Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: Technology On and Off

Brave New World - (ISBN: 978-0060850524)

by Aldous Huxley

This classic and once-innovative science fiction book portrays the original “Big Brother” who sees everything everyone does, using the most fanciful technology Huxley could create. At the time of its release, the monitoring devices used in this book were entirely original and imaginary. Compare the types of controls the government and other Internet monitors have over a normal person’s daily activities today to what was only imagined in this ground-breaking book first published in 1932.

Even Money - (ISBN: 978-0399155918)

by Dick Francis Felix Francis

In collaboration with his son, beloved author Dick Francis paints a picture of the world of private bet takers who lodge their numbers operations near famous British racetracks. When the Internet and cell phones fail among the odds makers, no one suspects that one of the book makers himself is causing the failures right at a crucial moment in the daily pre-race betting. More technological hijinks occur when Ed Talbot, a master book maker, finds a supply of mysterious crystal tubes and a remote control unlike anything he has seen before in his father’s rucksack. His newly found father has just been murdered right in front of him. A horse-switching scheme, which results in the deaths of many expensive runners, adds to the excitement as Ed tries to solve the puzzle of the mysterious technological items he has and which everyone else seems to want. Try to think of a profession today which has not been “invaded” by technology. Even farmers ride around in air-conditioned enclosed tractor cabs and keep track of their crops by computer.

The Seventh Level - (ISBN: 978-1439243725)

by Dirk Hanson

In this book, characters try to balance the dangers between government “protection” and terrorist plots that both use the Internet and other techno devices to maintain secret and intensive control over normal citizens. Who is the enemy here: the National Security Agency, or the members of the terrorist cell?

The Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway - (ISBN: 978-0385419949)

by Clifford Stoll

A well-regarded astronomer takes an unpopular position in this book when he offers criticisms of the Internet’s power. He points out that it is not really free and that too much usage leads to isolation and loss of sociability. Talk with your family about what you think the limitations of surfing the ‘net might be. Why do you think this author is one of the few critics of our modern pre-occupation with the technology and information?

Walden - (ISBN: 978-1449544362 )

by Henry David Thoreau

The most famous anti-technology American, Henry David Thoreau, went to live by himself on Walden Pond in a basic rustic cabin he built using simple tools and previously used materials. His only encounter with technology comes when a nearby locomotive comes along to disturb his peaceful reveries. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a “vacation” like his from today’s digital world. Could it even happen today?

1984 - (ISBN: 978-0451524935)

by George Orwell

Cell - (ISBN: 9780743292337)

by Stephen King

I Went to Vassar for This? - (ISBN: 9780505526861)

by Naomi Neale

The Cuckoo’s Egg - (ISBN: 978-1416507789)

by Clifford Stoll

Activities for this Theme

If you are confused about email and texting vocabulary, learn Netling.


Try a no-tech family time each week. Turn off everything electric or battery powered for an hour or two and see what else you can do together!


Create an online scrapbook to which you can add music and video clips.


Read about who created the first electronic smiley


If you have questions about the latest technologies or terms you would like defined, explore some explanations.