How It Works

The University of California, Berkeley has partnered with PBC Guru to create a virtual book club for alumni. The book club will connect through a private online forum where all participants can discuss the current book and network with each other. A PBC Guru facilitator will provide material related to the book and help guide the discussions. Joining is completely free; you just have to get a copy of the book to enjoy. Participants in the book club will read one book every two months, so you will have plenty of time for each book. There are no scheduling requirements; the forum will be available to you at all times. All selected works will be available in print, eBook, and audiobook formats.

Our January to March Selection:

Cover image for current book

The Mountains Sing:

A Novel

by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Why Join

1. Embrace lifelong learning: The facilitated book club will expand your horizons by introducing you to books you might not otherwise encounter and exposing you to opinions and insights you might not otherwise hear.
2. 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, your emotional intelligence, and your creativity [2].
3. Connect with fellow Berkeley alumni: Our book club will introduce you to fellow alumni across industries, generations, and geographies all while gaining different perspectives while reading the book. Broaden your Berkeley network by joining a community of fellow book lovers!

The Books

We aim to choose books, such as the ones shown below, that are featured on critics’ lists and are being shared and discussed widely. We may occasionally vote between several options and select a book based on reader interests.

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Cover image for example book entitled
Cover image for example book entitled
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Cover image for example book entitled
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 selected works will typically take approximately nine hours to finish. If you have between one and two hours a week to read, you should be fine.

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

No, the book club is entirely online. You can participate anywhere you have Internet access and on days and times that are convenient to you.

Is there any cost to participate?

Participation is free!

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 professional moderator from PBC Guru who manages the forum where discussions occur online. The moderator will pose questions to the book club, share relevant articles and facilitate conversation about topics in the book. Members will be encouraged to post and share as well. This format allows for ongoing conversation and makes it easy for readers to connect with each other through the forum.

How do I make a forum profile?

We're using a private forum to host the virtual book club so it's easy to connect with fellow alumni. During our sign-up process, you will enter basic information to auto-generate your free profile. After you complete the 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. You can check out their website at www.pbc.guru 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 info@pbc.guru and we will be happy to help.