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Light reading for a break from Finance: Cryptonomicon and Prayers for an Assassin: Neal Stephenson and Robert Ferrigno

So you can’t see yourself doing any more numbers. Your mind is numb and you would like a good read far away from the world of Banking and Finance.

Two of my all time favorite escapes from Finance are Cryptonomicon and Prayers for an Assassin.

Cryptonomicon is not as far removed from the world of banking as I may have hinted initially but it is a remarkably well written combo of history, timelines and elements of embedded computer science. But I must warn you, you either love Neal Stephensen or you hate him, there is no middle ground. Crypto’s theme weaves across World War II, Manila, Brunei, Hackers and unbeatable codes with some violence thrown in for good measure.

Robert Ferrigno’s Prayers for an Assassin is a remarkably different book. I loved it while a family friend thought that I must be sick to be reading a book like Assassins. If you like a summarized theme, think Islamic Republic of North America, alternate timelines (obviously) and a likeable Assassin by the name of Rakkim. When I found Prayers at a bookstore in Malaysia, its cover and summarized theme made me pick it up. Turn a few pages and Ferrigno’s style will get its hooks into you. And then there is no turning back. Once again, the book is exceedingly violent with two very disturbing themes that may turn your stomach. Not recommended for younger readers at all.

Prayers for the Assassin – Robert Ferrigno

Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson

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