I just finished In Praise of the Stepmother by Mario Vargas Llosa, which I stumbled across on Amazon and purchased solely due to the low cost. It was ultimately interesting, but not really my cup of tea. I think I would appreciate the poetry and structure more if I reread it and understood what was meant by the seemingly unrelated or vaguely stories written in chapters alternating with the main plot. As someone who likes to think of herself as intelligent and with a solid understanding of poetry and literary conventions, I am a little embarrassed to admit it took me a while to grasp why those stories were chosen and the metaphors contained therein. The subject matter admittedly made me more uncomfortable than I thought it would (any more information is a spoiler, but a Google search would give you more than enough information, if you don't mind advance knowledge of any plot points). I just started Dry by Augusten Burroughs, and am loving it! It's a little odd to say that about a memoir of someone's battle with alcoholism, but he is a fantastic writer.