Louisa Thomas surveys the early twentieth-century past of her own family when four brothers faced an ethical dilemma that divided one household: to serve in the military during the Great War or not. Thomas charts the unpredictable destinies of these four siblings as they live with their choices while also offering a fine depiction of the nascent Jazz Age milieu.

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…