We talked our way through a pile of books in the first meeting of our Rio de Janeiro reading group this week. At the top of the pile, Os Malaquias by Andrea del Fuego. Propping her up, a classic of twentieth century Brazilian literature: Pedro Nava’s Baú de Ossos.

Andrea del Fuego’s début novel won her the prestigious Saramago Prize in 2011 and saw her transformed into an overnight literary sensation. The group admired her tightly wound prose and the inventiveness of her story.

They were even more seduced by Pedro Nava’s endless, rolling sentences, his wry humour, and his willingness to dish up family dirt in this 500-page fictionalised memoir. It’s the first volume in a six-book cycle as much about the history of Brazil as it is about his own personal experiences.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, we did get through the breadsticks in the background. Come to our next meeting and you’ll get one too. Find out more in the Reading Groups section of our website, or drop Ana a line on reading[at]andotherstories.org.

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