Welcome to the Stump the Bookseller blog! Stump the Bookseller is a service offered by Loganberry Books to reconnect people to the books they love but can’t quite remember. In brief (for more detailed information see our About page), people can post their memories here, and the hivemind goes to work. After all, the collective mind of bibliophiles, readers, parents and librarians around the world is much better than just a few of us thinking. Together with these wonderful Stumper Magicians, we have a nearly 50% success rate in finding these long lost but treasured books. The more concrete the book description, the better the success rate, of course. It is a labor of love to keep it going, and there is a modest fee. Please see the How To page to find price information and details on how to submit your Book Stumper and payment.
Thanks to everyone involved to keep this forum going: our blogging team, the well-read Stumper Magicians, the many referrals, and of course to everyone who fondly remembers the wonder of books from their childhood and wants to share or revisit that wonder. Isn’t it amazing, the magic of a book?
It’s a mystery/thriller, with some paranormal overtones. I was born in ’66 and I believe I’d read it by the time I entered high school in ’80, so it must have been written sometime before then. Possibly way before then, as I recall the book was a beat-up paperback when I picked it up.
It’s about a set of female cousins. One is dramatically beautiful, outgoing and rich, and kind of mean; she dies (I think before the book’s action begins) and leaves her estate to her cousin, who bears a certain resemblance to her but is kind and introverted. The good cousin moves into the house and begins thinking her dead cousin was murdered, I think? She also starts behaving oddly – more like the dead cousin. She dyes her hair to match the dead cousin. I vaguely recall a reference to “silver blonde” or something like that.
There’s a love interest for the cousin – I want to say he’s a lawyer? And that he also had some kind of relationship with the dead cousin? Maybe?
I think the dead cousin’s name is Cathy or Kathy, or maybe it’s the surviving cousin’s name? I don’t remember how the book develops the ghost angle – whether the ghost is real or just the cousin’s imagination – but I’m pretty sure it turns out she was murdered.
There’s a supporting character who’s a friend of the living cousin. I remember she shows up at one point and is described as an earth mother type, I think, and says something about the coffee she’s offered – like “heavens, yes, keep it coming” or maybe “I like my coffee like I like my men” but I could be wrong on that.
God I hope that’s enough because it’s driving me nuts, and I can’t find it, and this is all I recall.
This book was found in the children's section at my library around 1985, although it was likely older than that. A group of three or four (or more?) siblings have magic or psychic powers. I believe they can all move things without touching them and maybe fly? I think I remember two scenes: 1) the children were flying in the living room and broke a vase. They used their powers to clean up before mother saw. 2) Villians have followed the children to a movie theater. They escape by crawling under the seats.
Thanks for your efforts!
1970s book. Boy or girl goes to live with aunt, who is a good witch. The first thing they do is have tea; pastries grow from a plant in the center of the table. Kid meets another kid; they work to fight an evil witch, at one point, with rowan berries (“Rowan berries and red thread stop a witch in her speed”). They must go to a magical place, where they see a silver tree, then a golden tree, then a diamond tree. That’s pretty much all I remember. Thanks!
I would have had this book in the early 60’s. It featured a wise-cracking crow named Joe, and that’s about all I can remember.
Baby book, maybe bath book, has just a few words on each page: Splish Fish, Quick Quick, Safe Home. Those are all I remember.
This story I think is set in California, the boy or young man is living with his ailing mother, there is an old house with a back gate, he goes through this gate and enters another world.
This 16-17 year old man/boy is now in this new world and is taken in by witches who think he is a half breed and is there, in this world to be trained with others like his kind. He is given a pile of boards to build his hut. The boards all must fit together to form the hut perfectly with none left over to prove his first test, he builds his hut with one board left over, all the other trainees have none left over.
Later in the book, he goes on journey to Xanadu and the crystal place described in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem.
Later, he comes back to our world, and he never gets wet because he is able to walk between the rain drops.
At one point, near the end of the book I think, he goes looking for his imprisoned girlfriend. She is imprisoned in a bottle of wine, but she is imprisoned at the 13th hint of flavor. He drinks the wine and travels down through the worlds via the flavor’s and must stop at the flavor his girlfriend is at, find and saver her and escape.
I think it’s by Clive Barker or Dean Koontz.
I read a series of books in the late 1970s or early 1980s at my local public library. There could have also been a second or related series. They were hard cover, young adult books. At my small town library, they could have been published quite a long time before that.
The series involved a number of children that formed a club and solved mysteries. Both boys and girls were in the group. The series was set in the west or in the mountains. The words “Treasure” and “Indian” come to mind when I think about these books, one of them could have been part of the name of the club.
Picture book, possibly 1950s (certainly pre-70s). A realistically drawn chipmunk overwinters in proximity to a human household. It lives (I think) in a woodpile, where it makes itself cozy with gathered provisions. There may be an abandoned Halloween pumpkin involved, rotting away bit by bit.
The book I am trying to find is about a little duck that is looking for water but there is no rain so he finds a truck that is spilling water out of the back to follow. My father-in-law had this book as a child in the 1950’s and passed it to my husband but it is now lost. They don’t remember a title or even possible words, they do recall it having wonderful pictures and illustrations. Any help is appreciated!
I’m looking for help finding an old childhood book – I have a feeling the titled included the words “black monster” or “princess of the sea”), but I know the last I read it was in 1997. It was about a (red?) haired princess who lived by the sea (the cover featured her in a patterned dress standing by the water, with a castle on a cliff behind her). The kingdom is being threatened by a black monster/a sea creature. However after much determination and sleuthing, the princess discovers that it’s only a scuba diver come to visit. At the end, they become friends and she ditches the kingdom to go diving with him. The artwork was very beautiful and almost realistic, but heavily stylized and had so many nice patterns. I’m still depressed my mother donated the book years ago, and it’s been killing me that I still can’t find it! So any help would be appreciated!!