Given this sort of culture-specific nuance, I often wonder as I read a translated text, just what am I missing here? As I pour over the words, their literal meaning seems to bely an implication which I feel is lingering just beyond the boundaries of my understanding. This feeling is enhanced enormously by the fact that I have, on occasion, read the same text both in its original, and a translation--in these instances I can clearly perceive exactly when the meaning of a phrase or conversation has been altered in its new rendition, or even when the subtext of a given locution has been lost entirely. What a shame that these painstakingly crafted subtleties which might provide otherwise overlooked insight into a character or setting would be so unceremoniously cast off; orphaned by the neat little box into which all of the linguistic contrivances of a single culture fit.
Happily, though, many books are great enough that they are entirely worth reading despite the occasional inkling that some bit of the intended meaning has gone missing, and when a book is well-translated, you might circumvent such an event entirely--or at the very least, mostly.
These are some of my favorites;
Don Quixote (Miguel De Cervantes)