Apollo's Angels

Newly out in paperback, Jennifer Homans' groundbreaking history of ballet celebrates the beauty of the art form and the brilliance of its most accomplished practitioners. The author, dance critic for The New Republic and a former professional dancer, combines archival research with interviews that took her from Moscow to Manhattan. Gloriously illustrated with paintings and photography, this is a literary performance as rewarding for casual readers as it is for devoted balletomanes.

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…