Debut author Ben Tarnoff explores three historical incidents of colorful counterfeiting that entertain as true-crime narratives at the same time as they illuminate America's love affair with an easy illegal buck (especially when rationalized by anti-federalist fervor). The roguish romance of DIY currency, Tarnoff opines, will always be with us.

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

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…