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Big Read
00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7a40000The National Endowment for the Arts' "Big Read" looks to encourage literacy by holding community events around the country celebrating a single book each year. This year's book selection is Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea, which follows a nineteen-year-old woman who travels to the United States to bring back seven men--including her father--to help defend her Mexican village from danger.Of course, the stories of people who come to this country are wide and varied, and many of those stories live right here in Wichita. Over the next few weeks, we'll hear some of those stories. Follow them below.-The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of citizens. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.

Suzanne Tobias Saves 'Bird by Bird'

Beth Golay

My name is Suzanne Tobias and I am an education reporter for The Wichita Eagle.

First of all the opportunity to save one book is just an unbelievable challenge for me to come up with one. But the one that I went to immediately and the one I eventually had to choose was Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I read a lot but I don't re-read very many books because there's so much out there to read and there's always, you know, something new I want to read so I rarely go back and read a book unless it's very special to me. And this book spoke to me from the very first time I read it in a way that really no book ever had. And as a writer and it's just so inspirational. She speaks to just the purpose of writing and sort of the grander purpose of writing and it's just so good for me as a writer and a journalist to go back and reread it every and I do every few years.

The more I read it, the more meaningful it becomes. And I just sort of get bits and pieces that I might not have seen before just because you know you're in a different place in your life. I now have children who like to read and write and I sort of think about what I want to encourage for them.

It's also about just kind of, how important it is for writers to reflect humanity. And when I think about we're getting rid of all the books, I would want the one book remaining to be one that inspires more writing to just does just reestablish that collection of literature.

It's the great you know coming together of thought and humanity and that's what I think isn't magical about it.