Jaspreet Singh's tale of a former military chef who returns to Kashmir to cook a wedding meal for a general's daughter—and make peace with his past—is the the most mesmerizing novel I've read this spring (it also has the loveliest cover).

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…