G Mail Concerns

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Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well as we approach the holiday season.  It has come to my attention that G Mail often does not let our e-mails through.  For those using G Mail accounts, if you have submitted a Stumper and have not received an e-mail from us after a few days, please check your spam folder prior to contacting us.

Thanks and take care,

Julie

Hello To All My Wonderful Stumper Friends

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Hello everybody,

Thanks for all of your patience and support as we have been catching up on the deluge of stumper requests sent to us while also preparing our store for the holiday season!  I am pleased to report that we are back on track to answer requests within a week of being sent.  My name is Julie and am happy to take over this page on behalf of Loganberry Books.  As a voracious reader, it makes me happy to see others find books they have been seeking for years.  On that note, I hope that everyone keeps reading all new posts and contributes where they can, to maximize the usefulness of crowdsourcing.  The more people commenting, the merrier!  I look forward to continuing to work with all of you, and if you have a question or concern please feel free to e-mail me at julie@logan.com

Thanks everybody!

Welcome to Stump the Bookseller by Loganberry Books!

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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?

360M: Sociopath Child Makes “Music” Out of Animal Screams

I'm writing with a book stumper request. I checked out this book from the Evanston Public Library in Evanston, IL sometime between 1994 and 1999. It is an adult fiction book with a thief as the narrator. I remember it was a thinner book (probably 300 pages or less) with a white cover. One of the memorable moments in the book is where the thief breaks into a home of a wealthy family. This family had built a music room / recording studio for their child, which I believe is hidden behind some type of concealed wall with padding to muffle the noise. The music studio is stocked with high end equipment, including a piano keyboard and a portable tape recorder. The thief enters this hidden music studio and listens to some of the recordings that the child has made. Apparently the child is some type of sociopath and has made recordings with sounds of animals screaming. I wish I could remember more detail but this is the only real scene that stands out. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information. Thanks!

360L: Abandoned Lake House

The book I vaguely remember had something to do with a child or maybe siblings going to spend the summer with an elderly aunt (I think) who was living on a lake where most of the houses were abandoned. It had once been a vibrant summer community ca. 1900 (I think), but was now mostly deserted sans aunt’s household. There may or may not have been a mystery component to it. I think I read it around 4th grade maybe ca. 1977?

360K: Last blue canister plagues cop

Book is from the late 70s/early 80s, I think, because I believe I read it in high school or college. Paperback. Author name was something ridiculously simple that I was sure I would remember. I was naive in that assumption. Many thousands of books later, I still remember this as worthy of re-reading.
Plot: cop searching for a serial nerve gas bomber. Four blue canisters of gas in total, first attack was on a subway or train, with nuns and children among the victims. Cop eventually finds the culprit, but not the last canister. We, the reader, know it’s hidden in the desert and unlikely to ever be found. Last scene in the book is the cop in bed with his honey, unable to sleep, and she asks what he’s thinking about. Answer of course is the location of the last canister he’ll never find.
I remember thinking someone ought to alert the authorities that such a terrible plot was now “out there” for people to see. Again, naive, but it was a very different time than we know now.
I was reading a lot of Robert Ludlum and Jack Higgins at the time, so someone of the similar mindset might remember this one. Great writing, engaging characters, enough plot twists and storyline development to be worth trying to find.  I have googled “blue canister nerve gas fiction book” so many times I’m surprised the authorities aren’t looking for me. Oh well.

360J: Children’s book about animal characters, including a fox who gets his tail wet in a stream and meets a mermaid

I think the title was bedtime stories or goodnight stories, something like that.
The cover was a scene with trees and leaves, might have been autumn. In the foreground is a witch and a fox in a raincoat (maybe?) and they are surrounded by iridescent bubbles. 
The book was a few short stories about animal characters: 
In the first, a young fox (his name might have been Freddy)’s mother makes him a new raincoat and sends him off to play with friends, warning him not to get his tail wet. The friends end up sailing down a stream in an upturned umbrella and the fox’s tail hangs out and gets soaked. 
In another one, two other animal characters sneak into a local witch’s house and mess around with some spells, turning the sky green and grass blue. 
Another one had all the animal children go to the beach with school. The fox character meets a mermaid who gives him a shell to remember the sound of the sea.

360I: Magic Ball (Children’s Sci-Fi)

I read this book as part of a children’s summer reading program at a small branch library next to my Dad’s hardware store in Clarksville, Indiana. The timing was some time between 1965-1968. Every book you read would earn a balloon stamp on a clown bookmark. You only received the stamp after giving a verbal recap of each book to the librarian.

I do not recall the title but I believe there were limited graphics inside the pages. A young boy finds a red ball in a field near his home. He quickly realizes that the ball can respond to his wishes. It can change color and size. Become heavy or light. It can even fly around the room and come to home when he calls.

Late in the book the ball starts to exhibit strange behavior as if it wants to escape. The boy follow the ball into the field where he meets the ball’s true owner: an alien child from a nearby space ship that has landed. The boy gives the ball back to the alien child and is thanked by the alien parent.

This book started my love of science fiction writing and led me to the likes of Wells, Verne, Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke and many others.

360H: Young Adult Book About Teenager who plays pool and lives in an abandoned factory/hanger (Solved!)

The book is relatively old (I read part of it around 2003 but it was published way before). The book was a young adult book that involved crime and a runaway that lived with two adults in what is either an abandoned factory or airplane hangar. The cover of the book I believe featured someone playing pool on it. The title might have been Me & (I can’t remember the rest). It was recommended to people that liked the Rag and Bone Shop and it was similar to the Westing Game. One thing I do remember clearly is that in the introduction the main character talks about how his dad can tell who has committed a crime or who has been to jail by just looking at them.

360G: Rivalry Turns Into Romance

The book I am searching for is a YA contemporary novel wherein the heroine has an ongoing academic rivalship with a male classmate, which eventually turns into something more even though she already has a boyfriend. I think the book was published in the range of 2017-now. The book cover is black, white, pink, and orange with illustrated faces on it, in a style that in my head is reminiscent of the cover of All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban.

360F: Fantasy Novel With Very Careful Women

This is for a fantasy novel. I had it in 96 for sure, but it was older than that. The only thing I remember is the cover art. A group of people around a campfire, surprised by the sudden appearance of someone in a dark cloak, I think holding a staff. He may have been standing in the fire.

The only thing I remember from the beginning of the book is that one of the people in the adventuring party was complaining that women would not sleep with outsiders, unless they had a magic amulet or bracer that worked like birth control. These came in varying qualities. The narrating character could only afford a cheap one that expired, but a fellow party member had an expensive one that didn’t expire.

360D: Historic fiction about a special stone that appears to many different characters in many different centuries (Solved!)

The book I am trying to recall is a novel, historic fiction, about a special stone that appears to many different characters in many different centuries. Each character being from a different era such as ancient Egypt (or was it Rome), southern plantation US … Mostly strong female protagonists who overcome some hurdle or calamity with possession or help of the stone. Not really a magic stone that I recall; no fantasy element to the story -that I recall. But I could be wrong on that point.