Best summer books of 2022: Pop music

Orlam
by PJ Harvey, Picador €16.99

Among the most literary rock stars, Harvey has successfully reinvented herself as a poet. Orlam is a gripping narrative poem about rural childhood told in the Dorset dialect, with echoes of Ted Hughes and under the milk wood. “Wordle” means “world” in its West Country verse, not a game.

Good pop, bad pop: An inventory
by Jarvis Cocker Jonathan cape 20 €

A fan of garage sales in his youth in Sheffield, the leader of Pulp Cocker has transformed his love of bric-a-brac into a funny DIY of memories. Good pop, bad pop uses items stored in his loft, from a dirty joke book to second-hand shirts, as triggers for memories of his younger self.

Rebel: Just another life to live
by Vashti Bunyan, White Rabbit €16.99

Bunyan is a hippie singer-songwriter who released a flop album in 1970. He rose to cult status years later after giving up a music career. In Rebelshe recounts her life as a wandering bohemian in the British Isles: a self-portrait of deft strokes and quietly gathered strength, just like her songs.

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Exit stage left: The strange afterlife of pop stars
by Nick Durden, Title £20

” So what ? Duerden asks Exit stage left. The question is directed at the former chart toppers who populate his book, a parade of mostly British acts of all genres through whose experiences he explores the ultimate challenge of pop stardom – what happens after the hits dry up .

jeans and leather: The rise and fall of the new wave of British heavy metal
by Michael Hann, Police officer £20

The “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” followed punk into the 1970s, a faster, louder version of the first generation of metal bands. Contributor FT Hann’s jeans and leather is an in-depth oral history of this unglamorous but influential scene, from forgotten acts to big names like Iron Maiden.

Summer books 2022

All this week, FT writers and critics are sharing their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Tuesday: Environment by Pilita Clark
Wednesday: Fiction by Laura Battle
Thursday: Story by Tony Barber
Friday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Saturday: Critics’ Choice

Join our online book group on Facebook at FT Books Coffee