Secret codes can prove to be fun, financially prudent, or even fatal as in the case of Mary Queen of Scots. Simon Singh does an excellent job charting the history of codes and predicting their future path in his aptly named book The Code Book. Singh starts with simple codes used in ancient times and brings us to the current use of complex prime number codes in financial transactions. Singh’s writing style is light and his explanations are easy to follow, yet the information he gives is deep. Even when he tackles the subject of quantum cryptography, readers are not left guessing--he makes the process easy to understand. I especially enjoyed the section about Alan Turing’s work to decipher the enigma coding machines used by the Germans during World War II. Singh has other books on mathematics and science topics with an average rating on Goodreads of four out of five stars. I thoroughly enjoyed The Code Book and I think you will, too.
--Amanda, Part-time Library Assistant