The Rose in the Shadow of the Fingerpost

Rather than concluding the year with a list of the best books of 2010 (though I, like Adso of Melk, do find lists to be wondrous instruments), I completed a lengthy survey of the best books of earlier eras. I read Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind (2001), An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (1997), and The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1980), a cycle of three books which are often cited referentially. The books dovetail nicely (as the cover art might attest), but I’m more interested in how they tied in to the close of the year. Just as I was finishing The Name of the Rose a slide show of Vatican library holdings manifested on the website of The New Yorker. Furthermore the memory of the terrible conflagration that consumed the Provo Tabernacle will remain permanently ingrained with my recollections of these books.

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