Milk: A Local and Global History

Think about it:  is there anything stranger than the fact that humans drink the milk of other mammals? This is the kind of question Deborah Valenze's wide-ranging and comprehensive history of the dairy industry evokes. Regarding our consumption of milk as a cultural artifact rather than any evolved biological necessity, Valenze brings to the table a detailed account of milk's conquests as rich and tasty as a chocolate shake.

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…