The Man of Numbers

Best known for his integer sequence (in which each term is the sum of the two previous terms -- 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on), Fibonacci's most important contribution to mathematics was, in fact, the replacement of Roman numerals with the Hindu-Arabic notation we use today. Keith Devlin here unpacks the history behind this breakthrough, which revolutionized European trade as the Renaissance dawned, in a fascinating book reminescent of Dava Sobel's Longitude.

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

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…