Brain Bugs

"It's not a flaw, it's a feature." The infamous software company excuse for annoying glitches might have been coined by God Himself after designing our brains. Actually, neuroscientist Dean Buonomano invokes Darwin, not the Deity, when explaining all the defects in our wetware, as he guides us through a primer on why our brains are often unable to cope with the artificial conditions that daily deceive us.

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…