Fabergé's Animals

Crowned heads through history have given artists some strange commissions, but when Edward VII in 1907 had Carl Fabergé create tiny bejeweled replicas of the animals the king and Queen Alexandra kept on their Norfolk estate, the result had its own majesty. This volume brilliantly matches photographs of these delicate miniatures (a terrier in agate and rose diamonds; a pig of aventurine quartz; a cow with ruby eyes) with the stories of their real-life counterparts.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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…