The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi

Andrew McConnell Stott's biography of the late-Georgian era's most celebrated clown examines Joseph Grimaldi's revolutionary approach to the jester's role, and his unlikely friendship with such literary celebrities as Lord Byron and Charles Dickens.

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…