The Forgetting Room by Nick Bantock
I hadn't read Nick Bantock before. I'd heard interesting things about his work, but The Forgetting Room was my first Nick Bantock book.
To some extent, it defies explanation. On the surface, The Forgetting Room is the story of a Massachusetts-based bookbinder named Armon, who inherits a family home in Ronda, Spain after the death of his grandfather, and his trip to Spain in order to settle the estate.
Of course, the fact that artist Rafael Hurtago's will actually says "to my grandson, Armon Hurt, I leave my house in Ronda, Spain and the uncertainty of its contents. May he discover his belonging" is the first clue that the story is more than it seems. Though the novel is short (a mere 106 pages), it contains an entire creative universe. There are tales within tales. A puzzle leads to self-discovery and nine days in Ronda have the potential to change the protagonist's life.
Reading Bantock's work is a sensory experience. The Forgetting Room is gorgeously illustrated. The art is integral to the story and the scrapbook-like nature of the book allows for the reader to interact with the narrative and participate in the story.