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World Book Night Gives Out Half a Million Books

It's Shakespeare's and Miguel de Cervantes's birthdays, and that means: World Book Night! Some 20,000 volunteers and even some famous authors around the globe will hand out half a million books Tuesday to promote literacy among people who might not normally read. Thirty books have been chosen to be distributed, including My Antonia by Willa Cather, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, and Bossypants by Tina Fey. The eve of World Book Night (to clarify: the night before World Book Night) was also marked by dozens of literary events acrossthe country, including a talk by authors Lisa Scottoline, Hillary Jordan, and Walter Mosley at Barnes & Noble in Union Square in New York, and a discussion between novelists Ann Patchett and James Patterson at Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn. Other events will be held Tuesday night.