Each year the Guardian "asks publishers which books deserved a better reception, and which book they wish they'd bagged." The article acts as a nice round-up of the books that publishers think shouldn't have tanked and a way for them to pat other publishers on the back for books that were comparatively succesful.
Like other end of year round-ups, such lists help bring one's attention to two things: the books that one has missed along the way, of course, but also the astonishing fact that one has missed them! Books are my life. I work in publishing, I have a book blog, my friends are bookish. At the end of a working day, I read on the tube back home, get in, eat... and read. Yet still, each year, I seem to miss – or forget I've noticed – many good books along the way.
Part of my job is book marketing, so thinking about this problem, and what digital solutions there might be to it, is part of what I'll be up to in the coming year. If even bibliophiles are constantly missing books that they might love, how can publishers make sure their books aren't missed, and how can readers and bloggers make sure they don't miss them? (If you have any good ideas, use the comments box!)
Last year, I somehow managed to miss (or forget) that Michael Wood had written a book on Yeats (Yeats and Violence, OUP; reviewed in the New Statesman). Astonishingly, I also missed Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography by John A Hall (Verso). In my own end of year round-up, Lee Rourke brought my attention to Quilt by Nicholas Royle. And Rob Young's Electric Eden (Faber), published in August, only jumped into my consciousness right at the end of the year (to compensate, it is this month's book of the month; Rob has a blog – last updated 25th November – at electriceden.net).
So, what did you miss!?