That Book You Can’t Remember

Have you ever wanted to find a copy of a book you used to know, but you can’t remember the title, or the author? Book red; question marksWhat do you remember about it? And are you still looking?

Myself, I’d like to find a copy of the vintage children’s craft book we used to have when I was a kid. Can’t remember the title, the author, the cover… just some of the projects inside. A toy lamb with coathangers stiffening its legs, a set of simple garden tools…

4 Replies to “That Book You Can’t Remember”

  1. There was one book I remembered reading at primary school, but for a long time I couldn’t remember what it was called or who it was by. It was about a boy who discovered a chain of people, each of whom was willing to swap a particular thing they had for something they wanted more, and the thing they had was something someone else wanted; this allowed the boy to get something he really wanted in the end. Recently, I finally discovered what I’m pretty sure was the book: The Seventeenth Swap, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, but I haven’t re-read it as an adult.

    But there’s another book I remember from primary school that I haven’t had so much luck in identifying. I think it involved a boy who was in contact (maybe by radio, or telephone, or something) with an alien spaceship visiting Earth. There was something about the spaceship orbiting a “big bull”, which turned out to be a “big ball”, which turned out to be (spoiler!, assuming you can spoil a book whose name you can’t remember) the town’s time ball — the aliens and their spaceship being significantly smaller than the reader might previously have imagined.

    I think it was the same book that had the main character’s little sister calling her father the “Toast Mister” when he was making and distributing toast. She later talked about the “Pie Mister”, who was not, as you might suppose, anyone in charge of cooking and distributing pies, but rather (spoiler again!) the Prime Minister, who had telephoned.

    1. Should we be referring to the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern as the Pie Ms?
      I don’t think I’ve come across the time ball book, alas, although I did get to see the Lyttelton time ball before it fell victim to the ravening hordes of earthquakes and aftershocks. I think I even saw it drop once, although that may have been my childish imagination.

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