Required texts:

Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means Albert-Laszlo Barabási ©Plume, 2003, ISBN: 978-0452284395
An introduction to the science of networks. Still one of the best explanations of the dynamics of networked systems.

Network Science Albert-Laszlo Barabási (cc) Barabási2012. A more math and physics-inflected version of what's covered in Linked.

Making Things Talk 2nd Edition Tom Igoe ©O'Reilly Media/Make, 2011, Print ISBN:978-1-4493-9243-7. Ebook ISBN:978-1-4493-9244-4 PDF edition is on sale now, print edition
A lot of what I know about how to connect devices to networks.

You can read this for free via through your NYU Home account. Go to the research tab and search for Safari Books Online. Within Safari, search for Making Things Talk, 2nd edition.

Recommended Reading:

Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems John Palfrey and Urs Gasser ©Basic Books, 2012, ISBN: 0465021972
An introduction to interoperability theory, with several useful case studies. This book will give us material to discuss how best to implement networks that work well together when needed.

Head First Networking Al Anderson; Ryan Benedetti ©O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2009, ISBN: 978-0-596-52155-4
If you like the Head First series, you'll find this introduction to networking helpful. It concentrates on OSI-based networks only, and gets at the low-level technical details very fast, but in a friendly way.

325 Hudson: Birth of a Carrier Hotel Hunter Newby and Shulli Halak. There's a PDF version as well, for those without iPads.

Captive Audience . © Susan P. Crawford, Yale University Press, 2013. Kindle Edition. ASIN B00AMYGFXK. A good overview of the Comcast merger case, and argument for competition among network carriers in the U.S.

The Works: Anatomy of a City Kate Ascher ©Penguin, 2007, ISBN: 978-0143112709
Good illustrated explanation of city infrastructures, revealing the network nature of those infrastructures.

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, Duncan J. Watts. W.W. Norton & Company; ©2003. ISBN: 0393041425
A nice introduction to the science of networks, with a good bit of focus on the social angle.

Shaping Things Bruce Sterling, Boston, MIT Press, ©2005, ISBN 0-2626-9326-7. Bruce Sterling's take on a plausible future in which everything made has a network address, and therefore a documented and documentable history. He takes this vision to its extreme, showing how it changes everything from design to manufacturing to consumption to disposal of material goods. An inspiring read if you're interested in networks, material or information design, or sustainability.

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World, Lawrence Lessig. Vintage Books: ISBN 0-375-72644-6 ©2001
An excellent examination of the clash between the open-ended architecture of the early internet and the property-centric legal system in the US. Lessig puts forth the idea of the internet as an "innovation commons", and explains how current attempts to extend copyright and tighten intellectual property law threaten that commons.

The Victorian Internet : the remarkable story of the telegraph and the nineteenth century's on-line pioneers Tom Standage ©1999 Walker and Co. ISBN 0425171698.
A well-told story about the beginnings of telecommunications. Great inspiration if you're interested in networks.

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, Clay Shirky ©Penguin, 2009. ISBN: 978-0143114949
Clay's introduction to the effects of networks on social, political, and commercial organization.

A longer list of books for inspiration and reference is available online at the books link.