World Book Night Picks; Ferrari's Wins Top French Prize

World Book Night has announced the 30 titles they will give away in the US and the 20 titles they will give away in the UK next April 23. The honorary national chairs in the US are authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson. US executive director Carl Lennertz notes in the announcement: "This isn't a best-books-of-all-time list; these are contemporary or classic books that appeal to a wide range of new readers. We looked for diversity and variety in all things: subject matter, age level, gender, as well as ethnic and geographic considerations. Last year's givers also got to nominate books.... And we thank the authors, who have agreed to waive royalties on the World Book Night editions." The organization is now accepting applications for volunteer book givers, through January 23, 2013.

World Book Night ceo Julia Kingsford tells the Bookseller it is "still a bit unclear" whether Germany will join in the event again, because of "complications" in the funding.

Separately, Jerome Ferrari won France's Prix Goncourt for “Le Sermon sur la Chute de Rome” (The Sermon on the Fall of Rome), a "Corsican epic about dashed hopes, set in a village bar on the troubled Mediterranean island." Ferrari's first novel translated into English, Where I Left My Soul, was published in September in the UK by MacLehose Press.

Kevin Powers, Chad Harbach, and Katherine Boo are among the finalists for the Guardian First Book Award.