Anna Quindlen has been named honorary national chairperson for World Book Night U.S., and the organization has named the 30 titles that will be given away on World Book Night, set for April 23. In addition, World Book Night U.S. has opened the registration process for those wishing to become volunteer book givers.

“The idea behind World Book Night is inspired, and as a writer and a reader I’m thrilled to be part of it,” said Quindlen. World Book Night U.S. board chairman Morgan Entrekin added: “We are thrilled and flattered that Anna has agreed to join our cause. Her energy has already been a great asset to the campaign, and we look forward to her being a leading voice among the many for this ambitious effort to promote reading and a love of books across America.”

In announcing the 30 titles for WBN U.S., executive director Carl Lennertz observed: “We didn’t ask the panel to come up with a best-books-of-all-time list. I asked that they envision themselves handing out the book in a public or social services setting, and to imagine that book getting someone excited about reading. This is a beautiful mix of books.”

The 30 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2012, alphabetical by author, are:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Ballantine)
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger (Da Capo)
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Beacon Press)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Tor)
Little Bee by Chris Cleave (Simon & Schuster)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
Blood Work by Michael Connelly (Grand Central)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (Riverhead); a Spanish-language edition, La breve y maravillosa vida de Óscar Wao (Vintage Espanol), will also be made available.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (Vintage)
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (Grove Atlantic)
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (Algonquin)
Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton (Berkley)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead)
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (Ballantine)
The Stand by Stephen King (Anchor)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Perennial)
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (W.W. Norton)
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Mariner)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (Mariner)
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Perennial)
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Atria)
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (Picador)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Back Bay)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Broadway)
Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Volunteer book givers are welcome to apply now. They can go to and register through February 1, 2012, by providing answers to several questions and picking a book to give out from the World Book Night U.S. 2012 list. The goal is to give away 1 milion books on one day. The program is modelled on one in the U.K. which led to a significant increase in sales for the books part of WBN.