The World As I Found It

A big, gripping novel about the tortured philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein may sound oxymoronic, but Bruce Duffy pulls it off (assisted by the presence of Bertrand Russell, that old swashbuckler), mixing gossip, history, and plenty of ideas into a compulsively readable fiction.

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…