Storytelling is one of humanity's great luxuries, and you're likely to find no contemporary novel in which the storytelling is more luxurious than Michael Crummey's mythic novel of real and supernatural doings in a 19th-century Newfoundland fishing village. The award-winning fiction's characters and narrative ingenuity evoke Bible tales, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and—well, all the best rewards of being lost in a book.

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…