How It Works

Cornell University has partnered with PBC Guru to create a virtual book club for alumni, faculty, and staff. We’ll read fiction and nonfiction books chosen to promote discussion, lifelong learning, personal growth, and community building. The book club will connect through a private forum, where all participants can discuss the current book and network with each other. Participation is free—just get a copy of the book to enjoy. You'll read one book every two months, so you'll have plenty of time for each book.

Our January to March Selection:

Cover image for current book

Take My Hand:

A Novel

by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Why Join

1. Embrace lifelong learning: Our fiction and nonfiction picks have been chosen to promote personal growth and community building. The facilitated book club will connect you with other Cornellians ready to dive into fulfilling discussions and share their different perspectives.
2. Big Red networking: Our book club will introduce you to fellow alumni across industries, generations, and locations. The network you'll build could help you with career advice, finding your next opportunity, or making new connections.
3. Reading is good for you: Reading can reduce stress, help you sleep better, and improve your relationships [1]. Did we mention it also makes you smarter? Reading increases your verbal intelligence, emotional intelligence, and creativity [2].

The Books

Below are a few examples of the kind of books the group may read. Participants will vote between several options each period and select a book based on reader interests.

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Cover image for example book entitled

Frequently Asked Questions

How often will books be read, what is the time commitment, and what are the expectations?

We plan to start the book club by reading one book every two months. The books selected will take an average of nine hours to read cover to cover. If you have between one and two hours per week to read, you should be fine.

Will there be any in-person meetings of the book club?

While PBC is entirely online, Cornell University organizations, classes, and clubs will offer opportunities for in-person/online gatherings from time to time. In the future, we anticipate hosting other events to further discuss the books. You can participate anywhere you have internet access, on days and times that are convenient to you.

Is there any cost to participate?

Participation is free for all alumni, faculty, and staff!

How do I get the books?

Participants can get books for free at their local library or purchase them.

How do book club discussions work?

The book club will have a moderator from PBC Guru who manages the online discussion forum. The moderator will pose questions to the book club, share relevant articles, and facilitate conversation about the book. Members are encouraged to post and share, as well. This format allows for ongoing conversation and makes it easy for readers to connect with each other.

How do I make a forum profile?

We're using a private forum to host the virtual book club. During our sign-up process, you'll enter the information to auto-generate your free profile. After you sign up, we'll send you a link to the forum and you can begin to post right away!

What exactly is PBC Guru and what do they have to do with the book club?

Professional Book Club (PBC) Guru is a book club management company that works with businesses, alumni associations, and professional societies. We are teaming up with PBC to put this program in place for alumni, faculty, and staff. Check out their website at if you want to see more of what they do.

I've already signed up. How do I log in?

If you are already a member, you can click here to log in.

What if my question isn't answered?

Feel free to send an email to and we will be happy to help.