It has been famously said of the Philippines that the nation spent "three hundred years in the convent, and fifty years in Hollywood," as a result of sequential colonial rule by Spain and the USA. Yates's exuberant, rambunctious, and delightfully gonzo first novel might reverse that ratio as it captures the holy libertinism of the island nation in a compelling, unpredictable, fast-paced magical-realist narrative.

April 21: " 'Pull' includes 'invitations to tea' at which one hears smiling reminders that a better life is available to people who stop talking about massacres..."

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…