Is Karl Rove the new Oprah?
Not quite. But the Karl Rove summer book club is now up and running.
It's probably not going to keep Oprah awake at night worrying, but there's a potentially powerful new tastemaker in the realm of the book club. Former George W. Bush adviser and political strategist Karl Rove has founded a club of his own.
Rove, who is also the author of memoir "Courage and Consequence," already has a reputation as a reader. About a year and a half ago, he made headlines with a Wall Street Journal piece about the reading contest he says he and Bush enjoyed in 2006. (Rove beat Bush – reading 110 books that year to Bush's 95.)
This time, however, Rove is teaming up with Fox & Friends Weekend cohost Clayton Morris. Rove and Morris have each picked eight books and the public can vote every week on which title they want the two to read. Week 1, the selection was "What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815-1848" by Daniel Walker Howe. Week 2 it was "Foreign Influence", a thriller by Brad Thor involving a terrorist bombing in Italy.
This week's choice: "Winston's War: Churchill 1940-1945" by Max Hastings, a book that Monitor reviewer Terry Hartle found to be "exhaustively researched, scrupulously fair and balanced, and compulsively readable."
Karl & Clayton's Summer Book Club has 438 members as of this writing. Will the group someday challenge Oprah's reputation as queen of the book pick?
Rove dismissed the notion with a mere three words when asked that question by Politico. "No, it won't," he said.
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.