To round off the year we took the liberty of asking some Penguins for their bookish highlights of the year and their publishing resolutions for 2008 - second set of answers below. Of course if you have any highlights from the year just gone, or predictions for the year to come, let us know in the comments below.
What was your publication of the year?
Looming Tower - Lawrence Wright. Sometimes it's the story of struggling to do justice to a book that keeps it in mind. Larry Wright narrates the plot behind 9/11 with such pace and personality that he conveys an important truth: it is people--and the mistakes they make--who make history. The story of the CIA chief who raised the alarm on Al Qaeda in the 1990s and lost his job for his troubles and who ending up dying in the World Trade Center is just one thread in a masterfully woven tale which reads like a thriller. But we struggled to create the right jacket as 9/11 is a very difficult event to portray visually. Personally, I don't think there's any reason to show that terrible moment of impact ever again. It took time and we were up against a deadline, but I'm so proud of the final visual our brilliant art department created. It looks like a paperback you want to pick up and read, conveying drama, importance and readability. Available at all good bookshops because of it. (Fiona Buckland, Sales Manager, Penguin)
Penguin's Poems for Life - a book I commissioned and which has been something of a sleeper hit (in its small way!) this Christmas. Wonderful anthology, gorgeously produced. (Adam Freudenheim, Publishing Director, Penguin Classics)
Slam by Nick Hornby - we tried exciting new things in marketing terms to reach that hard to reach teenage audience (Joanna Prior, Communications Director, Penguin UK)
My favourite publication was The Islamist by Ed Husain, because we have seen Ed's life change dramatically following the book's publication, and because of the letters we receive from readers around the country, who see in Ed's writing what I saw when I first acquired it, and because everything, in publishing terms, went right. (Helen Conford, Publisher, Penguin Press)
Roger Deakin's WILDWOOD: a wonderful memorial to an amazing writer and man. (Tom Weldon, Managing Director, Penguin General)
Amillionpenguins.com - not exactly a publication, but one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved with. Someone had to do it, and I'm glad it was us. (Jeremy Ettinghausen, Digital Publisher)
What was your favourite book of 2007?
I had a bit of a Penelope Lively moment earlier in the year. I liked her new book Consequences but even more I enjoyed her early, Booker Prize winning Moon Tiger. (JP)
My favourite book published in 2007 (in paperback!) was The Road by Cormac McCarthy - I've loved him since Blood Meridian. My favourite book full stop was Dispatches by Michael Herr, partly no doubt because I read it while sitting on a deserted beach in Papua New Guinea. (HC)
Alistair Campbell's Diaries, an hilarious reminder that however far you advance in your career, you still fuck up constantly (TW)
Don Winslow's The Winter of Frankie Machine - a great american crime writer in top form. (JE)
What is your publishing resolution for 2008?
Publish every book with passion, enthusiasm and care. (AF)
Keep our retailers and their customers excited about Penguin books. And to sell even more (of course!) (FB)
To be brave, and to follow my gut instinct (HC)
Stay optimistic (TW)
To try and stay one step ahead of the game (je)