Book of Speculation by Ericka Swyler

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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.

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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!

 

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