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The Reading Room: four more great books from August

Four great novels to finish off the month

1. The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick (£12.99, Harvill Secker)
Sedgwick is a debut novelist with, somewhat unusually, a PhD in physics. The twin stories of Roisin and Francois are scattered with fragments about comets and stars – all scientifically accurate. Out tomorrow.

2. A Beautiful Young Wife by Tommy Wieringa (£9.99, Scribe)
Like the wife in the title, Wieringa’s novel is both slim and beautiful. Edward, a chemist in his 40s, finally marries the love of his life – a much younger woman. But even his beautiful young wife can’t stop him from ageing. Elegantly written and thoughtful.

3. Divorce is in the Air by Gonzalo Torné (£13.99, Harvill Secker)
From marriage to divorce with the English-language debut of Spanish writer Torné. The book is witty and well-observed, but it’s also perfect for anyone prone to pangs of nostalgia.

4. The Countenance Divine by Michael Hughes (£16.99, John Murray)
The Millennium Bug in 1999. A series of murders in 1888. A vision in 1777. An epic poem in 1666. But what links them all and why does it feel like the world is ending? This highly-praised debut effortlessly switches between times and styles.

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