No matter how big my tower of must-read titles, I am always excited to find another book delivered in the post. And today I was doubly delighted when I found that I had been sent a book placed in a cardboard box, tied with coloured string, wrapped in colourful paper, nestling in a bed of straw. With it was a papier-mache pig, letter bearing a Canadian stamp and a maple syrup custard cream biscuit.

The book is 'Etta and Otto and Russell and James' and is a debut novel which will be released in January.

I don't know how much such marketing enterprises cost, but booklovers are generally easily pleased and this creative approach to sending an advance copy certainly brightened my day and made me eager to read the book.