Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Running for My Library

Just watch. The video says it all!

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review: Nibble & Kuhn by David Schmahmann

I'm surprised sometimes by what books show up on my doorstep. When a bubble pack envelope shows up, I usually know how I got on this publisher's list, or I had requested a title from that publicist.

Nibble and Kuhn by David Schmahmann, though, was a mystery. The Academy Chicago Publishers? Never heard of them. Never heard of Schmahmann or his book, either.

But as I cleaned out my "to be considered" stacks to donate to the Haddonfield Public Library Book Sale, the cover caught my eye -- the blurry background with the hazed out light pricks at the bottom. What the hell. I'll give it a go. If I didn't like it, I could always throw it in the donate pile.

But I liked it! It's a tidy, not terribly taxing novel without a lot of twists and turns. It's a story about Derek Dover, a disillusioned Boston lawyer and two things: the girl he can't have, and the impossible case that is dropped into his lap.

The book is also about a law firm that is trying to be bigger than its britches at exactly the wrong time. It's very now -- recession and real estate collapse included. Like Kermit Roosevelt's In the Shadow of the Law, which is more legal thriller than Nibble & Kuhn, it reaffirmed that I made the right call in not going to law school. I think the tedium would have gotten to me, and it's not longer one of those careers where it seems that you're guaranteed a high paying job at the end of the line.

Nibble & Kuhn is not a legal thriller, and it's not a romance. It's a short, fast novel good for hot summer nights when I was cooped up in front of the window AC unit.

Now, about the blog: It's back, sorta. I'm not doing another book a week series -- it was too taxing when my work life busied up. But when I read a book I enjoy, like Nibble & Kuhn, I'll post a review. Why not? Maybe you'll like it, too.

P.S. It's been years since I read Roosevelt's debut novel, but I still remember the detail about a lawyer analyzing cashmere socks. It's funny what images still stick.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009


Today I took apart what I called the "Book a Week" shelving. I kept both book a week series on this shelving unit since I started the projects in the fall of 2007. Every book was put on that shelf in order as it was read.

So I was a little sad when I took the books out. I was doing my usual summer book purge where I take all the galleys I can't use and donate them to the Haddonfield Public Library (they have a boffo book sale that this year is on September 12). So it was time to also tackle the book a week series and get rid of everything I didn't like or couldn't see myself reading again.

But I didn't want to leave the shelves blank, so I created this display, which has some book a week books and some favorites that had been shelved in my spare room.

Now, of course this isn't my entire book collection. I have books in my office, spare room, dining room and living room. They're part of my life, and I'm trying to use them more as decor. Why not? I like how the colors sort of match up in this display. I have cookbooks out in my dining room, along with a shelf of my grandfather's books (the matching set looks nice), and then of course magazines and books on my coffee table.

Where do you keep books in odd places?

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