Chan Marshall, who records as Cat Power, followed her 2006 album, The Greatest, with a prompt breakdown, canceling tour dates and costing her record label, Matador, a boatload of cash. But the album was a triumph, and by the end of the year, a newly sober Marshall played the best shows of her career. Technically, there are only two original songs on Jukebox, but Marshall again proves -- as she did on The Covers Record -- that anything she touches becomes wholly her own. Backed by the Dirty Delta Blues Band, Marshall dips into the catalog that made possible her own Memphis soul. Radical reconstructions are everywhere: Sinatra's "New York, New York" becomes a slinky, down-tempo paean to restlessness, more cautionary tale than celebration, and a Hank Williams classic becomes "Ramblin' (Wo)man." Dylan is reworked, too (and not for the first time), with "I Believe in You," from his Christian phase. And the sole new song on the album, "Song for Bobby," addresses the man directly, as Marshall writes about discovering his music as a young teenager, and later, catching his ear with her own work. Recalling the view of her icon from her perspective as an audience member, she asks, "Oh my god, can you tell me who you were singing to?" One answer is certainly Chan Marshall, who returns the favor in song. -

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

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.