And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

Before he died in 2007, Kurt Vonnegut granted biographer Charles J. Shields (Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee) access to his life and letters. The result is an absorbing, authoritative work on the literary iconoclast whose darkly comic, poignantly profound novels (Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, among others) became touchstones for an era and redefined the way we think about our future and ourselves.

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…