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Hello and welcome along to another post to celebrate indie publishing, where I like to shine the light on another book from an independent publisher or author and share some book love with you all.  At the moment I’m having great trouble typing as I’ve got gloves on, proper fluffy type gloves because I’m so cold right now, I’ve even got a cuppa to curl my hands round in an effort to keep them warm haha I apologise in advance for spelling errors, the gloves make it tricky to type (that’s my excuse!).

Today’s book in the spotlight is De/Cipher: The Greatest Codes  by Mark Frary and is published by Modern Books.


Book Feature:

Description:

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What code is hidden on the 3700-year old Phaistos disc?

Why is the Voynich manuscript still unsolved after more than 400 years?

Did the decryption of the Zimmerman telegram help end World War 1?

What system was developed by GCHQ to make cipher exchange more secure and how does it work?

Since we first learned to communicate, the codemaker’s craft has challenged and fascinated us. For millennia, mankind has used the transmission of encrypted messages to protect privacy, share secrets, conceal truths and win wars. Highlighting the work of famous cryptanalysts, such as Alan Turing and the Colossus computer, De/Cipher offers compelling insight into the world of cryptography, revealing the cunning and ingenuity behind fifty of the greatest codes and ciphers.

My Thoughts & Review:

Who doesn’t love a good mystery?  I know that codes and cracking them have been a fascination of mine for many years.  As a child I would sit for hours inventing a cryptic code to pass communications and try to make it almost impossible to crack unless you knew the key (or atleast I thought I did, in reality they were probably really easy to crack).  So when I saw the details of this book I KNEW I had to check it out, it appealed to the wannabe spy within.

One of the things I loved most about this book was the volume of detail crammed within it’s 176 pages, I was curious whether it would be as in-depth as I’d hoped when my copy appeared, fearing that a slim book might mean minimal content but I was completely wrong.  Containing information about codes and historic codebreakers this is a wonderfully researched and well presented book.  I found that I devoured the pages with the codebreakers of history, ones that I had no clue about as well as more familiar faces.  It was enjoyable reading about “Madame X” aka Agnes Meyer Driscoll, a cryptoanalyst and her vital work in the US in the field of cryptography but equally I was fascinated to learn about Jonas Nordby, a runologist who broke the Jötunvillur code in 2014.  This book was a brilliant starting point and I ended up researching more about these people and their roles.  

Have you ever read a Cold War thriller where the operatives use ciphers to decrypt their messages to other spies?  Well there’s an entry in here about the Vic Cipher which was used by the Soviets during the Cold War as well as enough other ciphers to make the mind boggle!  Do you know the difference between a code and a cipher?  That’s something else you find out in this book.

An interesting book to pick up and read sections at your leisure, and one I think would make a good gift for the right person.

You can buy a copy of De/Cipher: The Greatest Codes via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

** My thanks to the lovely Alison Menzies and the folks at Modern Books for my copy of this wonderful book and for taking part in Celebrating Indie Publishing **

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