Trying to Love TitlePage

There’s a number of people who desperately want to like, the online “21st century version of the Algonquin Round Table.” Based on the comments on the show’s Web site and various blogs, some actually do. But others find it too stiff and the format limiting; four writers in one hour results in four one-on-one interviews, while the other three writers sit by idly. Sarah Weinman (Confessions of an Idosyncratic Mind) wants the show to work so badly, she even wrote Ten Ways to Improve

I’d like to see it work, too, but have to admit I wasn’t fully engaged by the first two episodes. Perhaps it’s a problem of format. Watching an hour video on the computer screen is akward (the episodes are now also available for downloading as audio or video from iTunes. That might make the experience better). According to the producers, there were 40,000 viewers of Episode One. Is that a success? 40,000 would result in terrible television ratings, but, who knows, it may be a runaway success for a book video.

What matters to us, of course, is whether the show brings demand. Two of the titles from the second show (I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Blood Kin) have more holds than copies at the libraries I checked. The only title that is currently available is Blood Kin, published 2/28. It’s still listed as on order in the libraries I checked.

The second episode went up on the site yesterday, featuring:


Sloane Crosley, I Was Told There’d Be Cake

  • Paperback Original: $14.00
  • Publisher: Riverhead/Penguin (April 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 159448306X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594483066


Please Excuse My Daughter, Julie Klam

  • Hardcover:$22.95
  • Publisher: Riverhead/Penguin (March 27, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1594489807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594489808


Blood Kin, Ceridwen Dovey

  • Hardcover: $23.95
  • Publisher: Viking/Penguin (Feb 28, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0670018562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670018567


All the Sad Young Literary Men, Keith Gessen

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Viking/Penguin (April 10, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0670018554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670018550

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