Monday night is the first ever World Book Night in the U.S. The celebration began a year ago in the UK to "spread a love of reading and books."
Literary-lovin' volunteers have committed to picking up (free!) books this weekend and distributing them by Monday to adult readers in need of inspiring stories, like at the Alpha House, a licensed maternity home for new mothers & pregnant women in crisis.
Locally the effort includes Inkwood Books' Carla Jimenez, who wrote in a recent email that she "was thrilled to be asked to serve on the committee selecting the titles," which includes some of my favorite novels ever:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
The Stand by Stephen King
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
and a bunch more.
There's also nonfiction, like the so-very-awesome science/social justice story The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
Just Kids by Patti Smith
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The latter three sit on my own bookshelf but I have yet to make time for them. In the spirit of this wonderful celebration I'd be happy to pass them along.
I don't think there's a better gift in the world than a book.