The best books for summer 2022 – what to read on vacation

Device by JO Morgan
Cape Jonathan, £16.99

The invention of the teleporter is slowly changing every aspect of everyday life, in these clever, subtle and wonderfully jargon-free science fiction stories from one of Britain’s most acclaimed poets. Morgan raises troubling questions about human nature and our reliance on technology. TSF

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Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes
Michael Joseph, £20

In this sequel to the acclaimed Rachel’s Holiday (1998), Rachel is now head counselor at the Irish drug addiction clinic where she was once held. Sober and settled with a rich new boyfriend, her life is going well – until an old flame reappears. HB

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Briefly, A Delightful Life of Nell Stevens
Picador, £14.99

The year is 1839 and Frédéric Chopin is on holiday with his lover, the novelist George Sand, in a former monastery in Majorca – where they are watched by Stevens’ narrator, an amorous ghost called Blanca. This device may seem corny, but in this deeply enjoyable and cunning novel, it makes a living. NK

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Candy House by Jennifer Egan
Capri, £20

In a virtuoso sequel to A Visit from the Goon Squad (2011), Egan imagines a future where memories can be uploaded to the cloud. In loosely connected stories, we meet a spy, a heroin addict, and a record label mogul, all adrift in this supposed digital utopia. croak

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Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks
Faber, £8.99

Finally released in the UK, this 1953 novel is an American classic by one of the great poets of the 20th century. It traces the life of Maud Martha, a dark-skinned Chicago woman who envisions a future of racial equality: “She only hoped she would be equal to be equal.” SM

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The Twilight World of Werner Herzog
Bodley head, £14.99

World War II did not end in 1945 for Hiroo Onoda. The Japanese soldier, hidden in the Philippines, refused to surrender for the next 29 years. Herzog has met him several times, and now the great director is telling his story in a Hemingway-esque short story. His descriptions of the natural world are radiant. TR

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Chilean poet by Alejandro Zambra
Grant, £16.99

We follow the lives of young Chilean poet Gonzalo, his girlfriend Carla, and son Vicente through teenage kicks and adult misfortunes, in a warm and sweetly comic novel by one of Spain’s leading writers. today’s sharpest. CRC

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Charlotte Mendelson’s Exhibitionist
Coat, £16.99

Ray, a monstrous and despotic painter and patriarch with a fragile ego, is preparing his first exhibition in decades. His children prepare for a game of psychological Jenga, while his downtrodden sculptor wife, Lucia, sees her sexual desires reawakened. Mendelson mixes eroticism, absurdity and pathos in an electric novel with HBO’s Succession accents. FM

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Defenestrate by Renée Branum
Cape Jonathan, £14.99

In a quirky and idiosyncratic debut album, 20-something siblings Nick and Marta move from the American Midwest to Prague to indulge their obsession with their family’s “falling curse”, which is said to that it goes back to Czech ancestors. The jinx dooms the bloodline to lose its footing at some point. When Nick takes a serious fall from a balcony, Marta begins to wonder: was it a suicide attempt? AL

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