The Taste of Salt

Martha Southgate's fluidly composed novel follows Josie, an African-American marine biologist who, despite her successes, cannot break free from the ties that tether her to her family, struggling with generations of addiction. This powerful narrative earns its oceanic themes, as it washes over the reader with tidal force.

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…