Author Archives: Julie Beckers

367R: The Odd Fae Child

I read this book about 20+ years ago when I was Junior High in the US. It was about this guy who fell in love with a woman from a fae race I believe? I honestly don’t remember that much about it except I think the cover had some art but was green in binding. They had some sort of huge struggle with a type of villain and they ended up together and pregnant. He thought it would be a normal 9 month pregnant like for humans and her race actually had a 3 year gestation. Their baby was a girl who was very different and inquisitive and wasn’t a normal human child. That’s essentially all I remember. If you could help me find it, I would appreciate it!

365F: Inventions for Children (Solved!)

Can you please help me find a book I read at primary school??
I read it in 1985 or 86 (87 at the very latest) when I was in primary school in the UK.
I would have been 7 or 8 years old.
Book title: Possibly ‘Inventions for Children’ / ‘Top Secret Inventions for Children’ (but that’s just a guess, as I really don’t remember!)
Book description: It was a hardback picture book. Each page, which were mostly double page spreads I think, had roughly 2 to 3 fictional inventions on (all aimed at children).
Some of the inventions I can remember: an armoured vehicle for a child, driving down a street (narrowly missing a cat and a lamp post I think??). Some kind of periscope / binoculars that let you hide behind your desk in school without the teacher noticing (possibly in the shape of a boy sitting upright??). Some little booster rockets (disguised as decorative circular medals?) that went on your swimming trunks to make you swim faster.
I remember all / nearly all of the inventions having a cross-section / cutaway section to them, so you could see the internal mechanics.

That’s about all I can remember, it’s been driving me slightly crazy for years (having tracked down nearly all the other books I loved as a child already).
I will give you any more information if I can, just let me know! 

365E: Romantic short story about two strangers: a carny and a young woman together on a carnival ride

I think it’s a paperback book from about 25-30 years ago. I’m sorry I don’t recall title nor author, nor cover.
I’ve tried googling what little I remember in nouns, but no luck. It could be a short story
anthology or a book of short stories by one writer. As I recall, the carny, a kind of rough guy meets a young woman and takes her on a ride on what we used to call ‘the wheel of death’ but I don’t think it was called that in the story. That carnival contraption is usually a huge metal mesh cylinder that people enter through a door, and then line up, standing up, around the edges of the cylinder/metal cage.

 When the machine starts up, the cylinder starts to whirl in a circle, faster and faster until all the people are plastered by centrifugal force to the walls… then the floor drops out so that people are whirling through space in this cage with no floor beneath them, held up only by centrifugal force.

How the wheel was actually constructed in story, not sure. But that’s the idea.

The carny might kiss the young woman while on the ride, not sure, but it was romantic leaning a tidge into eros I think. I’m sorry, cannot remember any of the other stories in the book. At age 77 now, a lot of memories are softer, but good memories have gotten stronger. One of the blessings of aging sometimes.

364T: Little girls playing dress up

Description of book with helpful details: 2 girls (friends) playing dress up, hanging clothes on a line, and maybe a tea party. Book had pen and ink illustrations I believe. I remember a drawing of one of the girls wearing high heels that were of course too big for her. I checked this book out of my grammar school library many times, probably in the late 60’s.

363C: Mystery by Italian Psychologist

The book I’m trying to find was a mystery written by an Italian Psychologist. I believe he wrote three books, all mysteries with different modes of transportation as the setting (an airplane, a train, and a ship.) The book I’m looking for was the mystery on an airplane. The murder occurred during the flight and the killer was exposed during the end of the flight. The author being a psychologist introduced some of his psychological theories into the story and I believe that this was the purpose of the three books – to explain his theories.

The book was probably written prior to the 1960’s but after the 1920’s. The title was short. I’m not sure if all the books were translated into the English language.

I enjoyed the story and wish I wouldn’t have sold my copy (it was a nice English first edition.) If you need more details, I’ll try to recall what I can. Thank You and good luck.

362Q: Old Fairytale Collection

I am looking for a fairytale collection that I remember from my youth. My mom bought them for us in the 1950s and my stepmother has thrown them out. Sorry, I do not have the title. Here is what I remember: There was a set of three books. The cover was hard-bound and cream-colored. Each book had a small colored panel on the spine. One green, one red and one brown. I recall that they contained “The Princess and the Pea”, “Rapunzel” and “Rutabaga Tale” I would love to buy these treasured tomes if anyone has them.

362O: Child Finds Way Home by North Star

I’m trying to think of a book I used to read probably around the year 2000.

The kid (can’t remember if it’s a boy or girl) lives on a farm with their dad, their mother has died. Every Christmas Eve they give the barn animals Christmas treats. At some point the kid gets lost in the woods with their dog. They follow the North Star to head back home and are found by the dad and their neighbor.

339O: Children’s Book of Short Stories Published in the 1960s or early 1970s

Hello. When I was around 5 or 6 years old (1972 to 1973) I loved a book of short stories. I think it contained around a dozen or so stories.

One of the stories was about a lost cat (or kitten). The cat is lonely, cold, and hungry. The cat wandered around and found a pond with a fish in it. The cat tries to grab the fish, but is pulled into the water. (I think there may have been a fishing pole, and the cat got tangled in it.) When the owner of the house heard the ruckus outside, he went out to retrieve the fish and cat. The cat then lives happily thereafter with the owner, and the owner cooks the fish for the cat.

Another story was about some people who went for a short boat ride on a lake in a rowboat. To make sure everyone person was accounted for, the organizer of the voyage had everyone wear a similar hat. Her plan was to count the number of hats before the journey, and then afterwards. If the number matched, then everyone was accounted for. I recall the voyage had some problems. I think the boat started to sink because someone forgot to install the drain plug. But it wasn’t dangerous because the lake was very shallow. At any rate, at the end of the voyage the organizer was worried & upset because the number of hats she counted afterwards was one less than the onset of the voyage. But someone pointed out that she forgot to count the hat on her head, and everyone laughed.

Thank you

339N: Who is the author? Begins with Stephen…not King or Crane (Solved!)

I am recalling an early short story writer, from the 1930s and 1940s, he wasn’t known as a science fiction author but wrote a piece of science fiction about a take over of the world by machines. They weren’t AI or anything that sophisticated. No microprocessors. The takeover included automobiles and even irons and vacuum cleaners. The machines just revolted. I think that the story was told by a person in an enclosed room waiting to die, telling his tale. The writer’s first name was Stephen. My parents had a copy of “The Complete Works of Stephen….” or “The Collected Works of Stephen….” but I can’t remember his last name. Does anyone who it might be? I believe he also wrote some poetry included in the set.  I think there were two volumes.