Questions tagged [identification-request]

Questions asking for identification of a literary work (story, novel, poem, play, etc) or author, based on descriptive details provided within the question. Please be thorough and provide ALL of the details that you can remember when using this tag. (For questions seeking the original source of a known quote, use the [quote-source] tag instead.)

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Poem about the coffee rings left behind on a table

This poem was published in a quarterly poetry magazine in the mid-'90s. It was about the coffee rings left behind on a table in a cafe. The coffee stains were compared to the memories of our lifetime. ...
spira03's user avatar
  • 31
5 votes
1 answer
474 views

What was the name of this story referring to 17-year cicadas?

Several decades ago, I read a short story where a woman sees 17-year cicadas emerging. This leads her to recall several vignettes from her life, from the previous times she encountered 17-year cicadas ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
  • 12.5k
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Novella about man reminiscing about his girlfriend/wife while standing by her dead body

I read a novella about 10 years ago, which I thought was written by Dostoevsky, but I haven't been able to find it since. Plot: A middle-aged man stands near the body of his girlfriend (or wife) who ...
raiym's user avatar
  • 181
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Fantasy book with character that used ing instead of swearing, all the time

There was this - i think fantasy - book that had a character who used a literal "ing" instead of any swearing. I mean all the time, every second or third phrase. Might have been one of ...
Torp's user avatar
  • 173
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

YA literature where a group of older kids are suggested to be synthesizing LSD in the school chemistry lab, but are actually making wood alcohol

Memories of reading this recently started teasing around the edges of my memory and I'm trying to pin it down. The protagonists are a set of kids (I think mixed gender, possibly primarily caucasian) ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.5k
22 votes
2 answers
7k views

Scene from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur fails to explain how Earth technology works

I remember a scene from one of the Hitchhiker books: Arthur Dent (I guess) talks to an alien who says that the Earth was this very backwards planet. Arthur says, well, this is not true, we had plenty ...
Bini's user avatar
  • 221
2 votes
0 answers
72 views

Short Story About A Newspaper Carrier Whose Newspapers Get Wet Due To Rain - Printed in an Early 1970s 8th Grade English Literature Textbook

I am searching for the title of a short story that is about a newspaper carrier who is a male child that is approximately the age of 10 to 16. In the short story, the newspaper carrier is delivering ...
daffodils2000's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
51 views

Book about female character who can see in the past

Read this when I was very young, so I don't remember it too well. But it was about a young woman who met a guy and was being introduced into his family, however she could see back in time through some ...
ineedahero's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
69 views

Science fiction story in which African dictator is overthrown by his son

This story was written 1984 or earlier, I believe. It was part of the sociological science fiction trend and really had nothing science fiction-like in it other than being set in some unspecified ...
user254694's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
111 views

Book about a struggling journalist who pawns his coat and then buys it back

Here are the details about the book that I remember: A down-on-his-luck journalist is the main character. He has to sell his suit coat to a pawn shop to survive. This is a problem because he needs it ...
Robert Hickman's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
569 views

Children's book about a cat named Clara and a cat named Mrs. Cat

My niece read this book in a doctor's office and it ended up being very special to her so I'd like to track it down. It's about a black cat named Clara and a adult orange cat named Mrs. Cat. Clara ...
Jaleh's user avatar
  • 61
3 votes
1 answer
55 views

late 80's fiction book about doctor experimenting on pregnant woman and the kids later abilities

It had a holographic cover with lightning, that's why it caught my eye. The story was a doctor had performed secret genetic experiments on a bunch of pregnant women. The women were under surveillance ...
Rachel's user avatar
  • 31
5 votes
0 answers
65 views

Does Nicanor's account of Alexander survive?

I came across allusions to a source in one of the volumes of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, relevant summary by Oxford: The learned Roman scholar and antiquarian M. Terentius Varro decided to take matters ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
64 views

Fairytale/fable/parable about a dog trying to run to a monastery that's rung its bell

The story goes like this: A dog hears the monastery ring its bell, which indicates that there will be food there. So he runs up the hill leading to the monastery. When he's about halfway there, he ...
xiaodai's user avatar
  • 151
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

Short story about a woman yearning for her dream home

Years ago, I read a short story and I can’t find it. It is about a couple who are part of the working poor—probably the 40s or 50s. The woman complains most of the time about their conditions. But she ...
Michael Phillips's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

British Duke is murdered in elevator. Title is inherited by one of a pair of identical twins, both of whom are suspects

During the COVID lockdowns, so some time between March 2020 and June 2021, I read either a novel or a short story, I think the former, that had the following plot elements: A duke is gruesomely, ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
2 votes
1 answer
133 views

Trying to identify short poem

I remember a wonderful poem from my school anthology but I don't know the name or author. Is there a kind person who might recognise the following poem? It's a very short poem. Female poet, I think. ...
CyclingDave's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
105 views

Creatures eat everything and wreck the house?

There’s a children’s book with a boy whose home is overrun with hungry beings. Can’t remember if they’re little dragons or gnomes or ogres, but they ransack the place while eating every food scrap ...
Leah's user avatar
  • 37
2 votes
0 answers
65 views

Name of short story about girl surviving winter

I read this story maybe ten years ago? It was in pioneer times (?) and a girl, her brother and father were going through a mountain pass to reach a town to sell their wares. They went in the autumn, ...
Elizabeth's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
802 views

Short story with a witch, party crackers, and something prophetic stitched in a hem

Many years ago (35?) I got a short story collection from the library. One had or revealed a witch. It referenced party crackers (like the British Christmas favors) and had something, maybe prophetic, ...
Shawn1475's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
100 views

Middle School detective series with two friends from early 2010s

I read this series around 2013-2015. It centered around two friends who had their own detective business. I remember the second book in the series had had a picture of the characters on top of a train....
tigerman19's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

Short story (maybe an excerpt from a book) about some kids on a farm - simulated bucking bronco and swapped horses at a hoe down

I was just recounting this to someone, but as a child, we had a book with various stories, I think primarily about rural people. I have a vague memory of that it might have included the Little House ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.5k
2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Children's book about a boy being pushed off a cliff by a girl and breaking his leg, repercussions commence

I was introduced to this work in my childhood in the early 90s through my grandparents personal library in their home (if it at all matters, at that time, Sandy, Utah); I do not recall the publish ...
BrandAmber's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

Gothic time travel book from the 70’s

My mom read a book where a woman goes to a party at an isolated mansion. She and her date start arguing. She gets out of the car and walks away into the fog, and then she disappears. She turns up into ...
Alicean John Campbell's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Children's book - eat the dictionary

The premise is pretty simple and straightforward: [caterpillar, moth, worm, bug of some sort] eats its way through a dictionary, one letter at a time. It is only able to speak using words starting ...
dmg's user avatar
  • 243
4 votes
0 answers
118 views

20th century poem ending with "-baby?"

In high school I rented a collection of poems from a male author that I believe had a black-and-white cover with a photograph on it. I got it from a USA library in 2012. I am looking for one poem in ...
jamesismynamo's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
88 views

Dark fantasy book with moonlight magic, one armed warrior, and a witch with spiders

A dark fantasy book I read years ago had a young woman protagonist who was part of a prophecy. Her magic had something to do with moonlight and its different colours affected what her magic did. There ...
RedValkyrie 84's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
434 views

The Oxford Murders...no, not the one by Martinez

Here is the plot of the most brilliant "author plays fair" crime novel I ever saw: an arrogant professor faked a poem by a famous poet and "sells" this as a great discovery. He was ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Comic strip where Adolf Hitler says something like "I am a victim too"

A comic strip I saw in the last 20-30 years had Adolf Hitler say something like "I am a victim too". Not sure if Hitler said it, or if someone was telling him he was a victim too. It was a ...
Ronzone's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
559 views

Looking for a literature book titled "Literature of Fact."

Many years ago I read a book titled "Literature of Fact." I know the last name of one of the authors is Costello, don't know the others. I know that chapter 4 is titled "Short Fiction&...
R.P.'s user avatar
  • 53
2 votes
1 answer
65 views

A children's book with a Beast in a forest

I remember a few details about three children's books I read in elementary school in the USA, presumably borrowed from the school library instead of the local library, because I remember them in ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
85 views

A childen's book with a rhyme about a badger's home

I remember a few details about three children's books I read in elementary school in the USA, presumably borrowed from the school library instead of the local library, because I remember them in ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
99 views

A children's book with a rhyme naming cities in western England

I remember a few details about three children's books I read in elementary school in the USA, presumably borrowed from the school library instead of the local library, because I remember them in ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
61 views

YA book with a boy who is connected to a deer

A YA book I read in the 90s followed the love triangle of the main character. He was a boy who developed a connection with a deer he sees in the wilderness near his home. The love triangle also ...
kate's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
61 views

Rhyming book about a girl named Carrie who drove a car

I can't remember the title of this book from my childhood. It was about a girl called Carrie who drove a car. It rhymed. It was from 1980s or before. It went "Carrie's car goes near and far, she'...
user20075's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Novel about a recently divorced mother who is being stalked and harrassed, including shattered windows and a murdered pet

This is a repost of an SF&F SE question, which was considered to not be sci-fi enough for the site. This was another one of those paperbacks I borrowed from a girl in middle school, around 1992 or ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.5k
5 votes
0 answers
73 views

Looking for a late 1970's fiction book for 6-8 yr olds in UK about a boy in the East who has two animal companions

I read this in 1978/9. I think it was fairly new and chose it as a 'free reader' in school. We moved house and I never got to finish it! This is what I recall of it: Green cover Hard book Main ...
Jenny Marshall's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
52 views

Children's novel about girl whose guardian is her elder brother

I've been trying to find the name and author of a "realistic fiction" children's novel (age 7-12-ish) written somewhere in the early 2000s (I read it in 2014) which takes place in a small ...
Tina of Here's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
79 views

Looking for children's fiction book on smuggling in Cornwall

As a teenager, in the late 90s in the UK, I read a fictional book about smuggling, based in Cornwall. I'm trying to track down this specific book. The title was something along the lines of "The ...
nox's user avatar
  • 111
3 votes
0 answers
117 views

Poem from a teacher: "There is a tree I love // And she loves me // Sentient beings call her home"

There is a tree I love And she loves me Sentient beings call her home, She is their world Their womb of God Knowing only here. She sings out the perfection The rightness, the holy stillness of all ...
Lucy's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
73 views

What story was this? Set in Florida, with a quip about Mexican and American road projects

I recall a story set in Florida containing a quip along the lines of "the Mexicans, in all their ignorance, built a highway through mountains in six months, but it takes real Americans to know ...
Randall's user avatar
  • 123
4 votes
0 answers
134 views

identify a Douglas Adams-ish short story about a failed attempt to communicate with aliens that ends with an anticlimactic sentence

When I was a teenager I read a story about scientists who received radio signals (or something like that) of extraterrestrial origin but were unable to decode them. After many years of receiving these ...
Marcelle Pernet's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
77 views

Identify story about large space based telescopes and AI

I am trying to find the title of a sci fi novel or short story. The plot is that scientists have created a large distributed telescope around the solar system, run by an advanced AI. It works really ...
Rune Sandnes's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
42 views

SciFi book about a visitor to earth on a mission who pinches a motorbike off a biker gang

A visitor to earth is on a mission, and is scouting or something. He comments about a flatscreen display which although not 3D has an impressive picture. Arrives on earth and pinches a motorbike off a ...
Merlin's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
52 views

Kid called Roland who wanted to win a grocery competition to win a house

I grew up in Australia in the 90’s/2000’s and am trying to find a children’s book. It’s about a family of extreme couponers/competitors and their son Roland who is trying to win a house from a grocery ...
Bec A's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
66 views

Short comic/one shot of a man trying out evil for the first time by kidnapping and murdering a girl, then realizes evil is not for him?

I have a vague memory of a short comic I read once that involved a man talking about how you can't really despise evil without at least trying it first. Therefore, they kidnapped and tortured a girl, ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
600 views

Identify a story about time travel with a prehistoric child and a modern-day carer who grows attached to him

It's a short science fiction story about the invention of a time machine in the future. The tale revolves around scientists sending a child from the prehistoric era, who is cared for by a woman who ...
Termos's user avatar
  • 153
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

A YA book about surviving outdoors

I’m looking for a YA novel- I would have read it in the 90s. It was about a boy that lived in the wild and how he survived and took care of himself. I remember a specific part where he hunts deer. ...
Cassandra Lipnicki's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

YA Novel: main character Juniper falls for her best friend's brother working together at a law firm

I read a book where the female main character was named Juniper. She falls for her best friend's brother, but I forgot his name. They work together at a law firm, and he always calls her by different ...
nyx's user avatar
  • 3
5 votes
2 answers
675 views

What is this children's book referenced in Little Dorrit?

In Little Dorrit, Dickens writes: A communication of great trap-doors in the floor and roof with the workshop above and the workshop below, made a shaft of light in this perspective, which brought to ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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