Combining Asian, African, and Indian influences with European preparations, creole is the classic fusion cuisine. Babette de RoziŠres, who learned to cook from her grandmother while growing up in Guadeloupe, completes a culinary circle of sorts, bringing the signature food style of the West Indies back to Paris, where she is the owner of La Table de Babette. Between cheerful plaid covers, RoziŠres provides an encyclopedic tour of Caribbean food, from appetizers to desserts, lavishly photgraphed. Spices are complex, but not necessarily fiery hot. Many use West Indian Columbo powder or graines de roussir, a blend of fenugreek, cumin, and mustard seed. RoziŠres' gleeful mix of traditions is often evident in a single recipe, such as crab profiteroles in a saffron seafood cream, conch ravioli with a crab and lemongrass sauce, or lamb in a tumeric and wasabi white sauce with pistachios. Fruits -- such as star fruit jam or guava jelly -- often lend sweetness to the main dish. The seafood section is especially exotic, with recipes for tropical delicacies including shark, mahi mahi, conch, and sea urchin. As an aid to the novice, RoziŠres provides a glossary, an online shopping guide, and substitutions for hard-to-find items. Her clear, easy instructions make this a usable guide to fresh, bright, beautiful food that one can actually make.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.