The book of speculation: a novel

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One of BuzzFeed's 24 Best Fiction Books of 2015

"As Simon, a lonely research librarian, searches frantically for the key to a curse that might be killing the women in his family, he learns strange and fascinating secrets about their past. A tale full of magic and family mystery, The Book of Speculation will keep you up all night reading."—Isaac Fitzgerald, BuzzFeed

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon's doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of "mermaids" in Simon's family have drowned--always on July 24, which is only weeks away.

As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon's family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola?

In the tradition of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, The Book of Speculation--with two-color illustrations by the author--is Erika Swyler's moving debut novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID51c4ad2c-1350-09e4-dab3-aca8ac4a5e0d
Grouping Titlebook of speculation
Grouping Authorerika swyler
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-06-13 05:07:07AM
Last Indexed2021-06-13 05:22:51AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9781250054807

Solr Details

auth_author2Fliakos, Ari,
authorSwyler, Erika,
author2-roleFliakos, Ari,narrator.
hoopla digital.
author_displaySwyler, Erika
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2nd Floor- NEW Adult Books
Axis 360
Online Hoopla Collection
display_description"Simon Watson, a young librarian on the verge of losing his job, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home--a house, perched on the edge of a bluff, that is slowly crumbling toward the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, works for a traveling carnival reading tarot cards, and seldom calls. On a day in late June, Simon receives a mysterious package from an antiquarian bookseller. The book tells the story of Amos and Evangeline, doomed lovers who lived and worked in a traveling circus more than two hundred years ago. The paper crackles with age as Simon turns the yellowed pages filled with notes, sketches, and whimsical flourishes; and his best friend and fellow librarian, Alice, looks on in increasing alarm. Why does his grandmother's name, Verona Bonn, appear in this book? Why do so many women in his family drown on July 24? Could there possibly be some kind of curse on his family--and could Enola, who has suddenly turned up at home for the first time in six years, risk the same fate in just a few weeks? In order to save her--and perhaps himself--Simon must try urgently to decode his family history while moving on from the past. The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler's gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books and family and magic"--
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Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical DescriptionAbridged
hoopla:MWT11958462eAudiobookAudio BooksUnabridged.EnglishMacmillan Audio, 2015.1 online resource (1 audio file (11hr., 42 min.)) : digital.
ils:.b22449656BookBooksFirst edition.EnglishSt. Martin's Press, 2015.viii, 376 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
axis360:bl2015024799eAudiobookAudio BooksUnabridged.EnglishMacmillan Audio, [2015]1 online resource (1 audio file)
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Blessing and cursing -- Fiction
Books and reading
Books and reading -- Fiction
Carnivals -- Fiction
Downloadable audio books
FICTION -- Literary
Family life -- Fiction
Family secrets
Family secrets -- Fiction
Fate and fatalism -- Fiction
Friendship -- Fiction
Librarians -- Fiction
title_displayThe book of speculation
title_fullThe book of speculation / Erika Swyler ; with illustrations by the author
The book of speculation : a novel / Erika Swyler
The book of speculation : a novel [electronic resource] / Erika Swyler
title_shortThe book of speculation
title_suba novel
topic_facetBlessing and cursing
Books and reading
Family life
Family secrets
Fate and fatalism