Authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson will be co-chairs of the 2013 celebration of World Book Night in the U.S. The announcement was made on Thursday along with the 30 titles to be given away during the April 23 campaign to encourage reading. In addition, World Book Night U.S. (WBN) opened the online application process for those wishing to become volunteer book givers next spring. Bookstore sign-up to become a pick-up location has been underway since September.
In a statement released by World Book Night, both co-chairs expressed their pleasure in being a part of the 2013 event. “In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it,” Patterson said. “This is the genius of World Book Night — it gets people reading by connecting them with amazing, enjoyable books. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Patchett, who is also the owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, said, “As both a writer and a bookseller, I’m all in favor of getting books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have access to them.”
World Book Night U.S. Executive Director Carl Lennertz said that he was “over the moon with happiness” that Patterson and Patchett were lending their support to the cause. “I know that booksellers, librarians, and our volunteer book givers will be thrilled to have these two beloved authors support our reading and literacy effort in the U.S. in our second year.”
The 30 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2013, which were chosen by an independent panel of booksellers and librarians, will be printed as special, not-for-resale paperbacks.
“This isn’t a best-books-of-all-time list,” said Lennertz. “These are contemporary or classic books that appeal to a wide range of new readers. We looked for diversity and variety in all things: subject matter, age level, gender, as well as ethnic and geographic considerations. Last year’s givers also got to nominate books. This is a beautiful mix with, I hope, some old friends and nice surprises! And we thank the authors, who have agreed to waive royalties on the World Book Night editions.”
The estate of Ray Bradbury told WBN organizers: “Because Ray Bradbury always encouraged and promoted reading books, his family is honored that Fahrenheit 451 will be part of such a wonderful event as World Book Night.”
The 30 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2013, alphabetical by author, are:
- The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (Anchor Books/Random House)
- City of Thieves, David Benioff (Plume/Penguin Book Group)
- Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (Simon & Schuster Paperbacks)
- My Antonia, Willa Cather(public domain; edition to be determined)
- Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier (Plume/Penguin Book Group)
- The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (Vintage/Random House) — also in Spanish
- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (HarperOne/HarperCollins) — also in Spanish
- The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Ballantine Books/Random House)
- The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan (Mariner Books/HoughtonMifflinHarcourt)
- Bossypants, Tina Fey (Regan Arthur/Back Bay Books)
- Still Alice, Lisa Genova (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster)
- Looking for Alaska, John Green (Speak/Penguin Book Group)
- Playing for Pizza, John Grisham (Dell/Random House)
- Mudbound, Hillary Jordan (Algonquin Books/Workman Publishing)
- The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster (Yearling/Random House)
- Moneyball, Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton)
- The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion)
- Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley (Washington Square Press/Simon & Schuster)
- Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
- Population: 485, Michael Perry (HarperPerennial/HarperCollins)
- Good Omens, Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (HarperTorch/HarperCollins)
- The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan (Disney)
- Montana Sky, Nora Roberts (Jove/Penguin Book Group)
- Look Again, Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s)
- Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris (Back Bay Books/Little, Brown)
- The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor Books/Random House)
- Glaciers, Alexis M. Smith (Tin House Books)
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain (public domain; edition to be determined)
- Salvage the Bones,Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)
- Favorite American Poems; Large Print edition, various authors (Dover)
“We believe that the wide range of books being offered will appeal to our volunteer book givers and, in turn, to a half million new readers,” said Lennertz.
Volunteers may apply to be book givers at www.worldbooknight.org from now through January 23, 2013, by providing answers to several questions and picking a book title to give out from the World Book Night U.S. 2013 list.
“I know booksellers are eager to encourage customers to apply to be givers for year two,” said Lennertz. “Fortunately, we are starting earlier this year and have the list of last year’s givers to e-mail, so we are not in a panic to get to a certain number. I am much more interested in quality vs. quantity in year two. Still, I would love it if you got the word out for your sake, and we also don’t have the learning curve of last year. The message is simply to get thee to the website, read up on the giver guidelines and requirements, and apply. The website has much more information this year, and we will have more resources for you and the givers come March and April.”
For booksellers who would also like to be givers, Lennertz added: “You can apply online, or wait for an Excel spreadsheet going to each store that can be filled out with your giveaway location and book picks and sent directly to me — whichever you prefer.”
ABA member stores are encouraged to sign-up to be WBN pick-up locations by completing the 2013 Host Store Marketing Agreement before the holidays. The agreement, which is due by December 1, 2012, affirms a store’s commitment to be both a book pick-up location and an active promoter of World Book Night in the community.
Indie booksellers are represented on the World Book Night Board by ABA CEO Oren Teicher, and on the organization’s Steering Committee by Cathy Langer of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver.
Learn more about World Book Night U.S. at us.worldbooknight.org; facebook.com/worldbooknightusa; twitter.com/wbnamerica; pinterest.com/worldbooknight/; wbnamerica.tumblr.com/; and youtube.com/user/wbnamerica.