Welcome to Stump the Bookseller by Loganberry Books!


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?

305X: Man Uses PC to Compensate for Memory Loss – Ultimately Both Die in Suicide Pact

I read a short story in the late 1970’s or early 80’s. I think it was in a collection of award winners – maybe science fiction, and may have come from Scholastic or similar program. It is not Living Will.

A man is faced with progressive memory loss (Alzheimer’s?). He programs a personal computer to help him cope with his declining mental condition and keep up appearances of normality so that he can continue to live independently.

All scenes take place in the room the computer is in and are from its perspective. It talks the man through getting dressed and ready each day, then waits for him to return home and pieces together his day based on the contents of his pockets.

It monitors the progression of his deterioration and eventually concludes he is no longer able to function safely on his own. It initiates a euthanasia protocol per its programming and then begins deleting its files – apparently because its only purpose was to take care of the man and he is gone.

I remember it as not so much a science fiction story, but a tragic love story.

305W: A Family Moves to the Country

When I was in grade school in the late 1950's, I read a book, possibly from the library Bookmobile, that was about a family who moved to the country. The main theme was the transition to an old, broken-down house and the arduous process of fixing it up to make it livable. The story is told, I believe, by a young son, probably about the age I was when I read (10 or 11) it. What started out as an unpleasant experience for the kids, at least, over time turned into an adventure as the DIY project progressed and the boy explored the surrounding area. Finally, the family was able to embrace the house as their new home and I think the son learned the value or hard work and the pride that comes from it. I know this is sketchy at best, but it's not easy to clean out the cobwebs of my memory that far back! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

305V: Before the Mardi Gras Parade

Young boy in New Orleans sneaks in to see a float where it’s stored before Mardi Gras parade. This was a book I read in the mid-1950s. Could have sworn it was a Little Golden Book, but can’t find it in lists. Atmospheric drawings with French Quarter architecture. Can’t remember if there were consequences for child sneaking in to see the float being built or stored; he may have fallen asleep on the float and woken up when it began to move for the parade (but unsure about that plot point). I remember pictures of harlequin costumes and masks. Toward the end, he ate a snow cone or snow ball with crushed ice and syrup (during the parade?).

305U: Diary of a girl who died

The book in question is a ghost story that I read in the late 80s and I believe it to be a Young Adult book or possibly geared towards preteens. My impression is that it was written or published in the 70s, but that is only a guess. I cannot remember the title, but it was an off white hardcover library book with some sort of random small scene on the front relating to the story. It was a fairly thin book, maybe only 50-75 pages?

The story was about a teenage girl who had to go live with her uncle (I think) for some reason, and while she was there she found an old diary from a girl who had died many years before. The book makes many references to the ‘bogs” near the house (I didn’t know what a bog was before reading this book) and the girl who wrote the diary died after running into one of the bogs in the middle of the night and sinking. Not sure if it was accident or a suicide due to grief. I believe that there was a reference to a missing necklace or locket and the girl (who wrote the diary) had a boyfriend/lover/fiance that may have been a soldier named Ian who died.


One of the chapters in the book was titled “Letters To Ian.”  The main character becomes obsessed with the story as she reads the diary and starts having dreams/hallucinations about this girl and Ian and their deaths. Near the end of the book she finds herself either sleepwalking or hallucinating and ends up caught in one of the bogs in the middle of the night, possibly trying to find the locket/necklace.

I read this books dozens of times when I was young but never owned it and one day when I went to check it out again ( I lived next door to a library as a child) I found that the library had discarded it in a mass auction to make room for new books. I was heartbroken, and none of the librarians could provide me with the title to search for it elsewhere. We only had paper catalogs in our small town library and no computer system back then to look at what books a customer had checked out. I’ve tried for 30 years to remember the name of this book so that I can look for a used copy somewhere, with no luck.

Hopefully the little that I can still remember will jog someone’s memory.


305T: The Dragon Under the Lilac Bush

I am looking for a book that I believe was called The Dragon Under the Lilac Bush. It was filled with pull-tabs and pop-ups. This book was a favorite of a dear friend when she was a young child, and she’s in her mid-50’s now. So the book probably came out in the late 50’s or early 60’s. It may have been a San Francisco Bay area regional publication, as I have not been able to find any reference to the book anywhere.


305S: Enchanted dog and cat


Anyway the book I am looking for was a collection of children’s stories, possibly different authors and I think English and 1940s 1950s.

One story is about two children who help a dog and cat who have been enchanted and are the figureheads on a boat they find when the meadow at the end of their garden turns into a magical lake.


Hope you can help :0

305Q: Happy & Hoppy

This paperback (actually more of a pamphlet) was available in the 1960s. It contained several short stories. I believe it was blue and white. One of the stories involved a lost dog (I think it was a large black dog).

Another of the stories involved woodland creatures and lanterns in the woods. I believe there were characters named Happy & Hoppy.


The title is 1960s blue stories pamphlet


305O: A jewel from the ruins


I read a hardback book, in the ’70s, about a girl on a coast, Ireland or Britain, who finds a piece of jewelry, a ring or broach or a necklace (in the ruins of an ancient building maybe?) She has dreams that reveal the life of the girl who had the piece a long (centuries?) time ago. The dream girl was maybe Spanish.

There were dolphins, and an island that figured very large in the story.

It didn’t seem like a new book at the time. Looking back I would guess that it was written after ww2. It had a sad tragic feel to it.

Does this ring any bells?