… perhaps, for a change, you also might want to read something worthwhile. In this case, I can highly recommend Andrew Robinson‘s book Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts, which I picked up more or less accidentally.
While Robinson consciously excludes the Voynich from his considerations, he gives a well-balanced insight into the deciphering (attempts) of various ancient scripts like the Egyption hieroglyphics, Mayan, Linear B and the Indus script, among others. From this list you can already see that he treats both deciphered and undeciphered scripts, also explaining why some riddles have been solved, and others are not and probably never will be.
He goes into detail over successful and failed attempts at deciphering those unknown scripts, and carefully analyses the methods used, not shunning back from going into the minutiae of the techniques employed. This is all rounded-off with biographical sketches of the people involved. The whole volume is a well-written smooth read, and makes competent use of photos and sketches to explain Robinson’s trains of thought.*)
Voynicheros will have many an “Aha” moment of enlightenment when they recognize patterns of historically (failed) decipherment attempts in ongoing VM research, for a better understanding of when the wrong track was taken, when fancy and wishful thinking took over from rational pursuit. Perhaps the book will even help a few people to avoid falling into the traps laid for the under-wary, but over-enthusiastic decipherer. Robinson also introduces some analysis methods which may be useful in the context of the VM (I have found one which I need to try. ;-)
I say it’s money well spent for a good read over the holidays.
*) I own the hardcover version, I hope this also holds true for the paperback.