The Baker Who Pretended to Be King of Portugal

On August 4, 1578, King Sebastian of Portugal was slain on the field of battle. Sixteen years later, in one of the most audacious impostures of the last five hundred years, Gabriel de Espinosa appeared in a Spanish convent town passing himself off as the lost monarch. Ruth MacKay recalls the conspiracy, which took almost a year to unravel, in her engrossing historical account of scheming and absurdity.

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

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…