The most interesting, useful, and liberating book of advice this year, economist John Kay's argument for the efficacy of indirection is both intuitive and practical, supported with examples from business, politics, sports, parenting, and literature. The best path to both goals and satisfaction, says Kay persuasively, is most surely an indirect one.

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…