Skip to main content

Memorial Day Hours

DC Public Library will be open online only on Monday, May 27 in observation of Memorial Day. The DC Public Library is open online for customers 365 days a year! Access digital resources and watch live and pre-recorded virtual programs on Youtube

Learn More About Library Hours

Here's a reading list featuring fiction and nonfiction dealing with the ways in which information and data can shape the world.


Fiction

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson 

Image
Book

This wry, time-hopping novel connects the code-breakers of World War II to the early days of the World Wide Web.


 

1984 by George Orwell 

Image
Book

No introduction can be needed for this classic novel of surveillance, totalitarianism, and the horrors of linguistic control.


Minority Report by Philip K. Dick 

Image
Book

The short story that inspired the film, “Minority Report” examines the ethics and dangers of advance information, and questions the concept of free will.


The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon 

Image
Book

In a near-future America where language has become a commodity, a strange malady called “word flu” begins to decimate the population.


Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 

Image
Book

The perfect novel for those of us who can’t decide whether we’d rather work at Google Headquarters or in a dusty antiquarian bookstore.


Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 

Image
Book

Shortly after humanity has become all but extinct, a survivor tries to piece together what happened—and to relate to the semi-human creatures left behind.


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 

Image
Book

Another book that needs no introduction, and which is certainly the most ironic title to grace every list of frequently-challenged books. The protagonist of this surreal book is shuffled and shunted through a fortress-like criminal justice system, punished by a vague and detached authority for a crime that is not revealed to the reader—or the criminal.


Nonfiction

Dataclysm by Christian Rudder 

Image
Book

One of the founders of Ok Cupid uses data from dating sites and social media to demonstrate how our data-proven behaviors diverge from our social narratives. 


Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg 

Image
Book

Dating and data collide again in this combination of a personal relationship manifesto and an engaging look at the state of romance in the internet age. 


Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free by Cory Doctorow 

Image
Book

The internet and other technologies have permanently changed the way copyright and artistic industries work, and will continue to shape creative work in the future.


No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald 

Image
Book

The definitive account of Greenwald and Edward Snowden’s exposure of the NSA’s data collection programs, and a resounding indictment of the surveillance state. 


Dragnet Nation by Julia Angwin 

Image
Book

A chilling reminder not to become complacent as the government, private companies, and criminals use data collection to observe and influence individuals and society.


Panopticism and Other Writings by Michel Foucault 

Image
Book

This classic of philosophy becomes increasingly relevant as surveillance programs leave individuals so often “the object of information, never a subject in communication.” 


Looking to get personalized reading recommendations from DC Public Library staff? Fill out this form and a curated list will get sent directly to your inbox!

About the Author: Esti B.