Alan Lomax

Few individuals have contributed more to popular culture than the musicologist Alan Lomax, who discovered and popularized such performers as Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. Without his efforts, chronicled in John Szwed's welcome biography, the musical landscape of the twenty-first century might well be unrecognizable.

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…