Set up a virtual book club

With many people working from home, now is the perfect time to set up your own virtual book club! Read through some of our top tips for setting up a virtual book club, alongside a list of recommended reads on emerging and infectious diseases in fiction and non-fiction.

© iStock/Nutthaseth Vanchaichana


Top tips for creating your own virtual book club

1. Identify a prospective bookclub group (face to face, 8 is a good number - similarly that is manageable for a conversation on zoom). Do you want to meeting with colleagues, other microbiologists, or non-scientists?

2. Choose a book with your group (have some ideas of your own to get things started)

3. Decide how you are going to run your bookclub (eg how often to meet, what time, how to identify reading material, discussion leader)

4. Choose your technology (eg Twitter enables lots of participants but is more formal and permanent - frame questions carefully and time the release of each one across say an hour, ensure participants reference the question number, remember that 'reply' doesnt necessarily reference the question number, making continuity more difficult; zoom etc retains the informal characteristics of the more typical meeting)

5. Are you going to report your meetings? If so, how (eg microbiology society blog, #badbugsbookclub twitter, your own blog/website)? will the report be interactive?

6. At the end of each meeting, select the next book, date, time and discussion leader.

  • Recommended fiction titles

    Browse through our list of fiction titles, as recommended by Professor Jo Verran, Founder of the Bad Bugs Book Club, which focus on the topic of emerging infectious diseases.

  • Recommended Non-fiction titles

    Browse through our list of non-fiction titles, as recommended by Professor Jo Verran, Founder of the Bad Bugs Book Club, which focus on the topic of emerging infectious diseases.