Religion for Atheists

Anyone who has encountered Alain de Botton's writing already knows that he is a bastion of sanity, compassion, and open-minded inquiry in a polarized world. His latest highly readable treatise is no exception. Carefully sorting through the claims of religion, both practical and numinous, de Botton analyzes what kind of worthwhile practices can be rescued from the larger, harder-to-swallow theological constructs.

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…