Brave Dragons

The Shanxi Brave Dragons were among China's worst basketball teams when team owner Boss Wang hired NBA coach Bob Weiss to help them improve. Wang promised Weiss he would be able to employ his American methods, but things didn't exactly play out that way. This illuminating book by former New York Times Beijing bureau chief Jim Yardley reveals as much about China and America as it does about the sport at its heart.

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…