This book was picked up and read on a whim based entirely on the title and cover art. Yes, I judged a book by its cover and am very glad that I did. It takes a wild combination of libraries, books, mermaids, and carnivals and twists it all into an intriguing tale. With a mysterious book at its centre, this story is told around the experiences of two young men – Simon, a librarian struggling to keep his life, work and home all standing at the same time and Amos, a wild boy turned tarot reader and a complicated love life. The story is told from a mixed perspective: the present day as Simon looks back through the previously unknown saga of his family line and in the past during Amos’ youthful struggle with a less than full understanding of who he is or will become.
The Book of Speculation is the first novel from Erika Swyler (author, illustrator, and self declared appreciator of bunnies). According to her website, she has a follow-up to this story in the works. Swyler’s work is reminiscent of The Night Circus, just with less magic and more quirkiness. The Book of Speculation will make a great addition to your summer reading list, especially for anyone who secretly dreamt of becoming a mermaid when they grew up. And don’t forget the value in serendipitous discovery among the shelves and displays at the public library!