I was very sorry to read about the death of the great Italian author Umberto Eco on Friday. I was only looking at his new novel Numero Zero the other day and adding it to my list of books I want to read. I loved The Name of the Rose, and every year I tell myself that I need to re-read Foucault’s Pendulum, something I read a long time ago and found both hugely enjoyable and mysterious. It is so rare that an intellectual Italian like Eco can cross-over into the mainstream Anglophone book world (let alone mainstream Italian book world). His death is a big loss.