The Center of the World

A controversial 19th-century painting of Helen of Troy traverses the centuries between its storied British creator, J.M.W. Turner, and an art dealer in mid-life crisis whose banal existence is transformed by the tableau.

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…