At a relatively shallow depth of ocean, our real knowledge of what goes on down below—and of what kind of creatures inhabit the midnight waterscape—is as primitive as our knowledge of conditions on Mercury. This fascinating volume focuses on one inhabitant of that realm, the lordly giant squid, long the subject of lore and legend.

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…