Questions tagged [identification-request]

Questions asking for identification of a story, book, 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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3 votes
1 answer
81 views

Book which mixes a story about a young girl at birthdays and helpful ideas for planning birthdays

When I was younger my mum gave me a children’s book about birthdays. I've tried searching for the specifics I remember but no luck yet, hoping someone can help. I think it was published in the 80’s ...
Kate Howe's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Story about a community of rats that create art and another that only works and eventually all rats give up on art?

I remember reading sometime somewhere this story: On an island lived two communities of rats. One created art and the other only worked. The rats which only worked were better at resource acquisition ...
seleniumkyle's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
56 views

Book featuring an airplane sheet-plated with gold and an expedition to Africa to get it?

I didn't read the book itself, but listened to it being read in a series of radio auditions, in the end of 1980s. The book was in Polish translation, or, possibly, it was by Polish author. More ...
yury10578's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
0 answers
59 views

Seeking circular novel, begins & ends with man waking from a dream

I just heard this mentioned on a podcast, but then couldn't remember which one, and can't remember the title either! But I think it was a 3-4 word title with relatively simple, common, monosyllabic ...
scottef's user avatar
  • 255
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

What is the origin of the story about Scent, Touch, Sound, Taste and Vision.?

I came across the story in a movie called See starring Jason Momoa. The story is about four brothers and sisters (Scent, Touch, Sound and Taste) and later on Vision came along and said he was their ...
OWOAHENE JOSEPH's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
35 views

Long essay / short booklet (~10,000 words?) memoir of a husband caring for his wife dying from cancer

I volunteer in end-of-life care among the materially disadvantaged in India. About 2 years ago, I had come across a long essay / short booklet (~10,000 words?) written by a person who was caring for ...
Ritesh Singh's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who wrote the short story "Quietly"?

About 20 yrs ago I briefly possessed a collection of science fiction short stories by various authors. It began with a story titled Quietly. It was about a girl named Quietly who is being raised by ...
Mia Akbulut's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
151 views

Bizarre early 1970's children's picture book about life in prison

My friends look at me askance when I tell them about this surreal children's picture book I read in a US public library about 1975. A man (who my brain insists on identifying with Ned Riddle's ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 262
2 votes
0 answers
53 views

Name of old book with two kids, treasure hunt, and elderly woman

My dad loves reading old kids/young adult books to his grandchildren. For years he's been trying to figure out the name of a book that he read long ago, but he's been unable to. I'm hoping that ...
Pete's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
55 views

Can't remember book title: a journalist converses with a death row convict [duplicate]

I'm searching for the title of a book, my memories are quite hazy, very vague, as I read it a few years back. The plot goes something like this: a journalist converses with a death row convict, and ...
user18810's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

Book (possibly part of a series) about a martial arts school, included a section with a punch thrown with a butterfly in the hand

I read this as a paperback in the mid 1990s in English, probably between 200 and 300 pages. My brain is associating the book with various TSR series I read at the time, although that might just be a ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.3k
1 vote
2 answers
109 views

Difference between two similarly-named books - 'The Bear Who Wanted to [Be|Stay] a Bear'

My daughter told me she wants to read the book The Bear Who Wanted to Stay a Bear by Jörg Steiner with me, probably after reading it at school. Google yields search results for these differently-but-...
terrykimura's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
55 views

Where did Steinbeck write about the smoke stacks at Moss Landing?

I was at Elkhorn Slough today, and the captain of the boat I was on said that the "smoke stacks" (or whatever they are now called) were built in the 1950s or 1960s. But I recall John ...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
111 views

Graphic novel about a man and a dog talking about philosophical topics and going on adventures

I read this graphic novel a few years ago when I was in elementary school, I remember very little of it so it might be difficult. The book is a collection of individual comics, the stories in each ...
DaNubCoding's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Children's book about a magic ointment that brings inanimate objects to life

I am trying to find the title of a children's book where a magic ointment was rubbed on inanimate objects (chairs, table etc.) bringing them to life. I read this book in the mid to late 1970s. Would ...
unknown reader's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
78 views

Trying to find a book about sharing kingship that I read as a child, likely from the 1980s

I read a book as a child. I don't remember what age I was, so let's put 1990 as the upper end of the publication date. Here is what I remember: Three children are imprisoned in a kingdom run by ...
Bill's user avatar
  • 191
3 votes
1 answer
143 views

A short story about artificial intelligence written by an author from Russia or Poland?

I once read an interesting short story about the possibility of a set of intelligent machines creating philosophy. Unfortunately I can't find the book that contains this short story. All I can ...
Hilton Fernandes's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
65 views

A song in Pierre Martin's "Madame le Commissaire"

In the book "Madame le Commissaire" by Pierre Martin, Isabelle has dinner with her friends. A song by Edith Piaf plays in the background and Isabelle thinks about the meaning of the lyrics. ...
T L's user avatar
  • 11
8 votes
1 answer
64 views

A girl builds fairy houses to escape her home life

I read this book in the mid-2000s, maybe 2006?, in the USA. It was in English, and it was a paperback middle-grade chapter book, maybe 200 pages long. The main character is a girl who learns to build ...
Reader12's user avatar
  • 113
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What book is about a teenage girl who likes fire and has "brown silver and gold" hair?

She lives in some kind of fishing town or port town with evil foster parents who call her a "wharf rat" and plot to frame her for arson. I thought it was called Firestarter but when I search ...
somebody's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
266 views

Identification of a short story about a girl who loses a protective talisman (A handkerchief with three spots of her mother's blood on it)

I'm trying to identify a short story or possibly a fairytale contained in a book of short stories, about a girl who went on a long journey and was given several items that she was supposed to take ...
Aaargh Zombies's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
127 views

Looking for a modern fairy-tale in which a prince goes on "impossible" quests for a princess, but ends up marrying a witch who helped him

I'm looking for a story (almost certainly a modern author working in a fairy-tale motif, rather than an actual folk tale) in which a prince is given a sequence of "impossible" tasks by a ...
RLH's user avatar
  • 226
0 votes
1 answer
79 views

What is the name of a short story about a woman who was listening to the sound of the river?

I want to find the name of a short story and its writer. The short story is about a woman that her husband has died in sleep. When the police ask her about her whereabouts at the time of his death, ...
Ali's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
0 answers
48 views

Short Story ID - Man, apparent weakling, impresses macho brothers of gf/fiancé via daring rescues/fights

I'm trying to identify a short story I once read: Plot Summary A man is either dating or engaged to a women. Her macho brothers observe his unimpressive appearance and judge him to be a weakling. They ...
Ben W.'s user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
0 answers
40 views

A Matt Helm-style action novel with killer turtles?

I have vague memories from before the year 2000, of reading a paperback novel, perhaps a serial. It was about a super-spy, detective, or secret agent. It was more in the style of "Matt Helm" ...
Michaelps's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
167 views

A bank audit reveals embezzlement when money comes up $5 off (over?)

I'd swear it's O. Henry, but all I'm getting is his real life embezzlement. In a small town bank, an audit turns up a small ($5?) discrepancy, which eventually leads to discovering that one of the ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.3k
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Please identify the name and author of a short story about forbidden clocks

I read that a long time ago, don't remember many details. It was a short story written in English. About a city where clocks were forbidden. Workers in the city have wristbands with different colours ...
curious-reader's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Looking for a wattpad book (Thorned Gods?) about a girl with ghostly wolf. She can change into a Wyrm

I read this book maybe 4-5 yrs ago (no more than seven) on Wattpad. It was the first part. (that site has atrocious search & find.) It was titled 'Thorned Gods'? It was fiction/magic set in the ...
Avani's user avatar
  • 33
1 vote
1 answer
119 views

A Regency era novel on Wattpad about a purple-eyed girl (dressed up as a boy) working as a personal valet for a lord (male lead)

It starts with the girl working in a fake antiquity-making factory where she drops a large and heavy vase, shattering it. She had a heavy labour kind of work. It was a very dreary setting. Workers ...
Avani's user avatar
  • 33
2 votes
1 answer
60 views

Dystopian New Zealand YA novel where teenagers are kidnapped by the car they were trying to steal and taken to an organ theft ring

I am looking for a YA horror/dystopian novel which I read in around 2008. The novel was set in a dystopian version of the modern (1990s/early 2000s) world; in the opening pages two teenagers break ...
Alex Elzenaar's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is the name of a short story where a computer insists 2+2 is 5?

Many years ago in a US middle school, in an honors literature class we read a short story in English that has stuck with me since and I haven't been able to find it. Roughly: someone creates a ...
linter-purgatory's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
183 views

Futuristic/dystopian short story about a man living in a hive society trying to meet his dying mother

I'm trying to find a short story I read many years ago about a guy living in a "hive" society in which everyone lives in cells, connected (I think) by computers; the substance of the ...
Giuseppe Soffiare's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

Childhood book where young girl has visions of enslaved grandmother

I'm trying to find a book I read at school when I was about 12. It was about a young black girl who kept having visions where she became her Grandmother at a young age, being trafficked as a slave. ...
Jigwam82's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
60 views

Hamster in an aeroplane who can talk - NOT 'Tales From the Riverbank'

I'm trying to remember a book I read as a kid (I'm early 50's so it would have been in the late 1970's when I read it). It's about a boy who gets a pet hamster and decides to put it in his toy ...
Francesca Sian Brylewska's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Novel in which a hired killer muses about the existence of a legendary killer who operates only by accidents, followed by a short chapter of that man

I think I read this as an ebook in English, within the last few years. The main character (not the only perspective character as I recall it) is a hired killer of some renown, and he was idly musing ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.3k
7 votes
1 answer
949 views

Horror novel involving teenagers killed at a beach party for their part in another's (accidental) death

I think I read this 5 years ago as an ebook from the library. I'm 99% certain it's not an R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike book. There were no paranormal aspects to it, just a determined killer. A group ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.3k
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

Book about mother and kids in Africa

I read the book in 2007 ish. I believe it was aimed at children or young adults but not certain. I believe the book was set in Africa in a city. There was a "great mother" figure protecting ...
Pradeep Chakravarti's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
99 views

Story with opening line about finding God behind the moon

There's a sci-fi story with a cracking opening line. It goes something like It happened around the time they found god, behind the moon, and they sent a fleet of spaceships to tow Her out I maybe ...
Wotteva's user avatar
  • 31
5 votes
2 answers
115 views

Children's book where a boy runs from being caught swimming, into a library which traps him

I am attempting to identify a short book I read when I was young (around the 1990s). From what I remember the plot, or at least the beginning went as such: A young boy was in a military camp, I seem ...
MattR's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Story by S. Maugham or S. Zweig, mother manipulates her husbands to their graves and dies after her daughter's marriage

In which story by S. Maugham or S. Zweig is it said about a mother who, by manipulation, brought her husbands to their graves, complaining of a weak heart. And then hindered her daughter from ...
Alexan's user avatar
  • 491
6 votes
1 answer
139 views

Poet who asserted that poets lack personality and collect objects to give them one

In about the mid-90s I read part of a book of literary criticism by a poet (so focused mainly on poetry and poetic theory) where he said that poets lack a personality and often collect trinkets to ...
user254694's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
66 views

British 1990s/2000s crime novel featuring twin gangsters

I am trying to recall a British crime thriller I read in the late 1990s/early 2000s. It was set in the 1960s and featured twin gangsters very obviously based on the real-life Kray twins, with some of ...
Carfilhiot's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
773 views

Locating a quote in Dostoevsky's The Idiot

I am trying to locate this quote that I came across. I believe it was spoken by Aglaya (or Nastasya?) in The Idiot, but I'm having trouble locating it: “I want to talk about everything with at least ...
David542's user avatar
  • 467
4 votes
0 answers
55 views

Looking for a children's mystery novel set in south africa

I am looking for a children's mystery novel set in South Africa, of which I remember several details. I should say up front that the novel I am looking for is not Phyllis Whitney's "Secret of ...
WillO's user avatar
  • 141
5 votes
1 answer
157 views

looking for a novel—perhaps from the eighties—about King Solomon

Around forty years ago, standing in a bookstore, I read the first chapter of a novel: the opening was set in King Solomon's court, at the moment that he was recounting to his courtiers his dream (...
Barnaby's user avatar
  • 666
2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Russian (possibly) story in which a man is too shy to meet his pen-pal

I am pretty sure this is Russian and a short-story but not 100% sure. Man likes a woman, woman likes him back too. They write letters to each other, but met only once or never. She asks him to meet ...
bissi's user avatar
  • 23
4 votes
1 answer
93 views

Children's illustrated book about a Masai warrior and a lion

When I was a child in the late eighties, my local library had an illustrated book. I was four to five years old and barely remember it, but I know it was really important to me at that age (I kept ...
David's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
1 answer
70 views

What is the name of this op-ed/essay/newspaper article written by Walt Whitman

It's very hard to find this essay/op-ed Whitman wrote because it's not included in Leaves of Grass and Google keyword searches always prioritize sites which discuss Leaves of Grass. Whitman wrote an ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
148 views

YA novel about a girl who gets caught stealing, and then has to deal with the social consequences

I was explaining the concept of a Problem Novel to someone, when I suddenly had vivid memories of another one that I read when I was a child. The basic plot of it was that a young woman, probably ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.3k
4 votes
0 answers
49 views

Short children's story about an android who thinks they're human who creates an android

The Tomato Surprise TV Tropes page describes a story about an android who thinks they're human who creates an android. In a short story in a children's book, the protagonist is a young prodigy living ...
M. Justin's user avatar
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