Catherine of Aragon

The first of Henry VIII’s six wives came to England betrothed, in a carefully wrought political alliance, to the unlucky prince Arthur, who died shortly thereafter.  She would eventually ascend the throne as Henry's queen in a tumultuous era.  Even readers familiar with the divorce that shook England's religious foundations may not know much of Catherine's eventful reign -- which included a battlefield victory while Henry was abroad.  Giles Tremlett is alive to the interplay of  Spanish and English history that makes Catherine's life an engrossing tale.

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

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…