I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl

Poet Kelle Groom unflinchingly tells the story of her illegitimate child, tendered for adoption and dead before age two. As a teenaged mother in thrall to alcohol, Groom almost spiraled out of control were it not for unexpected reserves of strength, bolstered by a passion for poetry. Infant Tommy, reborn through his mother's empathy, is the pearl sprung from the bitterness of Groom's early life, elegized in a memoir reminescent of Mary Karr's Lit.

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

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…