Book Maven’s Virtuous Circle Lunch at The Algonquin

In What's the Buzz by Erin L. Cox

By Bethanne Patrick

Bethanne Patrick

I spent my honeymoon at The Algonquin Hotel. Its literary legacy appealed to me, and I think I secretly hoped that an editor from The New Yorker would see me in The Oak Room and hire me on the spot… Alas, that never happened — although the honeymoon was wonderful (we are still married!). But I’ve always wanted to return to The Algonquin. A few weeks ago, several of my bookish pals on Twitter began discussing having lunch in January. We settled on Thursday, January 7th, since I’d be in Manhattan that day.

We planned to be four or five; we grew into a group of 30. When Lauren Gilbert (@lbgilbert) suggested that the rowdy crowd meet at The Algonquin Hotel’s Round Table Room, famed for its “Vicious Circle” lunches with Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and their cronies, I thought: OF COURSE!

I organized the lunch with my own little committee, made up of author Julie Klam (@julieklam), advertising executive Denise Berthiaume (@dberthiaume), and author/bookseller Erin McHugh (@ErinHere)

Our three large tables were packed with literati getting their chat on. That’s right — very few tweets came out of this lunch, because everyone was so busy talking, laughing, and looking at each other’s book. We asked everyone to bring at least one book that they’d written, published, edited, promoted, or even simply read — and everyone took home at least one title that they hadn’t seen before.

We have decided to call ourselves the “Virtuous Circle” team and plan to make the lunch a quarterly event, and are discussing ideas about when and where to meet next. If you’re interested in participating in any way, contact me:

About the Author

Erin L. Cox

Erin L. Cox has worked as Business Development Director for Publishing Perspectives. She is a Senior Associate at Rob Weisbach Creative Management, where she represents writers and handles publicity and advertising clients.