Memoirs of an Addicted Brain

Combining the sordid allure of a memoir of drug addiction with a popular-science sense of wonder at the miraculous workings of the human brain, Marc Lewis uses himself as a representative research specimen. After many years spent using, Lewis got clean and became a developmental neuroscientist with a natural affinity for investigating the pathways of addiction. His book casts light on the areas of research that hold the best chance of explaining humanity's immemorial desire to get high.

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…