The Idea Factory

Before Apple, before Google, there was Bell Labs, font of one brilliant invention after another. With a novelist's eye for vivid details and juicy character sketches, Jon Gertner chronicles five decades in an eccentric world where having a Ph.D in an esoteric field was merely the ticket to entry, and Nobelists sprouted like dandelions. A vision of America's innovative Golden Age, and an inspiration to fresh ambitions of genius.

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…