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Staff Recommendations

The book of speculation : a novelBy Swyler, Erika.

Simon’s parents have both died, and he lives alone in their beach-front home, which is in disrepair and about to slide into the sea. One day, he receives unsolicited a rare old book from an antiquarian seller. It turns out to be the log book of a traveling carnival from the 1700s, and he recognizes some names from his family’s past. As Simon’s mother worked as a “mermaid” with a carnival, and his tarot-reading sister, Enola, also ran off to join one, Simon digs in and tries to discover why he was sent this book. The narrative switches back and forth in time so the carnival characters from the past come delightfully alive, alternating with Simon’s personal family story in the present. Swyler has a beautiful fluid writing style, and once caught up in her story, you just might read in one sitting.

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By Susan, Adult Services
07/17/15 | Fiction
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Delicious foods : a novelBy Hannaham, James

Hannaham’s book is the engrossing story of a Southern family’s disintegration after the death of husband and father, Nat Hardison. It is narrated by Eddie, the couple’s son, as well as an unusual inanimate character named Scotty, and Eddie’s mother, Darlene, absent both emotionally and physically during much of his childhood, unable to cope with the intense emotional burden, local injustice, and overwhelming grief she experiences when Nat is murdered. Eleven year-old Eddie spends a lot of time with his widowed Aunt Bethella, but at one point he decides to try to find his absent mother. Boldly navigating the seedy underbelly of the streets, Eddie’s path leads him to the horrible prison-like agricultural farming enterprise called Delicious Foods, from which he barely escapes with his life. A bold, harrowing story told with amazing love and respect for its characters.

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