I'd like to stand up and suggest Spilt Milk by Chico Buarque to any reader looking for some reading. The novel's Portuguese title (which sounds gorgeously like what spilt milk looks like) is "Leite Derramado." It's under 200 long and yet crams in a century of Brazilian history, dozens of characters, formal inventiveness, tropical heat, racial tensions, old aristocrats, infidelity, drug violence, dramatic monologue, and a singer-songwriter’s mastery of oral cadence. It also oozes braininess and sex. If you aren't intrigued, you're a hard, hard soul. Ease up. Slip in. More from A Year in Reading 2013 Don't miss: A Year in Reading 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 The good stuff: The Millions' Notable articles The motherlode: The Millions' Books and Reviews Like what you see? Learn about 5 insanely easy ways to Support The Millions, and follow The Millions on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr.