Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mysterious Messages: A History of Codes and Ciphers by Gary Blackwood

I realize that it almost isn't Wednesday anymore.  I'll be quick!  :)

This week I read Mysterious Messages: A History of Codes and Ciphers by Gary Blackwood.

From  the back of the book:  Spies, intrigue, and mysterious messages: they have changed the course of history.  Now there is a manual to hone the skills of tomorrow's agents.  Uncover the encrypted notes of Spartan warriors, ciphers of Italian princes, ruthless code-crackers of Elizabeth I, communiques from the American Revolution, and spy books of the Civil War. Here are the devilish Enigma machine, the honored Navajo Code Talkers, and many more.

Packed with history's most dangerous secrets and ciphers that readers can use themselves, this journey through the past's best - and most disastrous - codes and ciphers is a young spy's essential training in espionage.

From Heather:  I've gotta admit - I've always loved secret codes!  I'm still not very good at cracking them, but I love the challenge!  This book, while fun to read, is so much fun to look at.  The format and style is probably my favorite part of the book.  It feels like a notebook.  Notes look like they are stuck on each page with paperclips and staples and the pages look worn .  Even the cover of the book is soft and worn.  As much as I loved the content of this book (which I loved!  I mean, who DOESN'T love a good code puzzle now and again!) and I loved reading the history of the codes and ciphers, I really, really loved the look and feel of this book!  Go grab a copy!  It makes great bathroom reading.  (Not that I know that from experience!)