1913: The Year Before the Storm

An acclaimed bestseller throughout Europe, this wry study of the titular year's biggest names - Ford, Chaplin, Chanel, Prada, Proust, Stavinsky - depicts a cultural revolution undercut by the destruction of World War I that soon followed.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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…