Next Meetup

[Linguistics] The Kingdom of Speech (2016) by Tom Wolfe, 192 pages
• Hardcover • eBook • Audiobook • Library (https://fcplcat.fairfaxcounty.gov/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/0/0/57/5/3?searchdata1=737779{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER) "The author's own prose is, as ever, a marvelous mix of gleeful energy and whip-around-the-neck control, and his book is a gas to read." ―Charles C. Mann, Wall Street Journal "....a hundred years from now, the one whose work will still be read - whose work will remain imperishable in the face of any new discoveries - is Wolfe. In the long game, the kingdom belongs to him." ―Caitlin Flanagan, New York Times Book Review "Tom Wolfe aims his unparalleled wit at evolution, arguing that complex language is the singular superpower that allows humans to rule the planet." ―Harper's Bazaar "This being Tom Wolfe, the ponderous debate over language and evolution takes on a kind of pop-art pizzazz....A curiously entertaining little book." ―James Sullivan, Boston Globe "Mr. Wolfe, now 85, shows no sign of mellowing. His new book, The Kingdom of Speech, is his boldest bit of dueling yet. It's a whooping, joy-filled and hyperbolic raid on, of all things, the theory of evolution....a provocation rather than a dissertation. The sound it makes is that of a lively mind having a very good time, and enjoying the scent of its own cold-brewed napalm in the morning." ―Dwight Garner, New York Times "(Wolfe's) trademark rich reporting is unmistakable throughout.... he brings to this academic debate the same irreverence and entertaining quality that lit up Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.... You'll find here the same manic prose, the hip rhythms and cleverly crafted arguments of the genius Tom Wolfe. Which you must read." ―Don Oldenburg, USA Today "In this mettlesome, slyly funny takedown, Wolfe spotlights two key scientific rivalries, each pitting a scrappy outsider against the academy....Wolfe's pithy and stirring play-by-play coverage of compelling lives and demanding science transforms our perception of speech....As always, white-suited Wolfe will be all over the media...stirring things up and sending readers to the shelves."―Donna Seaman, Booklist "A fresh look at an old controversy, as a master provocateur suggests that human language renders the theory of evolution more like a fable than scientific fact....Wolfe throws a Molotov cocktail at conventional wisdom in a book that won't settle any argument but is sure to start some."―Kirkus Reviews "In lively, irreverent, and witty prose, Wolfe argues that speech, not evolution, sets humans apart from animals and is responsible for all of humankind's complex achievements....Wolfe's vibrant study manages to be clever, funny, serious, satirical, and instructive."―Publishers Weekly "With his usual sharp wit and style, Wolfe's return to his roots is a thrilling journey into the who, what, where, when, why, and how of speech that will undoubtedly provoke stimulating conversations." ―Library Journal

Panera HERNDON

460 Elden Street Kmart Shopping Center · Herndon, VA

What we're about

I am a software engineer with a background in Physics and interest in all the sciences to help make me a better writer and I would like to have extra motivation to read science-related books and discuss them outside of work. These wouldn't be textbooks, they would be more "popular science" that are educational and entertaining as well! Authors will include Richard Dawkins, Natalie Angier, E.O. Wilson, Carl Sagan, and Rachel Carson among others. There are many of these that have been on my "to-do" list for a long time.

Of course scientists, engineers and teachers of science would be great for this group, because we could talk about our jobs too. But anyone who is interested in science reading is welcome!! No prior science knowledge is necessary, I promise.

The books chosen for this group are 65% life science, sociology and environmental science books. Some books, such as by Bill Bryson and Carl Sagan, include some chemistry and/or physics, but we will not be reading many books that only pertain to physical science or mathematics. We will try to keep books of this nature to about 2 to 3 a year.

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