[DWJ] Best of 2017??

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at netvision.net.il
Fri Jan 20 02:42:32 EST 2017


If anyone is interested, I've compiled an Excell sheet with all your
recommendations. I can send it to people who ask for it. It contains author
names and titles, no additional info, and without people's opinions about
books that were mentioned, though mostly I assume books were only mentioned
if they were enjoyed or
important-or-interesting-despite-not-being-fully-enjoyed.

As many of you know, I'm a publisher now, and I publish Hebrew translations
of certain books, many of which I discovered directly and indirectly thanks
to this list. So I take your recommendations very seriously. I've build a
career off them! That's also why sometimes I recommend a book that's not
actually out yet, like Garth Nix's "Frogkisser". I honestly can't keep
track of the pub dates. I know I've read other books that people are
waiting for - such as "The Pearl Thief", Elizabeth Wein's prequel to "Code
Name Verity" - but I try not to be frustrating in my recommendations...

As people have posted their syllabi here, I might as well post my
publishing list, no? Needless to say, EVERY book on the list is a book I
feel strongly about. Unfortunately there are many books I could not publish
because they had already been claimed by other publishers! "Uprooted" was
one of these.

Currently I run a publishing house devoted to children's and YA books,
which I founded myself about three years ago. It's called "Utz", which is
Hebrew for "Oz" (as in the Land of) So far I've published:

* 4 of the sequels to "The Wizard of Oz" by Frank Baum

* "Poor Cecco" by Margery Williams Bianco. At this point I was still
cutting my publishing teeth on public domain books, and this is a very
sweet one from the 1920s. The author is better known for "The Velveteen
Rabbit", but I knew several competing publishers were planning translations
of that as soon as the rights expired, so I thought I'd take a lesser known
book (but one I like much better). Another nice thing about Cecco is that
there are (sadly too few) illustrations by Arthur Rackham.

* "The True Meaning of Smekday" by Adam Rex. There's a sequel out now in
English, but I found it dissappointing.

* "Cakes in Space" by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. This has proven to
be my best-selling book, absolutely loved by the readers. I feel it fills a
big hole for 2nd-4th graders who still want a book that's not too long and
has plenty of illustrations, but also want something to sink their teeth
into, that doesn't talk down to them. Reeve and McIntyre have collaborated
on 4 books that are now being marketed as "not so impossible tales", though
they're not really a series: four standalones in the same format. I
recently published "Oliver and the Seawigs" which was the first of these,
and am planning to continue soon with "Pugs of the Frozen North" and "Jinx
and O'Hare Funfair Repair". Delightful stuff, all of it.

* "Gobbolino the Witch's Cat" by Ursula Moray Williams. One of those books
that's quite well known in the UK, but all but unheard of in the USA. I
consider it classic. And Kathleen drew illustrations for my edition! It was
the first of my books to make it to the bestseller list, by virtue of
word-of-mouth alone as there's no current "buzz" around it.

* "Code Name Verity" by Elizabeth Wein. For older readers than others I've
published, but I am planning on branching out into more YA.

* "Mars Evacuees" by Sophia McDougall. Starts out a bit slow, but once it
finds its pace is an unputdownable proper Science Fiction book for middle
grade and up.

Next in line to be published: "The Lie Tree" by Frances Hardinge. This is
actually my least favorite of Hardinge's books, but as with DWJ, I feel
she's SO GOOD that even my least favorite leaves other books in the dust.
I'm starting with it because it will be the easiest to promote, having won
the Costa prize last year. I think my favorite of all her books was "Cuckoo
Song", but they're all so good. (tangent: Frances Hardinge is friends with
Rhiannon Lassiter who also writes terrific books that have not gotten the
attention they deserve)

After that: "Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" by Robert C. O'Brien, oldy
but goldie.

Also planning to publish "Bone Gap" by Laura Ruby, a book that somewhat
defies definition. It's coming-of-age-in-rural-America interspersed with
dreamlike sequences that don't seem to add up, until they do.

And at some point I'm committed to publish, as a book with original
illustrations by Ofra Amit, Christina Rosetti's "Goblin Market". It took
years to translate and I have a grant to publish it, so I do need to get
stepping with it.

I also published many terrific books at my previous two positions, but this
is getting long enough as it is!

Gili






On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 12:36 PM, Tina <liril at gmx.net> wrote:

> Hello
>
> and belated good wishes for the new year to everyone!
>
> I was wondering if anyone made some best of list for 2016 - I remember
> getting such good recommendations via these.
>
> Since I am have a long train commute this year, I'd love some tips. And
> since I'm afraid I am a bit out of the loop, they need not be "new books"
> (first published in 2016).
>
> Unfortunately I don't have a real list to offer.
>
> My highlight were the Flora Segunda books by Ysabeau S. Wilce - I
> especially loved the audio version of the first book, read by Danielle
> Ferland. (I even bought another audiobook read by her because I wanted to
> continue listening to her, but it wasn't the same. Maybe it was because to
> me she was just such a perfect match for Flora...)
>
> My favorite DWJ re-read was Deep Secret.
>
> My favorite weird genre mix were the first two Laundry Files books by
> Charles Stross. Lovecraft meets Dilbert meets James Bond...
>
>
> Bettina
>
>
>
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