10 books like The Codebreakers

By Alli Sinclair,

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

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A Woman of No Importance

By Sonia Purnell,

Book cover of A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

Virginia Hall was an American spy in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. The genre is non-fiction, but the book flows like historical fiction. Hall is caught up in a male chauvinist world of spies. She is physically handicapped with a limp, but ingeniously turns the defect into an effective disguise. When her supposedly superior male spy handlers fail to provide effective guidance, Hall employs street smarts and courage to create her own spy network. They, of course, take credit for her success and only hamper her operations. This work hits nearly all of my favorite attributes of a story—a woman with superior abilities and courage is stymied and dishonored by prejudice. Irony and empathy for the character abounds. The reader is highly satisfied knowing these are the actual experiences of a real woman. 

A Woman of No Importance

By Sonia Purnell,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked A Woman of No Importance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, PopSugar, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London

Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography

"Excellent...This book is as riveting as any thriller, and as hard to put down." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people -- and a little resistance." - NPR

"A…


Anne Frank

By B.M. Mooyaart, Anne Frank,

Book cover of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

This list would not be complete without Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I immediately fell in love with Anne when I read this classic book at a young age. Perhaps the quintessential story of a young girl coming-of-age during the Holocaust, the story unfolds through the letters 13-year-old Anne writes to her diary, whom she has named “Kitty.” Despite being hidden away from the world during her most formative years because she is Jewish, Anne experiences all the normal feelings and emotions of any teenage girl. Living in dire conditions and in constant danger of being discovered, Anne dreams of her future, is moody and temperamental, experiences young love, and dares to hold onto hope. It is a timeless story that shows that no matter our background, ethnicity, religion, or race, we are more alike than different. It also highlights the strength of familial bonds and…

Anne Frank

By B.M. Mooyaart, Anne Frank,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Anne Frank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With 30 per cent more material than previous editions, this new contemporary and fully anglicized translation gives the reader a deeper insight into Anne's world. Publication of the unabridged Definitive Edition on Penguin Audiobook, read by Helena Bonham-Carter, coincides.


The Bronze Horseman

By Paullina Simons,

Book cover of The Bronze Horseman

A toast to Tatiana and Alexander! *throws back a shot of vodka*

Compounded by Simons’ exquisitely detailed storytelling, which waxes lyrical about the siege of Leningrad during the summer of 1941, these lovebirds from The Bronze Horseman sit high on my list of unforgettable historical fiction characters.

The superb languor of Alexander’s courtship with Tatiana during a time of terrible hardship helped me overlook both of their faults, and become wholly invested in them as a couple.

He is unrelenting in his desire to take care of Tatiana and her family, and while she is young and at times incredibly naïve, she is also brilliantly resilient.

The character I love to hate: Dasha. Ugh! How can a sister be so cruel?

Boy, did my emotions run the gauntlet with this one!

The Bronze Horseman

By Paullina Simons,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Bronze Horseman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE

Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.

Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents.

The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again.…


Night Witches

By Bruce Myles,

Book cover of Night Witches: The Amazing Story of Russia's Women Pilots in WWII

After seeing a documentary on the History Channel about the female soviet air regiments that were created by aviation heroine and former opera singer, Marina Raskova, in response to the German attack on Russia during the Second World War, I wanted to know more. Bruce Myles describes the varied personalities and challenges faced by these proud, capable, and extremely young airwomen and their all-female ground crew. He tells how the women were not taken seriously at first by the military command and were provided with outdated wooden biplanes that were nothing more than crop-dusters. But the women pilots and navigators used the planes to deadly effect. They would fly at night, cutting the engine and gliding in silently over enemy targets, terrifying the German army with their tactics and earning themselves the title of ‘Night Witches’. I was so inspired by Bruce Myles’ account of the women’s air regiments, that…

Night Witches

By Bruce Myles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1941 as the Nazi hordes swept eastward into the Soviet Union, the desperate call went out for women to join the Russian air force. Women responded and flew incessant bombing runs; the Germans, who came to dread them, called them 'night witches'.


The Codebreakers

By David Kahn,

Book cover of The Codebreakers: The Story Of Secret Writing

David was a pioneer. Before Codebreakers there was next to nothing in print about codebreaking. Focused on World War II, he introduced a generation of readers to a secret realm, inviting us to look behind the big green door for the first time. This generous and loyal friend alerted me to the need for comprehensive overview of American intelligence in World War II.

The Codebreakers

By David Kahn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Codebreaking is the most important form of secret intelligence in the world. It produces much more and more trustworthy information than spies, and this intelligence exerts great influences upon the policies of governments.


Total War

By Peter Calvocoressi, Guy Wint, John Pritchard

Book cover of Total War: Causes and Courses of The Second World War

This book has appeared under various titles and guises since its first publication in 1972. It is now available as The Penguin History of the Second World War. It is a bit like three books in one, since each author tackles a different theatre of World War 2.

There is a wonderful and possibly apocryphal publishing story about the changes the book underwent over the years. Peter Calvocoressi was always a distinguished historian but at the time this book first appeared in 1972 ‘Calvo’ was CEO of Penguin Books, and they were the book’s publishers. At that time Penguin also boasted one of the most brilliant editors in British publishing, Dieter Pevsner. Dieter was (naturally) the right man to edit his boss’s book. Having read it through, Dieter had a question for the boss. “I just don’t understand,” Dieter told Calvo, “how we won the Atlantic submarine war.” Calvo…

Total War

By Peter Calvocoressi, Guy Wint, John Pritchard

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Offers a detailed study of the sources of war in Europe and Asia, the impact of Nazism and the events that shaped the course of World War II in Europe and the Pacific


The Girl from Bletchley Park

By Kathleen McGurl,

Book cover of The Girl from Bletchley Park

I’m fascinated by the way the code breakers at Bletchley helped to shorten the war. In Pam, McGurl has created a strong woman, who makes key choices, sometimes at the expense of her own happiness, to support the war effort. But what I really enjoyed was the time slip nature of the novel, where Pam is contrasted to her granddaughter Julia, a modern woman, who, when let down by the men around her, becomes empowered by her own freedom. It’s interesting to see how women’s roles have changed between the 1940s and today. 

The Girl from Bletchley Park

By Kathleen McGurl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The latest unforgettable timeslip novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Secret of the Chateau.

Will love lead her to a devastating choice?

1942. Three years into the war, Pam turns down her hard-won place at Oxford University to become a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. There, she meets two young men, both keen to impress her, and Pam finds herself falling hard for one of them. But as the country's future becomes more uncertain by the day, a tragic turn of events casts doubt on her choice - and Pam's loyalty is pushed to its limits...

Present day.…


The Hut Six Story

By Gordon Welchman,

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

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 London Restoration

By Rachel McMillan,

Book cover of The London Restoration

A love letter to London, this novel takes place immediately after the war, as a newlywed couple tries to pick up the pieces and fall in love again. But she’s keeping secrets from him—she must, having served as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. And he’s struggling with nightmares from his service as an army medic. When her former boss ropes her in to help bring down a Soviet spy ring somehow connected to her beloved Christopher Wren churches, the secrets and nightmares could very well defeat them. A beautiful tale with literary depth.

The London Restoration

By Rachel McMillan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The secrets that might save a nation could shatter a marriage.

Madly in love, Diana Foyle and Brent Somerville married in London as the bombs of World War II dropped on their beloved city. Without time for a honeymoon, the couple spent the next four years apart. Diana, an architectural historian, took a top-secret intelligence post at Bletchley Park. Brent, a professor of theology at King's College, believed his wife was working for the Foreign Office as a translator when he was injured in an attack on the European front.

Now that the war is over, the Somervilles' long-anticipated reunion…


The Rose Code

By Kate Quinn,

Book cover of The Rose Code

Kate Quinn masterfully captures the bravery of the secret of Bletchley Park. The clandestineness that has surrounded the unknown code breakers has always intrigued me. In The Rose Code, we are able to look back in time as the author weaves very different personalities together as she creates a mystery around the already intriguing Bletchley Park women. The story is entertaining with the inclusion of Prince Philip and sleuthing that is worthy of Agatha Christie fans. This is a book that keeps you turning the pages and reading past the ‘one more chapter’ promise.

The Rose Code

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything-beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses-but she burns to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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