With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

If you enjoyed Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants or Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, this new release from Deckle Edge is a must read. This book tells the bewitching story of Simon Watson, a young librarian who lives alone in a house that is quietly crumbling into the Long Island Sound. His parents have been dead for many years and his sister ran off to read tarot cards for a traveling circus. Long ago, his mother was a circus mermaid who specialized at holding her breath underwater. She drowned in the very waters that the house overlooks. After being let go from his job Simon feels alone and helpless as his house literally crumbles around him.

One day, a mysterious antique book is mailed to Simon. The book is a log from the owner of a traveling circus in the 1700s. As he reads, Simon finds that the drawings and notes within hold dark secrets of his family’s past. Information from the book combined with research of his own reveals that generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family, including his mother, have drowned on July 24th. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? If so, what does this have to do with his book and how can he save his sister from suffering the same fate?

If The Book of Speculation interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.