to book clubs

Dear Book Club Members,

I have never been a member of a book club, and so when POWER DOWN came out and one of my neighbors asked me to come and speak to their book club, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Would it be all women (as I’d heard most book clubs were)? Would we only be able to drink white wine (I like beer)? Would I be forced to eat brie?

When I got there, the house was packed. Not only was there no brie and plenty of beer, but every single husband of the members of the book club had come along. It was a weeknight, all of our kids had school the next day, and yet we all ended up staying up until well past midnight, talking about POWER DOWN and the many subjects the book involves – the intersection of politics and terrorism, the energy industry, what it was like to work at the White House, how I go about writing every day, and many, many more subjects. I had a blast. For POWER DOWN, I ended up doing more than a dozen book clubs, either in person or over the phone, and each time we all had a terrific time.

One of the phenomenons that several book club members pointed out to me was they usually didn’t read thrillers, and that they found it an eye-opening experience for their book club. In addition, at every book club someone noted that fact that for the first time husbands had read the book along with them and came along to the book club.

If you belong to a book club and you’ve chosen one of my books to read, either POWER DOWN or COUP D’ÉTAT, please let me know the date and time and I will do my best to either swing by or, more likely, call in to the book club. If possible, send a photo of your group, and tell me some things about yourselves (what your town is like, how you all met, the best book you all ever read) and what book you’d like to discuss—to ben@bencoes.com with “Book Club” in the subject line. I can’t promise to fulfill all requests, but I will do my best to either meet you in person or call-in for a good talk. I look forward to hearing from you.

All my best,
Ben