Like Missed Connections, But for Half-Forgotten Books


It’s happened to everyone — suddenly, you’re seized by a vague, faint memory of a book you read somewhere, sometime, but can’t put your finger on what it was called or who wrote it, or even enough of the plot to Google your way to the answer. But have no fear, nostalgic re-readers! i09 has tipped us off to What Was That Book?, a Livejournal community (remember Livejournal?) dedicated to helping you piece together the scraps of your recollection. But even if you don’t have a forgotten novel tugging at the back of your brain, we suggest taking a look — we immediately got sucked into reading through the requests themselves. Not only is it interesting to see what details people hang on to, but now we definitely want to seek out and read these books ourselves. We’ve pulled a few of the weirdest, most awesome-sounding queries and excerpted them after the jump. If anyone figures out what books they belong to, do let us know in the comments.

ksm1701: “I remember reading a review of this book in the UK edition of Esquire or GQ sometime between 1994 and 1995. I think the gist of the story line was that Jim Morrison hadn’t died in a bathtub in Paris in the early ’70s, he was actually still alive and working as a private detective in London (maybe Soho).”

the_rae: “There are three books I’m trying to find the name of… The second was a depressing book about bees. Fiction, drama, I really can’t remember anything concrete about this book. There was a part in the book I think where one of the drones has sex with the queen and then dies. It was aimed towards adults, I think…really gritty story considering it was about bees.”

stochasticus: “It’s a fantasy novel, I’d say it was YA but I don’t think that terminology existed then. From what I remember of the cover it had a view of a generic village with cowled figure staring out at the reader with a goatish face and striking yellow goat eyes, the cover may have been yellow around the central image. I thought originally that the title was something to do with a ‘goat path’ but I’ve never managed to find it by searching for that. The ‘goat path’ or ‘path of the goat’ was a major part of the plot though. It was about a community on an island with an outline that resembled a small fat human figure with a volcano in the middle of its belly. The protagonist escapes from the eruption of this along the ‘goat path’. It doesn’t sound like much now but it must have had a big impact on me when I read it.”

ooxc: “In the 1960s I read an ‘Alternative universe’ book about a girl who has never known the color red, and finds herself in London — red traffic lights, red buses, red lipstick. I remember that it took me some time to understand this, and I have no idea how the story developed, or whether I finished the book. I think that the author might have written other things that I enjoyed — perhaps Jane Gillespie? I’d like to know more about this book, and perhaps try it again.”

joomyla: “This story was about a world where people sold their memories. The protaganist was an addict who’d pawned many memories for drugs but had sworn never to sell his memory of falling in love. But he did. Afterward, he was unaware of his loss, lacking the memory itself…”