Austen and Dickens among WBN 2012 picks

Austen and Dickens among WBN 2012 picks

Classics including Pride and Prejudice and A Tale of Two Cities, as well as more recent bestsellers such as Room and Misery, will be among the 25 titles  given out at next year's World Book Night.

The public is now able to apply to be one of the 20,000 giving out the titles on 23rd April with other titles including Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Vintage). In the mix will be The Player of Games by Iain M Banks (Little, Brown), The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber) and Room by Emma Donoghue (Picador), as well as Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (Transworld), Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell (HarperCollins), Someone Like You by Roald Dahl (Penguin) and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell (Headline).

Vintage and Transworld both have four titles on the list and Little, Brown, Penguin, and Headline each have three. HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan and Faber each has two titles on the list.

WBN c.e.o. Julia Kingsford said: "The defining factor of the World Book Night titles for 2012 is that they're all brilliant reads. From classics to contemporary favourites, international bestsellers to major prize-winners, it's an exciting, diverse and compelling list that genuinely features something for everyone and we feel sure will inspire tens of thousands of people to read and share these great books."

Tracy Chevalier, chair of the WBN editorial committee, said: "I'm thrilled with the World Book Night 2012 list. The committee has worked hard to choose accessible, entertaining books that will appeal to lots of different people . . . These books take readers on journeys all over the place. Key to all of them is that they tell cracking stories which make you stay up late reading to find out what happens. The diversity of this list is a great reminder of the many different worlds reading opens up."

The titles were selected partly by a public vote on the WBN website, creating a WBN Top 100 books, with the choices then whittled down by the WBN editorial committee. Eleven of the public's choices have made the final list of 25, including Pride and Prejudice which was the public's number two, The Book Thief, which was number three in the public vote, and The Time Traveller's Wife, which had been number five in the top 100.

Director of The Reading Agency and WBN founder partner Miranda McKearney confirmed that The Reading Agency will be co-ordinating libraries' involvement, "setting up an array of activities and events across the country in which anyone can participate". She said: "If you're not already using libraries down there on WBN—use them or lose them!"

The selection process for givers will ask people to say in up to 100 words why they want to give that particular book from the list, and where and to whom they intend to give away their copies. The final list of givers will be confirmed by mid-February at the latest.

The full list of 25 titles:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Vintage)
The Player of Games by Iain M Banks (Little, Brown)
Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (Transworld)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins)
The Take by Martina Cole (Headline)
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell (HarperCollins)
Someone Like You by Roald Dahl (Penguin)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Penguin)
Room by Emma Donoghue (Pan Macmillan)
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (Little, Brown)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)
Misery by Stephen King (Hodder)
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Transworld)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (Headline)
Let the Right One In by John Ajvde Lindqvist (Quercus)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Pan Macmillan)
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Vintage)
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell (Headline)
The Damned Utd by David Peace (Faber)
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (Transworld)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (Penguin)
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (Vintage)
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Vintage)
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak (Transworld)