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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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

1 Comments

  1. Anonymous on October 24, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Yup. I gave this one 3 stars too, which is not bad. It arrived on my doorstep[ but I knew where it came from as I'd agreed to review it!
    Great book for those already in corporate law, I felt.

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