A first edition of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”

John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” has been named this year’s Mayor’s Book Club selection for Austin readers.

“I’m excited to invite all of Austin to read this important work in American storytelling,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “Steinbeck’s characters, George and Lennie, suffer economic hardship as they chase the American dream, a struggle that persists in modern life. A citywide reading of ‘Of Mice and Men’ will generate conversation about important themes that shape our lives, and I encourage all of Austin to join us in reading this year’s Mayor’s Book Club selection.”

The announcement is in cooperation with the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation and the Austin Public Library, which is making sure that the book is widely available in its 22 branches.

The announcement comes in partnership with Austin Opera, which will perform Carlisle Floyd’s renowned operatic adaptation of the novella in January of 2016.

Through this partnership, Austinites are invited to experience an American classic both in its original form and as a live operatic performance.

In addition to the Mayor’s Book Club program and Austin Opera’s production, other educational and cultural organizations will offer programming that examines “Of Mice and Men.” Partners in this project include the University of Texas Humanities Institute, Harry Ransom Center, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin Independent School District, Round Rock Independent School District and the Paramount Theater. For a list of partners and programs, visit: http://www.austinopera.org/ofmiceandmen.