What do you think of the World Book Night List for 2012?

The list of 25 books selected for next year’s World Book Night has now been announced. The public voted for their favourite titles and the final selection was chosen by an editorial committee – mostly booksellers, authors and critics (last year’s committee included Allison & Busby’s co-founder Margaret Busby!). You can see the full 2012 list here.

It’s certainly a wonderfully varied list – just take Cormac McCArthy’s The Road, Mark Billingham’s Sleepyhead, Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island and Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice – you couldn’t pick four more different books.

Personally I might have steered away from such an obvious British classic as Pride & Prejudice. Isn’t that arguably the one title most people might think of (irrespective of whether they’ve read it or not) when you say: ‘Name me a classic novel – Go!’). If you still haven’t read it yet, you probably aren’t going to, even if it is on the list. Of course Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier is probably another too-often-cited title, but I can’t argue its place there. It remains one of my all-time favourite reads and, compared to Jane Austen, it’s at least less likely to already be on the school curriculum.

I have to confess I did roll my eyes a little when I spotted Room, by Emma Donaghue. Admittedly I have a slight bias against the book after finding it so similar to our own One Foot Wrong, by Sofia Laguna, which I found exceptionally more unique and beautifully written. But my tad annoyance at its inclusion (in the same way I huffed slightly when I saw One Day, by David Nicholls in last year’s list) is that given the recent hype about the book, I see so little need to have World Book Night showcasing it again.  I figure why not wait a couple of years and then flag it up in a 2014 list when people might have forgotten about it a bit and you can deem it a recent classic? For example, The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger has been included now and I’m thrilled as I adored the book, but had World Book Night existed when the paperback was published six years ago, it wouldn’t have made sense to showcase it then since half the world was already reading it!

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts, but I’m curious as to what you A&B blog readers think about the book list?

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager

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