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Desperately Seeking That One Book

3/19/2010 10:37:28 AM

Tags: Great Writing, books and publishers

Old books on a floor

 

 

 

 

 

In November 2003 we published a blog post called How to Find That Book You’ve Spent Years Looking For. Years later, the post is consistantly one of our most popular.

The online resources in the post are all still active and so is the comment thread. Mostly people post desperate appeals from readers who have forgotten the title of a book they loved. These appeals make for wonderful reading. Here are just a few. Can you help these people? Do you have an appeal of your own?

I’m looking for a children’s book, about a little old Chinese lady, and she makes these rice patty balls and they fall off the table and roll places and she chases them and she ends up chasing them through some cave.

I am searching for a book based in England. The subject went to a boarding school and was befriended by a lesbian type girl who was on the hockey team.

I'm looking for a book about a girl who travels into the magical realms through these energy paths. Everyone is fighting for control of the land and I believe she meets Satan (possibly her father)?

I am looking for a book that I read back around 1992 about a boy and a girl that were trapped in the basement of an old theatre or something to that effect.

I'm looking for a book I read about 10 or 15 years ago that takes place in heaven. It's a mystery about a murder/death of an angel.

I read a nonfiction book 20-30 years ago about a homesteading family in Canada that had a pet goat named Annabelle. Anybody ever hear of it?

I'm trying to locate a book I read in the mid or late 70's. I think it was book about Casper but it could have been another ghost. There were three ghosts all together, I believe, and it had robbers in it.

I'm looking for a book about a girl and her brother who go through a mirror or something similar and end up in a castle (I think) and there's a girl there who is the girls twin, only evil. It's not a scary book.

I'm looking for a book that I read as a child about a little girl that goes to visit her grandmother (I think it was her grandmother) and has some magical experiences. The one part I clearly remember is when she is pouring water into the wash jug in her room the wall opens into a garden or something like that.

I'm trying to find a book that I read as an elementary student in the 80’s, but I think the book was old. It’s called Best Friend or Best Friends. The main character is a young girl who is embarrassed by her eccentric grandmother who wears bandannas and fixes bikes.

In the ‘90s, I was reading a book about a girl who couldn’t find a lover since she thought no one would be a better lover than she was to herself. Anyhow, I lost the book and forgot what it was called. Does anyone know what book I'm talking about?

I am looking for a book I read in HS is was about a guy who was born into a techie future city, he is curious about things meets a joker type guy. He discovers a hidden passage in a statue which leads to a station with many ways out but only one way was kept up. He meets other people who are more mentally developed. In the end he is followed up a tower were he gets into a space ship and leaves.

I am looking for a book from the 1980’s or 90’s about a reporter who meets with a man. The man forces him to drink a potion that turns him into a werewolf. The first half of the book is about the man killing people. The second half is about him in a test facility where he escapes and stalks the people in the facility. This is driving me crazy.

I am going CRAZY remembering a book from early childhood (late 60's early 70's) about a glockenspiel.

Looking for a science fiction book I read years ago. I can only remember that earth was changing and people were having to move farther and farther north, they had wall to wall plants in their homes for air purification and there was one man that for some reason was chosen as the only one that the whole world would listen to so that they could change the way we used the planet's resources. Any idea?

I am trying to identify a book I read as a young lad around about 1960ish. I found it in my local library in Southend, England. I have no title or author. The story was about a young American boy who was a hobo, traveled on trains and got a job setting up pins in a bowling alley. I remember it as an absorbing story and would like to rediscover it.

There is this book I read over 3 years ago I never got to finish it because I was going into 6th grade. I don’t remember the title but the plot was about this boy when he went to sleep his sister was kidnapped in his dreams he went to go save her on the way he met up with this girl who was a warrior (guess you could say) who saved him from the people that they were in war with but that was her job to help people like him but he wanted to save his little sister they couldn’t leave unless they had a master of some sort (I guess you could say) witch he did and made the girl his apprentice he was the same man that was her older brother’s master and I remember on there journey there the boy met the leader and gave her some kind of plant leaf she signed the papers then burned the plant along with papers to get rid of the smell. That’s all I remember please if you no about that book help PLEASE!

Image by Bacteriano, licensed under Creative Commons.



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Post a comment below.

 

Jack
7/27/2014 6:43:45 AM
I read this book when i was younger and it was one of those "choose your path" books. It was part of a series and another one in the series was about pirates. Anyway, the book was about a character who goes on a boat with a female scottish (i think) instructor. They get to an island and when the main character is in bed they hear a noise. It turns out to be a fairy and the instructor knows a lot about it. I think you get to choose whether to ask the instructor about it or to just follow the fairy. If you go with the fairies they take you to a banquet and offer you a drink if you take it you turn into a frog and then you run away. Someone tells you that if you get something for them then they will be happy. If you accept i think you end up finding these silver coins. For some reason you eat the coins and they taste nice. Then they weigh you down and you can't move and you die. If anyone remembers a book like this please help me out. -Jack

Chrisg23
7/13/2014 11:51:13 AM
I'm trying to remember the title of a fictional story. It is about a home contractor that, while making repairs to the house, is visited by a ghost of a young woman who was killed there. Years before, the woman was murdered by her room mate. The room mate left the woman's body in a tunnel and then assumed the victim's identity. The woman does not know she is dead and she sees the contractor as an intruder. The contractor communicates with the spirit and tries to help discover the truth of her death. I'd greatly appreciate receiving anyone's help.

Alixers505
1/13/2014 4:07:55 PM
I am looking for a fiction novel. The story is set in the dessert, and revolves around four people. I believe it changes perspective throughout the book, as I remember scenes from three different characters' viewpoints. There is a middle-aged man and his nephew (you find out during the book that it is actually his niece pretending to be a boy), and I believe the middle-aged man is color-blind. The other set of people is a middle-aged woman and her son. When the man accidentally bumps into the woman, he is able to see colors. The son has feelings for the "nephew" and torments himself because he thinks he is sexually attracted to a boy. The older characters are either archeologists or treasure hunters. The "nephew" rescues the son when he is kidnapped by desert people. I read this novel sometime between 2001 and 2006. Thank you for any help you can offer!

Michelle Talley
12/30/2013 8:36:33 PM
I'm looking for a horror book I read in the '90s about a young woman who finds out she is somehow 'the chosen one' who had to battle an evil man/demon. I don't remember the title, author, or any character names. The woman chased the man around a lot. One time she was following him through a park and he made maggots feed on a homeless man. At the final scene, she had to stop him from opening a portal that happened to be in the sky right above the Hollywood sign in LA. Thank you!

DeniseS
12/23/2013 5:48:27 PM
Looking for a book from the late 80's or early 90's. It was a royal family in ancient England or somewhere around there. The royal family is being overthrown. The king sends his youngest daughter away but before he does he hides the scepter that the person needs to rule. The daughter is young (probably under 5) and to make sure she remembers where it is hidden he slices her hand so she will remember it. She then comes back when she is older to find it. Thank you!!!

milokayz
12/15/2013 3:50:45 AM
I don't know how my previous post appeared twice, but I remembered two things I'd like to add. The number 30 or 33 (years or age?) is also something significant mentioned in the story. Also, I found the author's web site once shortly after reading the book, if that helps locate it. It was a solid white site with thin swirls of color, possibly in the shape of a silhouette face (no identifying detail), and when you ran the mouse over certain areas on it things to click like "Books by this author" (but the book I'm searching for was the only one listed) and "About this author" (of which I only remember was a female and that she planned to continue with the series) appeared and when clicked, info appeared in a drop-down style without taking you to any other page. It seemed to be very basic, maybe unfinished or still under construction. That's all I remember. (Sorry to stretch this across two posts. Thank you all for your help.)

milokayz
12/15/2013 3:29:12 AM
I read this fiction book about 5 years ago, I don't remember the title or author but I'm pretty sure the letter 'i' was in the author's last name somewhere, which was 4 or 5 letters long. The cover, if I remember right, was of very lush forest, and possibly a girl but I can't be certain. It started out with a girl at an end-of-school-year party, but she was not yet graduating. When she came home she found her parents dead in what appeared to be an accident (I don't remember how - maybe car into a tree near driveway?). She was sent to live with her grandfather, who was acting as if her parents were murdered and he feared for her safety - something about a family legend or secret. He sent her to a mysterious school in a tiny town where students weren't as they seemed. Leaving campus was forbidden day or night. An elite group of students spoke a language she didn't understand, which she later learned was a dead form of ancient Latin. A boy in this group began to take an interest in her to the dislike of othersin the group. They were drawn to each other but she didn't know why. She followed the group one night to a classroom and found them speaking their Latin language with a teacher. She had a feeling they were talking about her. As the story went on, they began to love each other and snuck out of campus every night to an abandoned apartment or something where they talked all night or just stared at each other. For some reason he wouldn't kiss her. Later, she'd found that their souls or essences, or something were halves or duplicates of each others and if they kissed or made love he would die, but he would also die when he turns 18 or something if some certain event did or didn't take place, but I don't remember why. The school also had something to do with her parents and family history. She demanded answers from her grandfather after something drastic occurred, he revealed much to her giving new understanding to the reader. It was an amazing book, the story was the first in a series, but it was the only one released so far by a new author. I don't remember any publiucation information, but I believe it was fairly new. I think it was about 500 pages, hard-bound.

milokayz
12/15/2013 3:28:57 AM
I read this fiction book about 5 years ago, I don't remember the title or author but I'm pretty sure the letter 'i' was in the author's last name somewhere, which was 4 or 5 letters long. The cover, if I remember right, was of very lush forest, and possibly a girl but I can't be certain. It started out with a girl at an end-of-school-year party, but she was not yet graduating. When she came home she found her parents dead in what appeared to be an accident (I don't remember how - maybe car into a tree near driveway?). She was sent to live with her grandfather, who was acting as if her parents were murdered and he feared for her safety - something about a family legend or secret. He sent her to a mysterious school in a tiny town where students weren't as they seemed. Leaving campus was forbidden day or night. An elite group of students spoke a language she didn't understand, which she later learned was a dead form of ancient Latin. A boy in this group began to take an interest in her to the dislike of othersin the group. They were drawn to each other but she didn't know why. She followed the group one night to a classroom and found them speaking their Latin language with a teacher. She had a feeling they were talking about her. As the story went on, they began to love each other and snuck out of campus every night to an abandoned apartment or something where they talked all night or just stared at each other. For some reason he wouldn't kiss her. Later, she'd found that their souls or essences, or something were halves or duplicates of each others and if they kissed or made love he would die, but he would also die when he turns 18 or something if some certain event did or didn't take place, but I don't remember why. The school also had something to do with her parents and family history. She demanded answers from her grandfather after something drastic occurred, he revealed much to her giving new understanding to the reader. It was an amazing book, the story was the first in a series, but it was the only one released so far by a new author. I don't remember any publiucation information, but I believe it was fairly new. I think it was about 500 pages, hard-bound.

becca
11/29/2013 12:09:14 AM
I am looking for the title of a book series that has a teenage boy that lives with a mean family. It may have been with his uncle. There was an invisible elf that helped him along the way. There was also a girl that was the same as him and every time they touch, an electric shock goes through them. The elf has a pouch where he can basically put anything into it. In one of the books the girl and boy finally kiss. They have to go to the other world that has mythical creatures and they get there by going under water with a key. They are running from a dark mean creature that can get into bodies. Every once and a while there will be a picture in the book to show what something looks like. In one of the first pages in the book, there is a map of the magical place. Does anybody have any idea of what this could be called?

Patrice
11/25/2013 6:36:26 PM
I have been searching years for a book I read in the 70-80's. It's a romance about a woman who is banished to Australia and is transported by ship. I think she is married but her husband back to Europe. She becomes a rancher---sheep I think. She fall in love with a man who helps her. He may be a neighbor or a ranch hand.

June
10/23/2013 8:21:51 PM
I'm looking for a book titled, A Lantern in the Window." It was a mystery about an old house, some children who try to solve the mystery of a deserted house that a light shines out of an attic window. Not sure if that is the exact title.

June
10/23/2013 8:18:37 PM
I'm looking for a book about a girl who calls herself Plain Jane who hides her identity by dressing like a boy. The setting is around the Revolutionary War period. There is a ship involved and a boy who befriends her.

June
10/23/2013 8:16:53 PM
I'm looking for a book from the 1950s-60s about a teacher dressed in 1890s clothes who brings her baby to school. The baby sleeps in a basket under the teacher's desk, and the children all love to play with her.

strongoaksbend098
10/2/2013 4:18:56 PM
I am searching for a science fiction book about twin brothers. One is of darkness the other of light and they have to work together in order to save their world from extinction or dying. They have to travel some portal to another alter world and retrieve or change something. Once they cross over they wander into an ancient ruins, some kind of curse or magic is battled with and it's cold, dead, winter. The book was part of a series. This particular book starts off on board a ship with the dark brother who's observing the light brother.

trudy mcneil
7/23/2013 3:52:49 AM
i am looking for a book I read about 25 years ago. The book is a true story about a young man who does not want to wait for a transport ship home after the Second World War. He buys a sail boat and after a little practicing in the harbor, sets sail for Australia. The story is about his harrowing adventure. It is quite a small book but a very exciting story.

trudy mcneil
7/23/2013 3:49:52 AM
i am looking for a children's book I read about 1959. The story takes place in a small African village. A young girl rescues an abandoned infant twin who was left to die due to the suspicion surrounding a twin birth. The girl digs a hole in the floor of her family's hut, hides the baby there and takes care of her. It may be a Canadian book as I lived in Canada at the time.

Gloria Hamilton
2/14/2013 10:44:58 PM
"I'm looking for a book that I read as a child about a little girl that goes to visit her grandmother (I think it was her grandmother) and has some magical experiences. The one part I clearly remember is when she is pouring water into the wash jug in her room the wall opens into a garden or something like that." Could the book you want be "The Princess and the Goblins" or its sequel "The Princess and Curdie," both by Geoge MacDonald?

Barbara Britton
2/10/2013 3:46:58 AM
I'm looking for a short story In a collection that I read some time between 1985-1995. For some reason I think the author was Canadian. The story in question was about a plain-jane type woman leading an uneventful life and she somehow ,meets up with a very different, tough woman. Anyway, all I remember I that she goes home with this woman and wakes up with bees tattooed on her face. And she's NOT upsetby it! Does anyone have any idea what this might be? The other book I'm looking for I had when I was a kid in the 70s. It was science fiction/fantasy...each chapter was based on a woman with a different zodiac sign. Any clues?

tom jones
11/29/2012 10:29:51 PM
I have gone completely deranged in searching for one book that I borrowed from my local library yet never found again. I can't remember much but it's most likely a children's/teen book. I can remember unusual creatures that mimic what you say, the first setting is maybe on an island, there is definitely a beach somewhere in the book, there is one scene on a boat at sea where the men refuse to row in the storm, so one boy rows one oar on his own. There is some kind of kind of romance at the end I seem to remember, another scene where men bash their swords on the table, on the plates. I read this when I was very young, remembering this much is astounding. PLEASE HELP ME, even if you have to sign up to this thing, I NEED TO KNOW!

Raymond Mumme
8/8/2012 1:33:04 AM
"I am going CRAZY remembering a book from early childhood (late 60's early 70's) about a glockenspiel." I posted this on the original thread but I'll put it here too: Read more: http://www.utne.com/Literature/How-to-Find-a-book-without-a-title-6900.aspx#ixzz22ujv31Zv@dawn z. The book you are looking for is the Whisper of Glocken. It is the sequel to the Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall. I was crazily looking for it as well, but somehow I luckily remembered the protagonist's name was Glocken. Email me at rmumme@nd.edu if you need to.

mobius hibbs
12/25/2011 3:18:20 PM
I am looking for a book I read when I was a child. It was a chapter book and there might have been several, I remember them having bright red and bright yellow relatively monochromatic covers. The protagonist was a young girl who lived in a town and would visit her many relatives that also lived in the town. I also remember something about thatched roofs--there might have been a description of thatching a roof and emphasis on all the houses having thatched roofs.

Brandi_23
9/5/2011 1:47:27 AM
There are 2 books i'm looking for. I read them when I was in 9th grade, so about 2003. Book one- It was small, paper-back and I think it mostly purple. The main character was a teen girl in high school that got pregnant and hid her pregnancy for as long as she could. What I remember the most is her finding out she was pregnant at someone's wedding and she was in denial about it. It was a great read and I wish I could remember more besides that I had to write a report on it. Book two- This book was a large hard-cover book-- the most intriguing book I have ever read I couldnt put it down. -- The main character was a teen girl in high school. She comes from a family that isnt very wealthy and dates a guy who is from a wealthy family. She falls madly in love with this boy and ends up pregant by him. When she tells him he get angry and hits her. They break up and he gets with another girl. She finds that out the hard way. She his in his truck and listened to them talk then make out and talk about her. Meanwhile she goes psycho and dances around in her room thinking she is a tree. Her mom walks in and freaks out and sends her to a Psych ward or something. Most of the book is while she is there. She was convinced that the boy loved her and wanted to be with her, at least thats what she told everyone...she was in denial. I also think she tried driving too before she was sent away, she must have been like 15. She said, if she was old enough to have a baby she was old enough to drive. She gets help and gets better. She did get to leave and eventually go back to school. The end of the book the one thing she wanted from the guy was to sign the birth certificate; his parents thought she was going to ask them for money, that was what she was after. When she went back to school everyone told her she was brave for what she went through. The best book I have ever read and have been trying to find it for years. I never knew how to find it. Anyone have any ideas?

harrysong
3/19/2011 4:21:54 PM
I'm looking for a science fiction/environmental disaster book that I read in 1979 or 1980. It was a used paperback and I think it had a blue and white cover. I thought the title was "Earth Abides" - but it's not the classic 1949 novel/radio play/movie. Plot elements are vague but there was a dog that exploded because the food he ate generated a lot of intestinal gas. There were white genetically altered/adapted water creatures that either ate or tolerated oil and gasoline and attacked a person in a small boat. It was funny in spots, but not a comedy, disasters were explained semi-logically as an outcome of current policies and practices. It wasn't an amazing book, but full of oddities, and I'd like to revisit it.

nightlife
7/3/2010 3:16:43 AM
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nightlife
7/3/2010 3:13:11 AM
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