Re: Don Quixote:
But nagging guilt is a poor motivator for reading (or you'd have finished Ron Chernow's "Hamilton" by now). So here's something to tempt you toward this intimidating classic of Spanish literature: a debut novel called "Tilting At Windmills" that reimagines Miguel Cervantes and Don Quixote as friends in a beguiling blend of biography and fiction. (Ron Charles review at CSM)
The Branston book looks interesting, but Charles is wrong in assuming people only finish the Chernow out of guilt. It takes awhile to read because it's so dang heavy, not because it isn't engrossing reading.
And in the I laughed so hard I cried department: If William Faulkner were writing on the Bush White House (Slate)