Scoundrels in Law

The most notorious law firm of the 19th century's Gilded Age is given its due in Cait Murphy's exuberant account of William Howe and Abraham Hummel, whose roster of clients in post-Civil War New York included corrupt politicians, Broadway stars, bank robbers, socialites, and gangsters.

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…