K is for Key, as in the Key to the Cipher

Today’s Post is brought to you by the letter

Where K is for Key. As in cipher key.

I like books about codes. As in secret codes, not writing code as in computer programming. There are some similarities between coding and encoding, but for now, let’s leave it at I like books about secret codes.

I’ve mentioned Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson before in this blog. I called it twisted history at the time. Cryptonomicon is mostly about codes, as in secret codes and encryption systems. I really like this aspect of the book. Enigma by Robert Harris also includes a lot of secret code stuff in it, as the action centres around Bletchley Park, home of English and Allied code-breaking operations. Bletchley Park also features in Cryptonomicon. I’m sure there are other books that feature WW2 code breaking, but those are the two I know about and enjoyed reading.

Codes also feature in Have His Carcass, by Dorothy L. Sayers. HHC features Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane finding bodies and solving murder mysteries. It comes after Strong Poison, and before Gaudy Night. If you like the characters, HHC has them, PLUS, as an added bonus, it has secret codes. And spies. And all kinds of cool stuff. You should check it out.

I’ve got A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar on my shelf to read. It is also about cryptography. I’m interested in the subject, and think the book looks fascinating, so I’m not quite sure why I haven’t read it yet. So many lovely things to read though, that could be part of it. I get distracted by other shiny books.

Update: You may remember that I thought I might read Fifth Business by Robertson Davies but wasn’t sure because of the person who recommended it. I’m almost finished and totally hooked on Robertson Davies. Now I can say I’ve read Davies!

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2 Comments

Filed under What to Read Next

2 responses to “K is for Key, as in the Key to the Cipher

  1. The Constant Reader

    Tch, finally. Once you’ve finished the Deptford trilogy you can move on to the Salterton or Cornish trilogies. What’s Bred in the Bone is kind of ridiculously amazing. Also you should sample the Samuel Marchbanks books as they are humourous and delightful. And acerbic.

    • You’ll be happy to know that my copy of Fifth Business is part of a Deptford Omnibus volume. Also, handily, the Salterton and Cornish Omnibus volumes walked into the store on Wednesday. The person who brought them in wondered was I interested in some Robertson Davies as well as the theology volumes she’d emailed me about. Um, yes. So I’ve got those on my shelf. Plus The Cunning Man.

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