The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Why this book?
First and foremost, The Code Book is a gripping read. It revisits some of the most influential moments in history when cryptography played a role in changing the world. I first read this book as a junior cryptographic researcher and it was the moment I realized that the subject I was studying was not just interesting from a professional standpoint, but was important for the whole world. I also loved that Simon Singh could take complicated technical concepts and convey them to a general audience. More than two decades later, cryptography is dramatically more important than it was when The Code Book was written. I spend much of my professional life communicating this to all sorts of different audiences, and can trace part of my inspiration back to this book.