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Australians of all ages are being encouraged to explore the world of books with the launch today of Australia’s biggest promotion of books and reading – Books Alive 2006.

Minister for the Arts Senator Rod Kemp will launch Books Alive 2006 at the Australian Book Industry Awards in Sydney this evening.

This year’s Books Alive ambassador, best selling Australian author Monica McInerney, will also attend the event before commencing a nationwide five-week tour to promote the campaign.

Her specially-commissioned novel, Odd One Out, is free with the purchase of any of the 50 titles in the Great Read Guide in the month of August.

The 52-page 2006 Books Alive Great Read Guide is the cornerstone of this year’s program.

More than 2.5 million copies of the guide will be distributed around Australia during the month-long campaign – in the August edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly and at participating bookstores, department stores, shopping centres, transport hubs and selected public libraries.

The Great Read Guide features 50 titles chosen by a panel of book industry experts, including selections of fiction, crime, thrillers, history, science, travel and biography writing.

For the first time, there is also a special children’s edition of the Great Read Guide with 15 great reads for children of all ages, from picture books to teen fiction.

Books Alive chair Ms Sandra Yates AO said: “Books Alive is an invitation to all Australians, young and old, to take a journey into the imaginary world of the written word.”

“This year readers can travel to medieval Europe, colonial Sydney, modern day Italy and Afghanistan or fantasy worlds in books included in the Great Read Guide.

“More than 700,000 books have found their way into the hands of readers over the past three Books Alive campaigns and we look forward to more Australians reading more over the coming month,” Ms Yates said.

A TVC promoting the “50 books so good everyone will want to read them” is also screening nationally from this week until the end of August.

Books Alive is an Australian Government initiative that aims to encourage all Australians to experience the joys of reading. It is funded by the Australian Government, developed through the Australia Council for the Arts and supported by the local book industry.

For more information about Books Alive 2006, Monica McInerney or to read a digital copy of the 2006 Books Alive Great Read Guide, visit



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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