The Twelve

Justin Cronin's The Passage introduced a post-apocalyptic world laid low by a bioengineered vampire plague, recalling the best of Stephen King and Michael Crichton. The Twelve propels his saga forward but also peers into the heretofore unrevealed origins of the virus.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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…