’ – will be intrigued to see what you come up with

  • This looks like fun! I’ll add The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver — an old favorite from my Tucson days.

  • People in the Trees by Hanya Yanighara
    Tell It To The Trees by Anita Rau Badami
    In The Shadow of the Banyan (tree) by Vaddey Ratner

    All read and reviewed!

    • Will take a look at your reviews – do you recommend these books?

  • 1. The Golden pear: it is a fairy tale in one of my daughter’s collection of fairy tale stories. There is a poor man who asks a merchant for a pear and the merchant refuses. A woman overhears and buys the man a pear. The man then uses magic and a pot of tea to “grow” a pear tree.

    2. The giving tree by shel Silverstein. Another one of my daughter’s books that probably doesn’t need explaining.

    3. The people in the trees by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s on my TBR because of her other book which I loved (A little life).

    • i bought People in the Trees purely on the strength of A Little Life too – but haven’t got to read it. Never heard of that fairly tale though here are so many

  • Apologies for being a bit obvious, but “I, Partridge” by Alan Partridge (with help from Steve Coogan)?

    • Nice one – I suspected we might have some cookery times but never thought we’d have a celeb related title

  • The Tree of Man by Patrick White (have read this one)
    The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino (on my TBR)
    The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara (on my wishlist since recommended by Jackie of Farm Lane Books)
    and just for good measure: Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet & Allan Ahlberg (a children’s book I used to read to the kids at school)…


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