"An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull," said one of the twenty publishers to knock back Lord of the Flies, which later sold more than 150 million copies.
Emma Healey has had a roller coaster six months: her debut novel Elizabeth Is Missing, which sold for a six-figure advance, was published last summer to critical acclaim. And last week the twenty-nine year old writer won the Costa First Novel award and is now up against the likes of Ali Smith and Kate Saunders for the Costa Book of the Year Prize.
There is nothing more special than children's literature. Even now, I remember almost by heart the books my parents used to read to me as a young child, and the books I first started reading by myself.
Does your Chief Executive have a blog and use social networks to improve his or her communication? If you answered yes, then congratulations, your boss clearly appreciates that the way we all communicate today has changed beyond recognition in the past half-decade.
But anyone who focused their reading this year solely on the present would have missed a bevy of worthy history books. In no particular order of merit, here are five standouts...