The Book of Speculation

The Book of Speculation

Erika Swyler / Oct 01, 2020
The Book of Speculation A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who discovers that his family labours under a terrible curse for generations the women in his family have died on the same date in July
  • Title: The Book of Speculation
  • Author: Erika Swyler
  • ISBN: 9781782397762
  • Page: 347
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who discovers that his family labours under a terrible curse for generations, the women in his family have died on the same date in July Simon must set out to unravel the mystery of this curse, before his beloved sister suffers the same fate Simon Watson lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family hoA sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who discovers that his family labours under a terrible curse for generations, the women in his family have died on the same date in July Simon must set out to unravel the mystery of this curse, before his beloved sister suffers the same fate Simon Watson lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks His younger sister, Enola, works for a travelling carnival and seldom calls.On a day in late June, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon s grandmother The book tells the story of two doomed lovers who were part of a travelling circus than two hundred years ago The paper crackles with age as Simon turns the yellowed pages filled with notes and sketches He is fascinated, yet as he reads Simon becomes increasingly unnerved Why do so many women in his family drown on 24th July And could Enola, who has suddenly turned up at home for the first time in years, risk the same terrible fate As 24th July draws ever closer, Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before it s too late.
    Book of Enoch The Book of Enoch also Enoch Ge ez ma afa h nok is an ancient Hebrew apocalyptic religious text, ascribed by tradition to Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah Enoch contains unique material on the origins of demons and giants, why some angels fell from heaven, an explanation of why the Genesis flood was morally necessary, and prophetic exposition of the The Book of Eli Jan , Directed by Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes With Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Gary Oldman A post apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. Personalized Books Gifts The Book of Everyone At The Book of Everyone, we put each person at the heart of the personalization process The result is a gift packed with enough emotion to make angsty adolescents smile, help couples exchange vows, and bring grown men to tears. The Book of Longings A Novel Praise for The Book of Longings I kept having to close this novel and breathe deeply, again and again A radical reimagining of the New Testament that reflects on women s longing and silencing and awakening, it is a true masterpiece Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed Kidd s painstaking research and artful crafting of setting and character ensures that The Book of Longings is Book of the Month Read , research less, save money Books are cool again Kidding, books were always cool Choose from the five best new reads every month and get them delivered. The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd The Book of Longings is a what if what if Jesus was married It s certainly a valid question as his movements, as tracked in the Bible, don t start until he s well into adulthood, and documents from the time period are spotty due to all the unrest in Emperor Tiberiuss reign.
    • [E-Book] ↠ The Book of Speculation | by ↠ Erika Swyler
      347 Erika Swyler
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      Posted by:Erika Swyler
      Published :2020-07-22T02:27:19+00:00

    About "Erika Swyler"

      • Erika Swyler

        Erika Swyler, a graduate of New York University, is a writer and playwright whose work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies Born and raised on Long Island s north shore, Erika learned to swim before she could walk, and happily spent all her money at traveling carnivals She is also a baker and photographer and has a baking humor tumblr with a following of 60,000 Erika lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and a petulant rabbit The Book of Speculation is her first novel.

    971 Comments

    1. short story prequel The Mermaid Girl available today and as a bonus, here is a really dark and blurry picture of me with the author, who is either delighted or terrified by my drunken enthusiasm about her book this book is for all you fans of The Night Circus or Geek Love BUT if you hated The Night Circus, don t run off just yet, because this is both better written and much darker BUT those of you who are turned off by me saying much darker should know it s not too dark there, i think i ve suffi [...]


    2. I fell asleep at my desk, having spent the last day teaching myself about curses and searching for Ryzhkova The National Archives were lacking in ship manifests pre 1800, but allowed me to track bibliographies that led to the New York Public Library s archives and manifests from 1600 onThis is a book about a whiny narrator doing research And also about tarot cards.The Book of Speculation is a strange novel and, really, that s its greatest merit Many different flat and lifeless characters have th [...]


    3. The story of the Book of Speculation takes place in two time periods Modern day and a setting in the 1700 s Simon is our present day main character A lonely research librarian that lives in his family home due to the fact that he can t bare to leave it His mother walked into the water one day and killed herself and his father grieved himself to death Simon raised his younger sister Enola and then she left Simon s family is a special family All the women in it have been able to hold their breath [...]


    4. I m bored So much dullness and uneventfulness that I can t take it any I ll just read something else and leave this to people who don t mind one dimensional characters, unending unnecessary descriptions and a depressive atmosphere Ugh, DNF.


    5. 4 stars to Erika Swyler s The Book of Speculation, a beautiful story full of intense imagery and powerful connections among the many characters With a slight border into the fantasy realm, this tale is well woven and provides an opportunity to feel the impact the past has across a family s descendants and relationships The book alternates chapters weaving the past and the present together while challenging the reader to determine the connection between the two stories StoryIn the past, a traveli [...]


    6. Average Rating 3 Stars Past Chapters 4 Stars Present Chapters 2 starsI felt like this book was a gyp The blurb oversold this as interesting than it actually was The mermaids here are not the kind that transform and have a fish tail, they are just mundane people who can hold their breath Ugh I get that this is magical realism and everything, but that just feels cheap.The most interesting story takes place in the past and involves a fortune teller This is the backbone of the book and the only par [...]


    7. Wow Wow Wow This book was simply amazing I m not usually drawn to books of this nature but I thrive on how the author uses one book, a book that began with one man who ran a carnival with 3 people in it that change the course of the characters lives Swyler braids these families together in the book with nothing out of place, no hairs loose Truly a captivating story about family and love and how our roots can help us grow wings Read this novel it doesn t disappoint and is magical in a way that ma [...]


    8. Simon works in the reference section at a struggling library in Maine, whose biggest draw is a whaling archive He s hard up for money and his historic home on the coast is in such disrepair that it s about to fall into the ocean.One day, Simon receives a very old book in the mail Strangely, it has some of his family member s names in it.The text describes a circus, a boy who can t speak, and a girl who can hold her breath so long that they call her a mermaid.But, what does this have to do with h [...]


    9. It took me a while to get into this one, I didn t take to Simon right away and the pace started out very slow It was the mysterious book that did it Imagine being sent a book, with pictures of tarot cards, descriptions of traveling show acts and realizing you are reading about your own family.Told in two separate time periods, the present and the late 1700 s,this is a book that has a little of everything.A mute boy who is originally a wild boy in the traveling show but than is taught to read car [...]


    10. 3.5 stars Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature Simon Watson, a librarian, is unexpectedly gifted with a mysterious old book out of the blue, from a man he s never met a badly damaged record from a traveling circus In another unanticipated development in his life, Simon enters into a romantic relationship with his longtime friend and next door neighbor, Alice, though for now they re keeping it secret from their co workers and her parents Unfortunately everything else in Simon s life i [...]


    11. 3 1 2 stars, rounded up I do appreciate the weirdness of this story This book consists of two stories, one present and one past In the present, Simon is paralyzed with loss His mother committed suicide when he was seven, his father died ten years later, and his younger sister has left home to be a fortune teller in a traveling carnival Lost and lonely, with no direction or desires, Simon moulders away by himself in a house that is falling apart around him Then a far off bookseller sends him a my [...]


    12. This review can also be found at Carole s Random Life.2 StarsI am not really sure what I expected from this book but I finished it feeling rather disappointed and completely underwhelmed The story never quite pulled me in even though there were some sections that did catch my attention In the end, this is one of those books that I will probably forget quickly It wasn t a book that I hated but I didn t really like it either This book is told in alternating timelines which I admit that I am not a [...]


    13. I really can t decide between three and four stars for this one On the one hand the characters never really grabbed me and a few of them actually antagonised me Enola especially Simon, the main character, is basically hopeless and helpless On the other hand the story is original and I thought it was paced really well I found it hard to put down and ended up staying up late to finish it The ending is particularly clever with a nice little twist that I did not see coming Take no notice of all the [...]


    14. Wow Just wow I didn t have many expectations when I picked this novel up on a whim, yet this is by far one of the best books I ve read It s fresh and wildly innovated, gorgeously written, intelligently plotted, and utterly captivating I haven t had much luck with magical realism, but this book is what I feel like the genre is missing It has a puzzling mystery, depths that will drown you, well developed characters, and a touch of curious magic that is spellbinding I read this in doses to better a [...]


    15. 3.5 StarsSimon Watson is a librarian is struggling to keep his job and his home that is falling down around him When he is sent a book in the mail by a old book dealer because his grandmother s name is in the book He discovers it is a circus log book, keeping track of the comings and goings, which reveals another startling fact Women in his family tend to drown themselves on July 24th Suddenly his sister is calling saying she is coming home, and acting strangely as the day rapidly approaches It [...]


    16. 2 stars it was okay.This book has everything I usually like a narrative based around an old book, hints of the supernatural, dual narratives , but the whimsy fell flat for me I greatly disliked the narrator as well if he said sorry one time without taking any action to change himself or his life I was gonna slap him and found the other characters pretty hard to connect with as well The book just overall was kind of a downer for me.


    17. An audio read with the last chapter or so finished off via paperback from Old Bar library while on holiday I didn t fancy finishing this off with a month gap in the middle An interesting fact is that on seeing this book in the flesh, I was completely unaware the hard copy book is so full of beautiful illustrations, I am almost of the opinion this story is almost lacking the full picture without these illustrations Listening to the audio misses out on so much None the less, still nice to experien [...]


    18. A wonderful tale of mystery, magic, carnivals, mermaids, tarot and through it all is the book of speculation linking the lives of two families The main character is Simon who on receiving the book has to learn to unravel its mysteries if he wants to save his sister His family has a line of mermaids and an unsolved mystery running through it The writing flows beautifully and is full of mystery, magic and the urgency needed for Simon to solve the riddle the book has delivered to him It s such a gr [...]


    19. 3.5 StarsSimon Watson is a librarian in Napawset, NY and is on the cusp of losing it all, when a old book finds it s way into his hands, and as he tries to find how this book came into his possession He discovers his family s hidden secret they are mermaids that can hold their breath underwater for ridiculous amounts of time, yet on July 24th, they all seem to drown He has to figure this out before July 24th this year to save his sister Enola Two rotating story lines make up this book the presen [...]


    20. In Erika Swyler s gorgeous debut novel, The Book of Speculation, Simon Watson receives an old ledger that once belonged to a traveling carnival in the mail, along with a note mentioning a connection to his late mother s family Struggling with his recent redundancy, the inevitable crumbling of his family home into the sea, and the return of his sister, Simon develops an obsession with the book which reveals a troubling history For generations, the women of his family, all with a talent for holdin [...]


    21. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I was suspicious of this book, but also curious about it On the one hand, I gnerally hate books about the circus I also find that most literary authors are rubbish at writing the fantastic On the other, maybe mermaids A family curse Mysterious book I did like The Night Circus Maybe this is another unexpected treasure No It was not The language was utterly precious And the protagonist, either utterly unbelievable or so [...]


    22. I m done I m bored senseless The 2 stories are dull and so are the characters I was spoiled by The Church of Marvels.


    23. Okay, I m reunited with my keyboard and can finally write try to write at least something a bit cogent than my initial excited and incoherent ravings Carnivals seem to be popular in literary circles this year The Book of Speculation is the second novel I ve read in the span of a month that incorporates elements of carnival life Of course, carnivals have a long history of appearing in fiction The strangeness of the lifestyle fascinates and allows for the exploration of both the extreme and munda [...]


    24. For a book that relies heavily on the theme of drowning, this quirky and unusual story is far from depressing as we look through family history and a curse that continues through the ages Soon to be redundant library archivist Simon Watson is intrigued when a journal arrives on his doorstep It appears to document the happenings of a travelling carnival in the 18th century When he notices descriptions of long gone female relatives in it s pages Simon want s to find out .What he will find is highl [...]


    25. Even though this took me quite a while to finish, I really did enjoy it The Book of Speculation is told in alternating chapters of the past and the present The protagonist of the story, Simon, is a lonely librarian that has slowly been watching his life crumble down around him for years One summer, a stranger sends him a book that contains secrets about his family that have dated back to a carnival in the late 1700 s I really loved the historical aspects of this book the chapters surrounding the [...]


    26. Listening to the audiobook that is, at a slower pace than reading myself , I realized how boring and shallow this book is There is practically nothing of interest here, at least not for me It even failed to be that kind of light and entertaining read, the type that can be forgiven for its flaws No trace of engrossing atmosphere or cliff hangers or surprising discoveries, just a jumble of banal events propelled forward by the narrator s wish to uncover his family s past and find a way to prevent [...]


    27. This was a beautiful read fans of The Night Circus might want to check it out that hooked me right from the start and honestly I was totally in this world throughout the read, so wonderfully does it flow.Shifting time between Simon Watson, a young man who receives a mysterious book, and the story of the people within that book, this is gorgeously constructed with some lovely prose and a completely fascinating story Quite difficult to review honestly as it is one of those novels that you would no [...]


    28. I would like to thank Netgalley and St Martin s Press for an ARC of this book I love the ideal of this book, but it wasn t really for me I think the only person I really liked in the book is Mr Churchwarry They are not bad characters, I just didn t click with any of them I loved Amos story from when he was a child It was so very sad what his family did to him, but I am glad he found the circus Simon gets this book from Churchwarry with his grandmothers name written inside After doing a lot of re [...]


    29. The Book of Speculation alternates back and forth in time from the present era in Long Island to the 1700 s travelling circus In the present, we meet a reference librarian, Simon whose situation is in dire straits He s lost his job, he s broke, he s having a secret love affair with his neighbours daughter and he needs an extensive amount of cash to repair his crumbling down home the home in which he inherited from his deceased parents Simon s experienced a great loss in his life His mother, whom [...]


    30. Read via audiobook then put on hold for awhile till I finally got the hardcover in to finish it quicker Narrator 5 starsStory itself 5 stars Once you ve held a book and really loved it, you forever remember the feel of it, its specific weight, the way it sits in your hand.We carry our families like anchors, rooting us in storms, making sure we never drift from where and who we are We carry our families within us the way we carry our breath underwater, keeping us afloat, keeping us alive Wow just [...]


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