BOOK CLUB

Connect and read with fellow alumni

Join in with thought provoking discussions as we discover the set texts together, moderated by a dedicated group leader who will encourage debate and suggest critical points for analysis.

JOIN THE CLUB

An Instance of the Fingerpost cover

The book we are currently reading, as voted for by our book club member is: An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (Wadham, 1974).

Goodreads says: 'An ingenious tour de force: an utterly compelling historical mystery with a plot that twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing until the very last page.

We are in England in the 1660s. Charles II has been restored to the throne following years of civil war and Cromwell's short-lived republic. Oxford is the intellectual seat of the country, a place of great scientific, religious, and political ferment. A fellow of New College is found dead in suspicious circumstances. A young woman is accused of his murder. We hear the story of the death from four witnesses: an Italian physician intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion; the son of an alleged Royalist traitor; a master cryptographer who has worked for both Cromwell and the king; and a renowned Oxford antiquarian. Each tells his own version of what happened. Only one reveals the extraordinary truth.'

You can also subscribe to the Books & Learning mailing list to stay up to date on future books and activities.

Are you an alumni author?

If you have written a book which has been published in the last 12 months or is about to be released, and it is available to purchase from Blackwell's bookshop, please email us with the following information.

  • Your full name
  • Oxford Number (or college/year of matriculation)
  • Title of book
  • Date of publication
  • ISBN
  • Link to book on Blackwell's website

We may feature this in our Books & Learning newsletter, submit it to the QUAD editor (Richard Lofthouse) for review or suggest for our alumni Book Club.

Book Club FAQs

Book one is pre-selected to get things going, and afterwards, we’ll vote between several options each period and select each book based on participants’ interests.

You will need either to buy, borrow or download a copy of the texts we select as a group. Readers are responsible for sourcing the texts themselves.

We’ll read a book every two months. If you have on average 30 minutes a week to read you should be fine. There is no required level of participation in group discussions; if don’t have time to read one of the books that's okay. The goal of the club is to make connections with other alumni through reading, so please take it at your own pace.

No, the book club will be entirely online. The advantage of this is that alumni living all over the world can participate, meaning we will get diverse perspectives on the texts we read.

There is no limit to the number of people who can join the book club; the more the merrier!

Participation is free for Oxford alumni. Readers are responsible for buying, borrowing or downloading the texts we read.

Our book club will have a dedicated moderator who manages the forum where discussions occur online. The moderator will pose questions to the group, 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 alumni to connect with each other.

Feel free to send an email to enquiries@alumni.ox.ac.uk and we'd be happy to help.