There have been a few books that I have REALLY enjoyed, for a variety of reasons:
1. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco. It's just a wonderful, encyclopaedic novel. I've read other Eco books and enjoyed them, but not to the same extent.
2. A History of Reading, Alberto Manguel. Again a wonderful, crazy book.
3. A Soldier of the Great War, by Mark Helprin. This is an American novel, but to me it reads like a novel in translation.