Emma Donoghue, author of the international bestseller Room, delivers a volume of short stories that showcase her powers of invention and eye for strange figures in history -- from the Tammany Hall bigwig who turned out to a be a woman to the conspirators who tried to hold Abraham Lincoln's body for ransom.

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…