Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

The Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa has just been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. While his historical saga The War at the End of the World is generally acclaimed as his masterpiece, this extraordinarily entertaining comedy about a young man's heady love affair with his divorced aunt, which unfolds at a radio station under the influence of a soap opera's manic scriptwriter, is sheer delight. If you've never read this great author, start here.

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…