Manstein: Hitler's Greatest General

Mungo Melvin's biography of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein depicts the career of a general as accomplished as Erwin Rommel, albeit less well known. Accorded high honors for military brilliance by both his peers and his enemies, von Manstein possessed a genius in the field that was matched only by his independence of spirit (he disobeyed Hitler and was punished for his temerity). His long postwar career helped Germany to recover from the havoc he had unleashed.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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…