Oprah's book club used to stand alone in its power to boost authors' sales and profiles. Then came Glenn Beck. The conservative Fox News pundit has endorsed dozens of novels and regularly hosts fiction writers on his show, a rare habit among talk show hosts. But unlike Oprah, Beck singles in on one genre—thrillers—and would rather discuss books' political messages than parse their characters.
The floundering publishing industry loves Beck's enthusiasm for fiction. Hosting the writer of the thriller Pursuit of Honor, Beck gushed about a scene in which the book's hero goes before Congress to defend harsh interrogation tactics: "It's almost conservative porn." Liberal authors whose thrillers pass muster are welcome, too, but may—like recent guest Andrew Gross—face wrath from both liberal readers and Beck's conservative fans, the New York Times reports.