Trade picks the books 'that got away'

<p>Publishers, agents and translators have come up with their &quot;one that got away&quot;, with the likes of Jamie Byng, Lee Brackstone and Roland Philipps &quot;quietly mourning a volume that unnaccountably never made the &#39;best of&#39; or bestseller lists&quot; for the <em>Guardian</em>.</p><p>Canongate publisher and m.d. Byng selected<em> The Spare Room</em> by Helen Garner, which missed out on the Booker longlist in 2008, to Byng&#39;s chagrin. He described it as being &quot;as good as anything Canongate has ever published. Or will publish&quot;. He added he was &quot;confident that this exceptional book will be come to be widely regarded as a modern classic&quot;.</p><p>Brackstone, Faber editorial director, picked out <em>Born Yesterday</em> by Gordon Burn, claiming &quot;it stands alongside the best of Mailer and De Lillo and should have seen Gordon anointed as their fearless equal&quot;. </p><p> John Murray&#39;s m.d Philipps chose <em>War Reporting for Cowards</em> by Chris Ayres, blaming &quot;the gap between commissioning it in 2003 and it being written and published two years later: by then the war had got so unpopular with the public that every book about it, brilliantly entertaining or not, was struggling&quot;. He added: &quot;I hope in time it will become recognised as a classic.&quot;</p><p>Among agents, Victoria Hobbs of A M Heath selected <em>Mutiny</em> by Lindsey Collen, which despite &quot;excellent&quot; reviews, &quot;somehow just never quite took off&quot;. </p><p>Mark Lucas of Lucas Alexander Whitley picked out<em> Barefoot Soldier </em>by Johnson Beharry VC . He said: &quot;I don&#39;t begrudge Jordan her megasales. But I&#39;d prefer to live in a world where Johnson Beharry VC&#39;s astonishing, selfless bravery is more vigorously cherished.&quot;<br /> </p>