Sunday, October 02, 2011

Top 10 books of the 1980s

Andy McSmith is a senior writer at the Independent and the author of biographies of John Smith and Kenneth Clarke, a collection of short biographies called Faces of Labour, and the novel Innocent in the House. His latest book is No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s.

At the Guardian, McSmith named his top book for each year in the 1980s. His pick for 1983:
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1983)

The decade's most unlikely bestseller was a murder mystery set in Italy in the year 1327, with a monk taking on the role of detective and lot of other monks turning up dead all over the monastery. It was first published in Italian, but after the English translation went on the market, in 1983, sales reputedly topped 50m. It is very erudite, so you can treat it either a slight summer reading, or a history lesson. The solution is a bit of let-down, but it was worth the journey.
Read about another book on the list.

The Name of the Rose is one of Ian Rankin's five favorite literary crime novels and Vanora Bennett's five favorite historical novels.

--Marshal Zeringue