Umberto Eco, Translated by William Weaver
The Name of the Rose is an amazing book. Eco’s story is set amid a turbulent time in European history, filled with references that more than a few times sent me to the encyclopedia to look up things. At it’s heart Name of the Rose is a mystery but the history, theology, philosophy and myriad of other subjects Eco covers will suck you in and leave you, like the main characters, hungry for knowledge. Having seen the movie you may expect that you know the answer to the mystery and that this may spoil your reading of the book. This is in no way the case—the book is so much more complex and gripping than the movie was.
(If like me you do not speak German, Latin, French, Italian and Greek then I recommend getting The Key to The Name of the Rose which contains translations of all the passages not translated into English in the American version of Name of the Rose.)