Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Norwegian Wood raised the cult Japanese writer Haruki Murakami's international profile. But it is his latest selection of short stories translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel that looks set to truly catapult the writer into the limelight.

The stories are as eccentric as they are eclectic and give full rein to Murakami's mastery at sidestepping the real for the surreal.

Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey and an ice man in tales that, as Rupert Thompson wrote in Esquire, "brilliantly convey the oddness of ordinary life".

In one, a young man accompanies his cousin to the hospital to check an unusual hearing complaint and recalls a ­story of a woman put to sleep by tiny flies crawling inside her ear. In another, a mirror appears out of nowhere and a nightwatchman is unnerved as his ­reflection tries to take control of him.

The stories span 25 years of Murakami's writing and several have been significantly revised since the original versions were published in Japan. Unsurprisingly, given his surreal bent, ­Murakami has been ­described as a 'literary ­David Lynch' and was recently named as winner of this year's Franz Kafka prize.

Published by Harvill Secker on 6 July

C'est La Folie

In early 2004, Michael Wright left his comfortable south London existence and set out to begin a new life in La Folie, a dilapidated farmhouse in need of renovation in the heart of rural France.

Published by Bantam Press on 1 August

The Game

The Game by Neil Strauss is ostensibly an exposé of a secret society of men who specialise in seducing women using a variety of highly elaborate methods and games. But is it for real?

Published by Canongate Books on 6 July

Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

When John Grogan brought home Marley, he was just a wiggly yellow furball, but he quickly grew into a 97lb Labrador retriever... with destructive tendencies.

Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 29 June