Lola, California

Edie Meidav's poignant novel is rooted in the story of Lana and Rose, whose sibling-like friendship in 1980s Berkeley is sundered by time -- and by a terrible tragedy. Now, Lana's charismatic father is on death row, and Rose hopes to bring father and estranged daughter together again before it's too late. Brilliantly evoking the millennial shadows that haunt its California setting and rich with humor and heartache, it's one of the most arresting and thought-provoking books of the season.

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…