10 books like Alan Turing

By Andrew Hodges,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Alan Turing. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Glamour Boys

By Chris Bryant,

Book cover of The Glamour Boys: The Secret Story of the Rebels who Fought for Britain to Defeat Hitler

David C. Dawson Author Of A Death in Berlin

From the list on historical gay heroes.

Who am I?

I’ve read a lot of books that feature gay characters. These characters often partition into two main groups: angsty men who are victims of oppression or illness, or camp stereotypes who provide the light relief. I prefer to read about heroes who happen to be gay. That’s why I started writing novels. My recent books are historical novels inspired by real gay heroes. The feedback I get from readers indicates that there are a lot of people who want the same as I do.

David's book list on historical gay heroes

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books on historical gay heroes .

Why this book?

The untold true story of how a group of gay MPs lobbied the British government to stop its policy of appeasing Hitler in the run up to WWII. It’s a book about patriotic heroes who are criminals in their own land because of their sexuality. It moved me deeply and inspired my own fictional thriller set in Berlin in 1933.

The Glamour Boys

By Chris Bryant,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Glamour Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A STORY OF UNSUNG BRAVERY AT A DEFINING MOMENT IN BRITAIN'S HISTORY

'Superb' Stephen Fry
'Thrillingly told' Dan Jones
'Fascinating' Neil MacGregor
'Astonishing' Peter Frankopan

We like to think we know the story of how Britain went to war with Germany in 1939, but there is one chapter that has never been told. In the early 1930s, a group of young, queer British MPs visited Berlin on a series of trips that would change the course of the Second World War.

Having witnessed the Nazis' brutality first-hand, these men were some of the first to warn Britain about Hitler, repeatedly…


The Hut Six Story

By Gordon Welchman,

Book cover of The Hut Six Story: Breaking the Enigma Codes

Mark Baldwin

From the list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.

Who am I?

Dr. Mark Baldwin – aka Dr. Enigma – is a world expert and speaker on the Enigma machine and has delivered over 700 presentations and demonstrations (using his own, genuine wartime Enigma machine) to some 70,000 people around the world. He has spoken to a wide range of audiences, from cybersecurity experts and software developers at leading Silicon Valley tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, and PayPal, to academic audiences at universities, executives at business conferences, and the general public in a couple of hundred one-man theatre shows.

Mark's book list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park .

Why this book?

The Enigma story and Bletchley Park are now legitimate subjects for academic study, but modern books are necessarily written by people without first-hand experience of wartime Intelligence work. As a publisher, I have always been keen to record the experiences of those people personally involved in such things, and Welchman was not just a leading codebreaker at Bletchley Park throughout the whole war, he was also instrumental in transforming a random collection of a hundred academics into a non-stop production line of codebreaking and Intelligence, employing over ten thousand people. This, our best-selling book, continues to intrigue readers worldwide.

The Hut Six Story

By Gordon Welchman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hut Six Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Welchman, Gordon


The Bletchley Park Codebreakers

By Ralph Erskine, Michael Smith,

Book cover of The Bletchley Park Codebreakers

Mark Baldwin

From the list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.

Who am I?

Dr. Mark Baldwin – aka Dr. Enigma – is a world expert and speaker on the Enigma machine and has delivered over 700 presentations and demonstrations (using his own, genuine wartime Enigma machine) to some 70,000 people around the world. He has spoken to a wide range of audiences, from cybersecurity experts and software developers at leading Silicon Valley tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, and PayPal, to academic audiences at universities, executives at business conferences, and the general public in a couple of hundred one-man theatre shows.

Mark's book list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park .

Why this book?

This anthology is a valuable complement to my first book, with a couple of dozen contributors: a mixture of some who worked at Bletchley Park during the war, and some who are professional historians. The passage of time has encouraged archival research, and allowed historical analysis, producing an authoritative account of Bletchley’s achievements, particularly the breaking of millions of Enigma-enciphered messages.

The Bletchley Park Codebreakers

By Ralph Erskine, Michael Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bletchley Park Codebreakers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The British codebreakers at Bletchley Park are now believed to have shortened the duration of the Second World War by up to two years. During the dark days of 1941, as Britain stood almost alone against the the Nazis, this remarkable achievement seemed impossible. This extraordinary book, originally published as Action This Day, includes descriptions by some of Britain's foremost historians of the work of Bletchley Park, from the breaking ofEnigma and other wartime codes to the invention of modern computing, and its influence on Cold War codebreaking. Crucially, it features personal reminiscences and very human stories of wartime codebreaking…


X Y & Z

By Dermot Turing,

Book cover of X Y & Z: The Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken

Mark Baldwin

From the list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.

Who am I?

Dr. Mark Baldwin – aka Dr. Enigma – is a world expert and speaker on the Enigma machine and has delivered over 700 presentations and demonstrations (using his own, genuine wartime Enigma machine) to some 70,000 people around the world. He has spoken to a wide range of audiences, from cybersecurity experts and software developers at leading Silicon Valley tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, and PayPal, to academic audiences at universities, executives at business conferences, and the general public in a couple of hundred one-man theatre shows.

Mark's book list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park .

Why this book?

The brilliance of the Bletchley Park codebreakers is undoubted, but it must be remembered that they did not start from scratch; they built on the work of the cryptanalysts of the Polish Cipher Bureau, who had first broken Enigma ciphers in 1932, and then passed on all their knowledge to Britain in 1939, before the war began. The tentative and suspicious negotiations between Poland, France and the UK were convoluted and lengthy. Alan Turing’s nephew conducted ground-breaking research in archives in the UK, France, Germany, Poland and the USA to compile this unrivalled account of those early days.

X Y & Z

By Dermot Turing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked X Y & Z as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

December, 1932
In the bathroom of a Belgian hotel, a French spymaster photographs top-secret documents - the operating instructions of the cipher machine, Enigma. A few weeks later a mathematician in Warsaw begins to decipher the coded communications of the Third Reich and lays the foundations for the code-breaking operation at Bletchley Park. The co-operation between France, Britain and Poland is given the cover-name 'X, Y & Z'.
December, 1942
It is the middle of World War Two. The Polish code-breakers have risked their lives to continue their work inside Vichy France, even as an uncertain future faces their homeland.…


Delusions of Intelligence

By R.A. Ratcliff,

Book cover of Delusions of Intelligence: Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers

Mark Baldwin

From the list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.

Who am I?

Dr. Mark Baldwin – aka Dr. Enigma – is a world expert and speaker on the Enigma machine and has delivered over 700 presentations and demonstrations (using his own, genuine wartime Enigma machine) to some 70,000 people around the world. He has spoken to a wide range of audiences, from cybersecurity experts and software developers at leading Silicon Valley tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, and PayPal, to academic audiences at universities, executives at business conferences, and the general public in a couple of hundred one-man theatre shows.

Mark's book list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park .

Why this book?

At my presentations, I am so often asked ‘Didn’t the Germans know the Allies had broken Enigma?’ and ‘Did Germany have something like Bletchley Park?’ This book answers questions like these, and shows, in particular, the unjustified faith the Germans had in the Enigma machine. Believing its ciphers to be unbreakable, they failed to spot evidence of its weaknesses and vulnerability.

Delusions of Intelligence

By R.A. Ratcliff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Delusions of Intelligence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1974, the British government admitted that its WWII secret intelligence organization had read Germany's ciphers on a massive scale. The intelligence from these decrypts influenced the Atlantic, the Eastern Front and Normandy. Why did the Germans never realize the Allies had so thoroughly penetrated their communications? As German intelligence experts conducted numerous internal investigations that all certified their ciphers' security, the Allies continued to break more ciphers and plugged their own communication leaks. How were the Allies able to so thoroughly exploit Germany's secret messages? How did they keep their tremendous success a secret? What flaws in Germany's organization…


Book cover of Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius

Harry Collins Author Of Gravity's Kiss: The Detection of Gravitational Waves

From the list on making reality.

Who am I?

The big question that was the basis of my career was ‘When someone says “hello” to you, how do you know you should say “hello” back?’ Ever since I heard that question as a young student, I have been trying to understand the answer. The question has taken me through philosophy, sociology, and the most exciting, detailed studies of scientific research. What more could one want in terms of an interesting life?  I hope that if you read Gravity’s Kiss, you’ll see that it is answering a philosophical question as well as a scientific question.

Harry's book list on making reality

Discover why each book is one of Harry's favorite books on making reality .

Why this book?

Wittgenstein is the key philosopher of how what we do and what we think combine to give us a view of the world and a set of things we take for granted – our ‘form of life’.  It is almost impossibly hard to read his book, Philosophical Investigations and, in any case, philosophers disagree about what it means.  But Monk entertainingly and interestingly explains his ideas through his biography: he makes Wittgenstein’s later philosophy readily comprehensible. 

Ludwig Wittgenstein

By Ray Monk,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ludwig Wittgenstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Great philosophical biographies can be counted on one hand. Monk's life of Wittgenstein is such a one." The Christian Science Monitor.


Book cover of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Richard Botelho Author Of The Full Extent: An Inquiry Into Reality and Destiny

From the list on reality and destiny.

Who am I?

I'm an author, thinker, philosopher, and social critic. My previous books include gold award winner The New Individualism: Personal Change to Transform Society, Leah’s Way, and Reason for Existence. My works are used in hundreds of colleges and universities and have been featured in several publications. I received my B.A. in Government and M.A. in Government from California State University, Sacramento. My thesis was entitled “Toward a Credible Central Intelligence Agency.” The research included interviews with the intelligence community and national security officials, including a former CIA Director. That process enabled vast insights into the structures and functions of society, specifically the confluence of politics, economics, power, technology, security, order, religion, and transformation.

Richard's book list on reality and destiny

Discover why each book is one of Richard's favorite books on reality and destiny .

Why this book?

Perhaps one of the greatest books ever written. Kuhn is one of the most brilliant thinkers in human history, the creator of the word “paradigm.” This book examines how science progresses over time, one worldview replacing another. More significantly, Kuhn argued that defenders of the current paradigm resist any challenge to its tenets to maintain respect and privilege. In short, science is limited by human insecurity and ego. I found this book to be imperative to any understanding of how the world works. 

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

By Thomas S. Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were-and still are. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. And fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Kuhn challenged long-standing…


The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller,

Book cover of The Song of Achilles

Beth C. Greenberg Author Of First Quiver

From the list on the Greek myths you thought you knew.

Who am I?

Let’s face it – the Greek gods are a self-centered, quick-tempered, jealous, prideful, and insatiable bunch. Even the all-powerful Zeus falls victim to his overactive libido and vengeful wife! While superpowers are enticing, it’s the gods’ faults and weaknesses –their human qualities – that make them so irresistible to me. As a writer, I love poking at my characters’ soft underbelly. Where are they vulnerable? What can they not bear to lose? Can they recognize their mistakes and grow? And this question pulled me down Cupid’s Fall rabbit hole: What if the God of Love got a dose of his own medicine?

Beth's book list on the Greek myths you thought you knew

Discover why each book is one of Beth's favorite books on the Greek myths you thought you knew .

Why this book?

I am a complete sucker for a beautiful M/M coming-of-age love story – the more forbidden, the better. With an ominous curse over his head and a downright evil sea goddess for a mother, the great warrior Achilles isn’t exactly destined for happiness. Nor is the exiled prince Patroclus, whose sweet and gentle nature leaves him ever-so-vulnerable to the Powers That Be. Perhaps it’s the fact that these two doomed boys find so much joy in their pure, mutual love that makes their story so achingly haunting. Everyone knows how the story of Achilles ends, but until author Madeline Miller dragged this love story out into the light, very few of us were aware of the gorgeous, doomed love he and Patroclus shared.

The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Song of Achilles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**OVER 1.5 MILLION COPIES SOLD**
**A 10th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION, FEATURING A NEW FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR**

WINNER OF THE ORANGE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION
A SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

'Captivating' DONNA TARTT
'I loved it' J K ROWLING
'Ravishingly vivid' EMMA DONOGHUE

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms…


The Code Breaker

By Walter Isaacson,

Book cover of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

C.A. Farlow Author Of A Quantum Singularity: Book Three in The Nexus Series

From the list on mixing science, fiction, and adventure.

Who am I?

I grew up in farm country of central Indiana. But spent my summers on an island in northern Ontario with my grandparents. My grandfather was a self-taught naturalist and shared his love and fascination of the world around us with me. I went on to become a geologist and traveled the globe exploring for natural resources. My love of nature and science is the foundation for the science fiction I write. Whether a proven theory, a fantastical hypothesis, or true science fiction, it’s all based on science fact. It allows everyone to learn about a world built in science fiction which one day may exist in science fact.

C.A.'s book list on mixing science, fiction, and adventure

Discover why each book is one of C.A.'s favorite books on mixing science, fiction, and adventure .

Why this book?

Few biographies represent subjects who are still alive. And most often the subject is the main character. However, in Code Breaker, the main character is not limited to Jennifer Doudna. The structural biologist from the University of California, Berkeley. It is also about a team of people all contributing to the discovery of CRISPR. Modern science takes a team and this is true here as well. Isaacson wrote this marvel during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the new science was used to battle this worldwide threat.

The book also highlights how science is built on a foundation of others’ discoveries, melding multiple areas of study, building on their ideas, but defining a new path to take. 

CRISPR took a village. This revolutionary gene-splicing technique could usher in a new era of gene therapy and be a tool for medicine to ‘fix’ gene mutations and cure disease. With every great discovery…

The Code Breaker

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Code Breaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The best-selling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns.

In 2012, Nobel Prize winning scientist Jennifer Doudna hit upon an invention that will transform the future of the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA.

Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. It has already been deployed to cure deadly diseases, fight the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and make inheritable changes in the genes of babies.

But what does that mean for humanity? Should we be hacking our own DNA to make us less susceptible to disease? Should…


Labyrinths

By Jorge Luis Borges,

Book cover of Labyrinths

Stephen Jarvis Author Of Death and Mr. Pickwick

From the list on turning you into a novelist.

Who am I?

Loads of people want to be writers and the dream can come true! It did for me. So, I want to tell people about the books that have helped to turn me into a novelist. Initially, I wrote journalistic pieces about bizarre leisure activities for various British newspapers and magazines: I lay on a bed of nails, walked on red hot coals, met people who collect bricks as a hobby...and even lost my underpants while performing on the flying trapeze! (No kidding!) But my ultimate goal was always to become a novelist. Then, one day, I discovered the subject I just had to turn into a novel. And the result was...Death and Mr. Pickwick

Stephen's book list on turning you into a novelist

Discover why each book is one of Stephen's favorite books on turning you into a novelist .

Why this book?

Borges writes only short fiction—and his collection of stories Labyrinths made a huge impression on me. The stories have a clean, almost mathematical style, and are often based on a single, bizarre concept. For instance: just suppose there existed a library in which the books represent all the possible combinations of the letters of the alphabet—so some books consist of nonsense, others consist of the complete works of Shakespeare, or even Shakespeare’s works differing by one letter from the original. In my book, I include an inset story about a man called Mr. N, who spends fifteen years of his life cataloguing every word in The Pickwick Papers and this story was strongly influenced by Borges.

Labyrinths

By Jorge Luis Borges,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Labyrinths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The groundbreaking trans-genre work of Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) has been insinuating itself into the structure, stance, and very breath of world literature for well over half a century. Multi-layered, self-referential, elusive, and allusive writing is now frequently labeled Borgesian. Umberto Eco's international bestseller, The Name of the Rose, is, on one level, an elaborate improvisation on Borges' fiction "The Library," which American readers first encountered in the original 1962 New Directions publication of Labyrinths.

This new edition of Labyrinths, the classic representative selection of Borges' writing edited by Donald A. Yates and James E. Irby (in translations…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in mathematicians, Alan Turing, and Bletchley Park?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about mathematicians, Alan Turing, and Bletchley Park.

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