Heart of the Artichoke

If you've spent any time perusing David Tanis's first book, A Platter of Figs, you'll know why the kitchen hearts in my house are aflutter at the arrival of his second. Tanis has been chef at Chez Panisse for more than a quarter-century, and his culinary sophistication reveals itself in an inviting embrace of simplicity and pleasure. The book's well-composed pages have an easy beauty—a serenity of thought and feeling—almost as nourishing as the recipes.

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…