Madison and Jefferson

This refreshing dual biography of the third and fourth Presidents of the U.S., by Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg, depicts these Founders not as plaster saints, but as feisty young idealists—and pals, strivers, and conquerors to boot.

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…