America's long fascination with the Everglades, a twisted chronicle of preservation and exploitation, is recounted here in perspiration-inducing detail by Laura A. Ogden, an anthropologist intimate with the welands' iconic nooks and crannies. Bringing alive the complex interactions of animals, people, geology, and government, this book serves as a corrective to common myths concerning the exotic tropical ecosystem.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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…