Some historical figures become more fascinating with each passing decade, and Lawrence of Arabia is one. As Middle Eastern issues continue to bedevil international relations, the magnificently stirring life of this English adventurer—brilliantly recounted here by Michael Korda—seems ever more relevant, and ever more mysterious.

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…