A Paradise Built in Hell

Focusing on five great disasters, Rebecca Solnit (River of Shadows) finds in the debris of earthquakes, explosions, and hurricanes the most fateful flowerings of the human spirit.

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

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…