Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails

Jarhead, Anthony Swofford's memoir of his Gulf War military service, launched the author on a promising literary career, but struggles with addiction and despair soon followed. Then a series of RV trips with his terminally ill father, himself a Vietnam vet, saved him from himself, a transformation he captures with courageous intensity in this moving work of nonfiction.

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…