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Next Best Thing
Next Best Thing
Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Next Best Thing: Big Read Wichita


Wichita’s NEA Big Read kicks off this Saturday with a live celebration at 2:30 p.m. on KPTS Channel 8. Usually held in October, last year’s program was pushed back to January 9 through February 21 of this year. The selection is Circe by Madeline Miller — a novel that focuses on the lesser known Greek goddess.


Wichita Public Library has several virtual events planned, and many participating organizations are hosting events that embody Greek themes. A complete list can be found at wichitalibrary.org/bigread, but here are some highlights:


Jodie Simon, an instructor in women’s studies and sociology at Wichita State, will present From Circe to Sabrina, a discussion on the evolution of the witch stereotype in popular culture. The Zoom event is at 6 p.m. on January 14, register at wichitalibrary.org/events.


The Andover Public Library has created a digital escape room based on the novel. It can be accessed at andoverlibrary.org January 9 through February 21. 


The Derby Public Library is offering a take-home murder mystery box called The Curse of Pandora’s Box, for pick-up at the library January 11 through February 19. 


At 6:30 p.m. on January 26, Wichita Public Library presents Fred Gassert of the Lake Afton Public Observatory for a discussion of notable constellations and their associated Greek myths. Register for the Zoom event at wichitalibrary.org/events


And this doesn’t even begin to cover all the events, so expect to hear more about Wichita’s Big Read from me in the future.