Monty Mouse has been inspecting some new arrivals on the Cornflower desk of power (which is where he lives) and I see he's put his paw on The Monday Night Cooking School as he lives in hope there will be a tasty morsel or two in that one. Erica Bauermeister's novel is already out in the States under another title and with a very attractive cover, but her British publishers have gone for a different look - which do you prefer?
Erica's novel is sandwiched (yes, I know) between David Vann's Legend of a Suicide, much talked about here and there, and my copy a prize from Simon S., and The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy, she was a long-suffering woman by anyone's standards.
Almost in its rightful spot there in the pile is Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place, a memoir about growing up when you are already an adult, and a book "both unbelievably moving and hilarious."
Beneath it are Secret Son by Laila Lalami and Nigel Farndale's The Blasphemer. Both books sound very strong indeed, the former a modern fable set in contemporary Casablanca, a rags to riches story with a difference, while the latter poses the impossible question, would you save yourself or the one you love?
Lastly for now, and a slim little volume up by Monty's shoulder, Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord is another 'modern fable', this one written by a psychiatrist. Is there such as thing as the secret of true happiness? We shall see what Hector discovers. (Monty thinks it's an ample supply of cheese and an absence of cats.)