© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
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.

Josh Cary Saves 'Fahrenheit 451'


I am Josh Cary and I and the e-commerce director at All Things Barbecue here in town. All right the book I chose, if I had one book to save would actually be Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

It is my favorite novel of all time. I remember specifically buying a copy of it at a garage sale. The cover had been ripped off. And so I didn't have anything to go off of. I didn't have the iconic image of a man made of paper and burning. But I did have a first line. Bradbury's opening to Fahrenheit 451 is so visceral. And then one short sentence you sort of get an idea for your main character and you get an idea for the world he lives in and it just says, "It was a pleasure to burn."

And I thought as a 12 year old I'm totally ready to read a book about burning things. I'm super into this. So I probably gave them I don't know a dime or a quarter and walked away with it. I read it in a single night and I guarantee that all of the, all of the metaphor built into the novel was totally lost on 12-year-old me. But I return to it multiple times every two or three years.

The world that Bradbury envisioned and the future eerily parallels now. Kind of live in this echo chamber where whatever we hear we believe and we just sort of go along with it.

And this book, I mean you know, you have a main character Montag who knows nothing. He's completely uneducated really. And he burns books because that's what they tell them to do. He takes a couple of books, doesn't read them, he just stashes them he hides them. He's not sure why he does it, but it's something that he puts away. And the moment he starts reading the books he realizes hey there's something here that can save us from where we're going to. There's something in these books that we really need to teach others, we need to take the books, we need to take the information and everything we can learn from them and apply that to now because where we're heading is not a great place.