Publishers share the books they enjoyed and envied in 2015

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What did the publishers love in 2015? Guardian spoke to some of the biggest publishers and revealed what are some of the books published in 2015 that
you need to read today.

Full version:
"The book that deserves to have done better is Bitter Sixteen by Stefan Mohamed; the first of a YA trilogy that has the most fantastic dog in it, as well as a great story-line and lots of laughs and scary bits. It was positively reviewed (including being a Times Children’s Book of the Week), but sales could have been better.

The second book of the series, The Ace of Spiders, is coming out in 2016, together with a re-branding, so hopefully Bitter Sixteen will be given a new lease of life and find its way into the hands of more readers, who really are missing out!" - Jen Hamilton-Emery, Co-director, Salt
"David Vann is just one of the best writers of landscape and nature. Dark, disturbing and twists the mind of the reader like no other. Wonderful." - Kevin Duffy, Publisher, Bluemoose Books
"The Looking-Glass Sisters by Gøhril Gabrielsen, translated by John Irons [should have done better]. A tragic Norwegian love story about two sisters who cannot live with or without each other. A novel with an extraordinary narrative voice. - Meike Ziervogel, Publisher, Peirene Press
The Looking-Glass Sisters, Gøhril Gabrielsen
"Earlier in 2015 we published Vladislavič ‘s new stories, 101 Detectives, and saw JM Coetzee recommend Vladislavič’s ‘great sophistication’ as a writer of short fictions." - Stefan Tobler, Publisher, And Other Stories
"They are The End Of Vandalism, Hunts In Dreams and Pacific, by Tom Drury and published by Old Street. Superficially, they’re about a small community in the very middle of the nowhere of the American mid-West. Really, though they are about the biggest questions of all, how to live and love, or maybe just get by. They’re astonishing, line by line and as a whole. Tom Drury is one of the best writers I have ever read. The End Of Vandalism is so good it made me cry." - Sam Jordison, Co-director, Galley Beggar Press
"I wish Anthony Trevelyan had been given more review coverage – not least because everyone who did read The Weightless World loved it. It’s a fine, funny, engaging page-turner – but also one with real, forgive the pun, gravity. I loved it – and while it got a few good notices, I thought it deserved many more." - Sam Jordison, Co-director, Galley Beggar Press
The Weightless World, Anthony Trevelyan
"Elly (my fellow co-director) and me actually drew lots for Playthings and Wrote For Luck as they both received wonderful reviews and much deserved recognition for their authors. I drew Wrote For Luck, and I’m reminded again what a pleasure it was to work on DJ Taylor’s short stories, to realise how well they worked together as a collection – and also to hear from all the hundreds of people who enjoyed reading them." - Sam Jordison, Co-director, Galley Beggar Press
"Raymond Jean’s Reader for Hire, translated from the French by Adriana Hunter. A book about the seductive powers of reading with a cover that makes me smile each time I see it." - Meike Ziervogel, Publisher, Peirene Press
Reader for Hire, Raymond Jean
"We were euphoric that Yuri Herrera’s English-language debut Signs Preceding the End of the World (transl. Lisa Dillman) was a word-of-mouth success among literary readers on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US alone we’ve had to reprint three times.

In this quick-paced novel, Herrera gives us Makina: a streetwise heroine who travels from Mexico to USA via the mythical and criminal underworlds in search of her brother. She is one of the strongest female protagonists of recent years as well as someone who is a go-between between different worlds, languages and cultures. It’s also my favourite book about migration." - Stefan Tobler, Publisher, And Other Stories
"This lucid and haunting portrait of an older woman reclaiming her life draws brilliantly on a literary tradition of madness, incarceration and escape to deliver a Mrs Dalloway for the modern age as well as the triumphant coming-of-age of a woman in her sixties. But despite excellent endorsements and reviews, it hasn’t yet reached the wider audience it deserves." - Candida Lacey, Publisher and Managing Director, Myriad Editions
"The Europa book that deserved to do better is Jennifer Tseng’s debut Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness, a tale of dangerous love and life-saving books with distinctly Ferrantean echoes. I am still hoping it will get noticed…" - Daniela Petracco, Director, Europa Editions UK
"It’s difficult to single out a favourite, but I’d have to pick Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project as our standout 2015 novel. It’s utterly engrossing, beautifully written and, as Jake Kerridge put it in his season’s best round-up, it’s also ‘a real box of tricks… a truly ingenious thriller as confusingly multilayered as an Escher staircase’.

The sense of place, the characterisation and the evocation of a remote nineteenth-century rural community are as brilliant and assured as the suspenseful storyline is gripping. An atmosphere of foreboding and a simmering sense of injustice pull the reader deeply into the book’s world." - Sara Hunt, Director, Saraband
"Michael won The Guardian’s Not The Booker with his debut King Crow and it was also a World Book Night recommended read. Café Assassin is a classic revenge story. ‘Nick Smith went to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, after twenty two years inside, he’s looking for the man, his best friend, who put him there.’" - Kevin Duffy, Publisher, Bluemoose Books
Café Assassin, Michael Stewart
"We were all chuffed to bits to have published Colette Snowden’s debut, The Secret To Not Drowning. As the Guardian first book prize selectors said, it is ‘A powerfully resonant portrait of emotional abuse in a suburban marriage – everything about it rings true’. Subtle, nuanced and beautifully written and a book that makes you reflect on your own actions within a relationship." - Kevin Duffy, Publisher, Bluemoose Books
The Secret to Not Drowning, Colette Snowden
"Okojie’s interrogation of depression and the strange things people do to cope with trauma is emphatic." - Kit Caless, Co-director, Influx Press
"The book that I wish Salt had published is After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry, which I read back in January. I loved this book – so well written, atmospheric, and based along the coast from us in Norfolk." - Jen Hamilton-Emery, Co-director, Salt
"The Salt book that made my year has to be The Good Son by Paul McVeigh that we published in April. It sold well but more importantly, everyone who reads it falls in love with the main character, Mickey (as I did when I first read the manuscript) and wants to know what happens to him next. This to me is what publishing is all about: putting books out into the world that touch people’s lives in some way. I too hope that Paul writes a follow-up!" - Jen Hamilton-Emery, Co-director, Salt
"[This] collection of prose poetry and essays which touches on the author’s rejection of copyright and on the politics and economics of writing and publishing in Putin-era Russia. Keith Gessen, who translates him, has called him ‘Russia’s first authentic post-Soviet writer’ [deserved to do better].

He visited the UK in October for a series of events. In Brighton, perhaps eighty people turned up to see him read in Russian. In Oxford, a personal friend of Joseph Brodsky introduced him. While I get that politically engaged Russian prose poetry is never going to go mainstream, it’s a shame that the media didn’t pay more attention to the book because he is a truly important writer." - Jacques Testard, Publisher, Fitzcarraldo Editions
"The book that made my year was Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child, the fourth and final volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. Published in September, it was greeted by a flurry of enthusiastic reviews and British readers were hooked onto this multi-layered narrative." - Daniela Petracco, Director, Europa Editions UK
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