The most recommended books about Bletchley Park

Who picked these books? Meet our 17 experts.

17 authors created a book list connected to Bletchley Park, and here are their favorite Bletchley Park books.
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Book cover of The Codebreakers

Belinda Alexandra Author Of Tuscan Rose

From my list on women in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Belinda Alexandra is the author of nine bestselling historical fiction novels and a non-fiction book about the history of women and cats. The daughter of a Russian mother and an Australian father, Belinda has been fascinated by world history and culture since her youth. Having had grandparents whose lives had been turned upside by revolutions and wars, she is deeply interested in how global events affect the course of ordinary people’s lives.

Belinda's book list on women in WW2

Belinda Alexandra Why did Belinda love this book?

The Codebreakers is based on real events and tells the little-known story of the young Australian women who worked with Central Bureau in Brisbane, during the Second World War. Ellie O’Sullivan is recruited from her aviation engineering job to decipher enemy communications. It quickly becomes evident that what happens on the home front – especially in intelligence services – is as important in deciding the outcome of the conflict as are soldiers, aeroplanes, and tanks. If Ellie misses an important code, it could cost thousands of Allied lives. What struck me most about Ellie and her colleagues was how young they were to have such a responsibility on their shoulders. They could never talk about their work and, even when experiencing the most heartbreaking grief at the loss of their own menfolk, they had to hold their nerves and carry on. Alli Sinclair tells this tale with such deep affection…

By Alli Sinclair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They will dedicate their lives to their country, but no one will ever know...

A compelling story about tenacity and friendship, inspired by the real codebreaking women of Australia's top-secret Central Bureau in WWII. For readers who love Judy Nunn and Kate Quinn.


1943, Brisbane: The war continues to devastate and the battle for the Pacific threatens Australian shores. For Ellie O'Sullivan, helping the war effort means utilising her engineering skills for Qantas as they evacuate civilians and deliver supplies to armed forces overseas. Her exceptional logic and integrity attract the attention of Central Bureau - an intelligence organisation working…


Book cover of The Rose Code

Bruce Stachenfeld Author Of Faythe of North Hinkapee: The Saga of a Young Woman’s Quest for Justice and Love in Colonial America

From my list on irrepressible, exciting and heroic female lead characters that you will never forget.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made up Faythe of North Hinkapee by being a jerk! I was ranting about how bad a "best seller" book I had read was. My wife looked at me and said, "So, could you write a bestseller?" I was challenged, and then, somehow, this book just tumbled out. It was about a girl in Colonial Timesher family burned as witchesvowing vengeance and how she gets it. My wife looked at me and said: “My God, that could be a bestseller!’ My kids also loved the story. For about twenty years, I planned to write it, and after a ton of work, I finally finished.

Bruce's book list on irrepressible, exciting and heroic female lead characters that you will never forget

Bruce Stachenfeld Why did Bruce love this book?

I loved this book!

Three women, all different, all with amazing characters, decoding Nazi transmissions during WWII. I loved the women as their characters developed. And I admit I was chilled and fearful as to how it would turn out since the beginning (almost) tells you the end, but definitely not quite. So, I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Not a book I would want to start reading before a work deadline since I would probably be up all night and blow the deadline.

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

10 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…


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

Mark Baldwin

From my list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Mark Baldwin Why did Mark love 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.

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


Book cover of The Bletchley Park Codebreakers

Mark Baldwin

From my list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Mark Baldwin Why did Mark love 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.

By Michael Smith, Ralph Erskine,

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…


Book cover of Alan Turing: The Enigma

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

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

C.A. Farlow Why did C.A. love this book?

This is a book that is at once a biography, a testament to human genius in the face of imminent danger, and a story of human injustice. Alan Turing had an idea about a ‘universal machine’. A machine, when built at Bletchley Park, allowed the Allies in World War II to crack the German Enigma ciphers. This universal machine laid the foundations for modern computing and all the amazing advances we enjoy today. But at a price for Turing, he fought inner demons about his homosexuality and eventually paid the ultimate price.

I marveled at his genius, cheered his cryptographic successes with each cipher cracked, shouted against the tragedy of his arrest, cried at his untimely death. A death at his own hand at the age of 41. The world lost a genius due to a society’s labelling of homosexuality as a crime.

We still live in this world of…

By Andrew Hodges,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Alan Turing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This New York Times-bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in 2013, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life. Capturing both the inner…


Book cover of The London Restoration

Sarah Sundin Author Of Until Leaves Fall in Paris

From my list on World War II novels to inspire you.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sarah Sundin’s love for the stories of World War II comes from family members who served during the war on the US Home Front and abroad. Her passion for research and travel has fueled her award-winning novels. The horrors of the war brought out the worst in humanity. Yet they also brought out the best in humanity, and those stories—of people who chose kindness and courage and right in trying times—are the stories that inspire us to choose kindness and courage and right in our own trying times.

Sarah's book list on World War II novels to inspire you

Sarah Sundin Why did Sarah love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Girl from Bletchley Park

Gill Thompson Author Of The Child on Platform One

From my list on World War Two featuring strong women.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher, I spent forty years at the chalkface before finally achieving my ambition to be a published writer. My first novel was about a child migrant to Australia; my second about a little girl on the kinder transport. I wanted to write about strong women in world war two. All three of the mothers in my stories are separated from their children and have to make some tough decisions. I hope my readers will remember them for their courage and tenacity and that they’ll enjoy reading about them as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. 

Gill's book list on World War Two featuring strong women

Gill Thompson Why did Gill love this book?

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. 

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.…


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

Peter Grose Author Of A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives in World War II

From my list on World War 2 from several different perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve now written three histories of World War 2. A Very Rude Awakening tells the story of the Japanese midget submarine raid into Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May 1942. An Awkward Truth deals with the Japanese air raid on the town of Darwin in northern Australia on 19 February 1942. (The raid was carried out by the same force that hit Pearl Harbor ten weeks earlier.) These two books have both been filmed. My third book, A Good Place To Hide, is my pairing for this page. Last but not least, if you want a signed copy of my books, then do my friend Gary Jackson and me a favour by going here and clicking on the link "Buy Books and DVDs."

Peter's book list on World War 2 from several different perspectives

Peter Grose Why did Peter love this book?

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…

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


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

Mark Baldwin

From my list on the Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Mark Baldwin Why did Mark love 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.

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.…