Cats, hats and hammerbeam roofs – 7 of the strangest books missing from Suffolk’s libraries

More than 7,000 books have gone missing from Suffolk's libraries since 2009 Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IS

More than 7,000 books have gone missing from Suffolk's libraries since 2009 Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto Thomas

More than 7,000 books have gone missing from libraries in Suffolk over the past decade – but which stand out from the crowd? We’ve been through the list to pick out seven of the strangest titles to fall through the cracks.

1. Cat counsellor: How your cat really relates to you. By Vicky Halls.

We’ve all thought about it. It’s fairly easy to know when a dog is hungry, or restless, or just fancies attention – but cats have always been tricky to pin down. What are they really thinking? Are we treating them right? And could they be plotting to take over the world? Feline expert Vicky Halls, author of bestselling Cat Confidential, attempts to set the record straight in just 340 pages. Sadly, it looks like the person who borrowed this book from Haverhill Library back in April 2018 hasn’t made a whole lot of progress, as it hasn’t been seen since.

2. Suffolk medieval church roof carvings: A photographic survey of carvings on hammerbeam roofs. By Birkin Haward.

One for all the family. In his 1999 title, Birkin Haward explores previously unrecorded carvings of men, beasts and angels in Suffolk’s churches. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be available to purchase anywhere online. It was advertised once on Instagram back in July 2017 for £28 (with free postage), but we reckon the offer has expired now. It was last seen at Bury St Edmunds Library in November 2018 as a reference book – meaning it was likely taken without permission.

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3. You’re not crazy, it’s your mother: Understanding and healing for daughters of narcissistic mothers. By Danu Morrigan.

“Do you find yourself emotionally bruised, upset and confused after being in touch with your mother?”, Danu Morrigan asks. This book attempts to comfort women who feel victimised by their mothers, making them feel “understood and validated as never before”. The author has even set up a website to provide further support. She’s certainly not messing around, as the book ranks 60th out of Amazon’s bestselling psychology and mental health titles. It went missing from Bury St Edmunds Library in October 2017.

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4. 100 things you should know about whales & dolphins. By Steve Parker.

A slightly lighter read, Steve Parker’s 48-page hardback dives into the world of – you guessed it – whales and dolphins, as you have never seen them before. Among other things, it looks in detail at their physical characteristics, communication abilities, group behaviour, feeding habits, and life cycle. Whoever borrowed this book was clearly engrossed – as it was last seen at Debenham Library in December 2017.

5. How to build brick cars: Detailed LEGO designs for sports cars, race cars, and muscle cars. By Peter Blackert.

Featuring over a dozen builds of classic and contemporary sports cars, race cars, and muscle cars, this book promises to challenge “both LEGO newbies and the veteran block-slingers far and wide”. Vehicle designer Peter Blackert promises to teach us how to build everything from a Porsche 911 to 2016 Le Mans Ford racer. Or he would, if the book hadn’t been missing from Leiston Library since June 2018.

6. The man who mistook his wife for a hat. By Oliver W. Sacks.

This sounds a lot like a joke book, but it’s quite the opposite. Dr Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, recounts remarkable stories of patients that have lost their memories. According to The Guardian, “his case studies of broken minds offer brilliant insight into the mysteries of consciousness”. It sounds like a great read. But don’t brag about it to the staff at Ixworth Library, because they haven’t seen it since May 2018.

7. Practical stamp decorating: Projects for home ornaments and accessories. By Stewart Watson.

What better to end with than a gentle read about stamp decorating? Published in 2006, the book begins with a section explaining the basics, and moves through tips on applying paint and creating special effects. Perhaps the person who borrowed this one simple couldn’t bear to let it go. Regardless, it’s not been seen at Woodbridge Library since June 2018.

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