SFU Reads is a virtual book club created to connect alumni—and the greater SFU community—with one another over the discussion of books. There is no cost to join. All you need is the book and some reading time. Check out our current book below!

Why should you join?

  1. Connect with fellow alumni—and SFU community members—across industries, generations and countries in an online social environment.
  2. Discover new books! It’s an opportunity to experience new authors and explore different genres. You’ll even get a chance to vote on which upcoming titles you want to read.
  3. Reading is good for you!  

How it works

  • Sign up for the book club—it’s free!
  • Pick up a copy of the current book and start reading. Book selections are read over eight weeks; a suggested reading schedule is provided.
  • Sign into the forum and join the discussion, guided by a moderator. Access to discussions are available 24/7—you can participate from anywhere in the world.


Please join us as we read Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, co-recipient of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and winner of the 2023 Women's Prize for Fiction. Inspired by the Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, Demon Copperhead is a brilliant coming-of-age story set in the mountains of southern Appalachia.

READING PERIOD: May 24 - July 26

Suggested reading schedule:

  • On May 24, visit Before the Book in our forum and begin reading Demon Copperhead
  • By June 7, finish reading through Chapter 15
  • By June 14, finish reading through Chapter 28
  • By June 21, finish reading through Chapter 40
  • By July 5, finish reading through Chapter 51
  • By July 12, finish reading the book and join our After the Book forum discussion 

About the book

From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.


Next up, please join us in reading Shelby Van Pelt's New York Times bestselling debut novel, Remarkably Bright Creatures. For fans of A Man Called Ove, this charming, witty and compulsively readable novel is an exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope, tracing a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus.

READING PERIOD: August 2 - October 10

Suggested reading schedule:

  • On August 2, visit Before the Book in our forum and begin reading Remarkable Bright Creatures
  • By August 16, finish reading through Page 72, “Happy Endings”
  • By August 23, finish reading through Page 141, “The Green Leotard”
  • By August 30, finish reading through Page 220, “The Pier’s Shadow”
  • By September 13, finish reading through Page 289, “Amazing Bones”
  • By September 20, finish reading the book and join our After the Book forum discussion 

About the book

Remarkably Bright Creatures is a luminous debut novel about a widow’s unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium—and the truths she finally uncovers about her son’s disappearance 30 years ago.

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.

Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.

Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.

By using this service, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the privacy statement at the bottom of the page and that you consent to the storage and access of your personal information, as described below, outside of Canada solely for those purposes.

Privacy statement

SFU uses PBC Guru, a third-party service provider hosted outside of Canada (specifically in the USA), in order to provide the Online Book Club as a service to SFU alumni. Your use of the Online Book Club is voluntary.

In order to confirm your eligibility and provide you access to PBC Guru, PBC Guru will collect your name, e-mail address, the year you graduated from SFU, the program of study in which you graduated, and a password.

PBC Guru may ask you for additional personal information, such as personal preferences to allow you to customize your user session profile, or to subscribe you to notifications, etc. It is your choice whether or not to provide this additional information, and you are solely responsible for ensuring you have read and understood PBC Guru’s privacy policy in regards to any information you have chosen to provide them.

PBC Guru may share some of the information you provide with SFU, such as your name and email address; and general categories or topics of books you are interested in. SFU collects this information under the authority of section 26(c) of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

SFU may use your contact information to update its donor and alumni mailing lists, which are used by SFU to inform donors and alumni about University news, events and initiatives, including fundraising.

By using this service, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the above privacy statement and that you consent to the storage and access of your personal information, as described above, outside of Canada solely for those purposes.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the information collected and used, or the privacy and security of your personal information, please contact us


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About PBC Guru

PBC Guru manages professional book clubs for companies, libraries and alumni associations. They will moderate our book club to help make this program a great experience for all participants. If you have any questions, please email them or visit their website at

SFU book club bursary

Our goal is for all SFU community members have access to this initiative. If you would like to access one of a limited number of books through our no questions asked bursary program, please email