Day and Night

Tomorrow, April 23, is UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day.  April 23 also marks World Book Night.  April 23, which is why they chose the date, is also the death date for Shakespeare (maybe even Shakespeare’s birthdate), Cervantes, and El Inca Garcilaso.

World Book Day Poster, © Dowhawon & Kim, Hyo-Suo 2012/ ©  UNESCO

© Dowhawon & Kim, Hyo-Sup 2012/ © UNESCO

UNESCO is particularly highlighting the 80th anniversary of their Index Translationum, an index of international translations of published works.  It’s pretty cool (and was actually started by The League of Nations) and sometimes surprising–Barbara Cartland, for example, is the 6th most translated author (Agatha Christie is first).  Read something in translation today (for ideas see the “Interchange” column in the Winter 2011/2012 issue of Quarterly Speed Bump Magazine.

World Book Night logo

World Book Night started last year in the UK and Ireland.  The US is joining in this year with a day “to bring attention to books for adult readers, with a few young adult books to be included” and “is intended to be thousands of individual interactions and celebrations of reading and giving that day.”  Books are given away (it’s too late to be a book “giver” for this year) and this year’s World Book Night book list contains the following:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Blood Work by Michael Connelly

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Zeitoun by Dave Eggars

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

The Stand by Stephen King

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Just Kids by Patti Smith

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Go read a book!