I just bought "The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis"... as my personal tribute to one of the greatest of the last century.
If we believe in this book, and we have vivid evidence on earth for people to believe in books (identity, history, religion, everything is underlying the patterns of narration), José Saramago has another 8 or 9 months left on earth.
Indeed, through his works, he has left a little eternity (which can be distinguished from a big eternity only by a small word indicating major euphemism).
I've just finished my thesis about the respective novel two months ago, excellent choice of yours.
Make sure you are familiar to the works and life of Fernando Pessoa while you are reading it, especially with the odes of his his heteronym Ricardo Reis, obviously (which I suppose you are already). It really increases the fun of reading the book.
There is a lot of discourse concerning the Spanish Civil War and the Portuguese Estado Novo in it as well, which you will most surely enjoy.
I've started reading "Death with Interruptions" these days and it so far is very promising, as everything I read of him so far.
Fare thee well, José Saramago! I'll miss your miracles that were still to come.