Baudolino is one of my favourite books. Flat out. I’ve read Foucault’s Pendulum, it was too smart for me I think. I’m a pretty clever guy and I enjoyed the book but I know a lot of it will have gone over my head. The Name of the Rose is great, but Baudolino is the one for me.

Books aside I love Eco’s essays and interviews, none moreso than this one, and mostly for this exchange:

INTERVIEWER

Have you read The Da Vinci Code?

ECO

Yes, I am guilty of that too.

INTERVIEWER

That novel seems like a bizarre little offshoot of Foucault’s Pendulum.

ECO

The author, Dan Brown, is a character from Foucault’s Pendulum! I invented him. He shares my characters’ fascinations—the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist.

I like this too:

INTERVIEWER

You once said that semiotics is the theory of lying.

ECO

Instead of “lying,” I should have said, “telling the contrary of the truth.” Human beings can tell fairy tales, imagine new worlds, make mistakes—and we can lie. Language accounts for all those possibilities.