How It Works

Pitzer College has partnered with PBC Guru to create a free virtual book club for alumni and families. Through the Pitzer College Alumni & Family Book Club, we can continue to learn and grow together as a community, whether we’re in Claremont or Chiang Mai. We’ll read one book every two months, and selections on our bookshelf will run the gamut of fiction and non-fiction, including works by the Pitzer community. You just have to get a copy of the book, read it, and meet up with other Pitzer people by chatting and posting in a private online forum for a friendly, facilitated discussion. We hope you’ll join us!

Our January to March Selection:

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Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult

by Michelle Dowd

Why Join

1. Embrace Lifelong Learning: At Pitzer, we are a community of learners. The Pitzer College Alumni & Family Book Club will allow us to travel together wherever the world of words can take us and share our thoughts as we go.
2. Connect with the Pitzer community: Reconnect with classmates, meet fellow alumni and families, swap ideas with favorite professors. We don’t have to be on campus to share common ground. By reading the same book and discussing our different perspectives, we can capture some of what makes Pitzer so Pitzer.
3. Reading is good for you: We don’t have to tell you this—you’re a part of Pitzer, so you know reading is learning, it is imagining, it is connecting with concepts and lives outside of your own. PBC Guru also says that reading “can reduce stress, help you sleep better, AND improve your relationships.” Wow! In short, reading is a kind of magic—let’s tap into it together.

The Books

Below are a few examples of the kind of books the group may read. We 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
Cover image for example book entitled
Cover image for example book entitled
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 titles should take an average of nine hours to read cover to cover, so if you have between 1 and 2 hours a week to read you should be fine.

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

No, the book club will be entirely online. You can take part anywhere you have Internet access and on days and times that are convenient to you.

Is there any cost to participate?

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

How do book club discussions work?

The book club will have a 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 engage with each other through the forum.

How do I get the books?

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

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 Pitzer alumni, families, and friends. During our sign-up process, you will enter the information to auto-generate your profile. After you complete the sign up, we will 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 college alumni and family associations, businesses, and professional societies. We are teaming up with PBC to put this program in place for our Pitzer community. You can 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.