World Book Night 2012 officially launched in the U.K. last evening at Waterstone’s flagship store in Piccadilly with the announcement of the list of 25 titles for next year’s nationwide celebration of the reading, recommending and giving of 1 million books. Now in its second year, the date for World Book Night 2012 has moved from March to April 23, UNESCO’s International Day of the Book and Shakespeare’s birthday. Simultaneously, WBN officially launched its giving process, calling for members of the public to apply to be one of the 20,000 WBN givers on April 23, 2012.

In the U.S., which is participating for the first time this year in World Book Night, the selection process for its 25 titles is nearing completion: "We are close to a final list of books to match the quality and accessibility of the one they’ve just announced [in the U.K.],” said Carl Lennertz, executive director of World Book Night in the U.S.

According to Lennertz, a bookseller and librarian panel is going through several rounds of voting, drawing from a list of books derived from ten years’ worth of Book Sense/Indie Next Reading Group Picks, Barnes & Noble Discover Picks, ALA. Best Book Picks, and Pulitzer and National Book Award winners, cross-referenced with several years of’s most requested guides, as well as the Mystery Writers of America all-time top 100, the Goodreads top 100 adult and top 100 YA, and Above the Treeline’s top paperback bestsellers. Books appearing on multiple lists made a several hundred book long list. The final list of 25 books will be a blend of fiction, nonfiction, and books for teens and young readers.

"More World Book Night U.S. news will be coming out regularly, including the website launch, plus a social media campaign being put together by members of the NYU Master of Science/Publishing program.," Lennertz said.

The 25 U.K. titles are:

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 (Harper Collins)

The Take by Martina Cole (Headline)

Harlequin by Bernard Cornwall (Harper Collins)

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)