The Alice Behind Wonderland

Immortal Alice Liddell, juvenile muse to Lewis Carroll, has starred in a novel by Geoff Ryman, an Ian Holm film, and a pornographic comic by Alan Moore, among many other posthumous excursions. Now, bestselling historian Simon Winchester, riffing on the famed portrait of Alice as a beggar child, seeks to plumb the actuality of her life and the mysterious relationship with a bookish Oxford don that inspired a seemingly infinite Wonderland.

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…