There are countless Umberto Eco courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.
1. How to Write a Thesis (The MIT Press) (2015)
By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, he was one of Italy’s most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics. Some years before that, in 1977, Eco published a little book for his students, How to Write a Thesis, in which he offered useful advice on all the steps involved in researching and writing a thesis―from choosing a topic to organizing a work schedule to writing the final draft. Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a…
2. Name of the Rose (2014)
An international sensation and winner of the Premio Strega and the Prix Médicis Étranger awards The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and…
3. History of Beauty (2010)
Now in paperback, Umberto Eco’s groundbreaking and much-acclaimed first illustrated book has been a critical success since its first publication in 2004. What is beauty? Umberto Eco, among Italy’s finest and most important contemporary thinkers, explores the nature, the meaning, and the very history of the idea of beauty in Western culture. The profound and subtle text is lavishly illustrated with abundant examples of sublime painting and sculpture and lengthy quotations from writers and philosophers. This is the first paperback edition of History of Beauty,…
4. Foucault’s Pendulum (2007)
Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up “the Plan,” a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled―a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth. Orchestrating…
5. On Ugliness (2011)
In the mold of his acclaimed History of Beauty, renowned cultural critic Umberto Eco’s On Ugliness is an exploration of the monstrous and the repellant in visual culture and the arts. What is the voyeuristic impulse behind our attraction to the gruesome and the horrible? Where does the magnetic appeal of the sordid and the scandalous come from? Is ugliness also in the eye of the beholder? Eco’s encyclopedic knowledge and captivating storytelling skills combine in this ingenious study of the Ugly, revealing that what we often shield ourselves from and shun in everyday life is what we’re most attracted to subliminally. Topics…
6. Chronicles of a Liquid Society (2018)
Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. In this, his last collection, the celebrated essayist and novelist observes the changing world around him with irrepressible curiosity and profound wisdom. He sees with fresh eyes the upheaval in ideological values, the crises in politics, and the unbridled individualism that have become the backdrop of our lives—a “liquid” society in which it’s not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets abound. In these pieces, written for his regular column in L’Espresso magazine, Eco brings his dazzling erudition and keen…
7. Travels in Hyperreality (Harvest Book) (1990)
Eco displays in these essays the same wit, learning, and lively intelligence that delighted readers of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. His range is wide, and his insights are acute, frequently ironic, and often downright funny. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book…
Eco’s essays read like letters from a friend, trying to share something he loves with someone he likes…. Read this brilliant, enjoyable, and possibly revolutionary book.” ―George J. Leonard, San Francisco Review of Books… a wealth of insight and instruction.” ―J. O. Tate, National ReviewIf anyone can make [semiotics] clear, it’s Professor Eco…. Professor Eco’s theme deserves respect; language should be used to communicate more easily without literary border guards.” ―The New York TimesThe limits of interpretation mark the limits of our world….
9. The Prague Cemetery (2012)
“Vintage Eco . . . the book is a triumph.” – New York Review of BooksNineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The…
10. Island Of The Day Before (2006)
After a violent storm in the South Pacific in the year 1643, Roberto della Griva finds himself shipwrecked-on a ship. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing. As Roberto explores the different cabinets in the hold, he remembers chapters from his youth: Ferrante, his imaginary evil brother; the siege of Casale, that meaningless chess move in the Thirty Years’ War in which he lost his father and his illusions; and the…
Best Umberto Eco Books That Will Hook You
We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some umberto eco books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.
On the Shoulders of Giants
Author(s): Umberto Eco; Alastair McEwen
Publisher: Belknap Press, Year: 2019, Size: 1 Mb, Download: epub
Umberto Eco, The Da Vinci Code, and the Intellectual in the Age of Popular Culture
Author(s): Douglass Merrell
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2017, Size: 11 Mb, Download: pdf
Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are really record-breakers according to The Wall Street Journal, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.