What could be more appropriate for the season of convivial gatherings than this illuminating, amusing, and recipe-filled history of "the flowing bowl"? David Wondrich, whose celebration of legendary barkeep Jerry Thomas (Imbibe!) earned him a James Beard award, here serves up an intoxicating brew for readers and for their guests.

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…