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In 2021, we ask readers to discover how one finds a passion for nature and explore what can become of that spark.

The Home Place book cover

We are thrilled to announce our featured book The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham. Birds are a lifelong passion for Lanham, and in The Home Place, he also examines his personal history and struggles. Readers follow his journey as a successful wildlife ecologist who along the way uncovers lessons about legacy and his own need to inject a deeper sense of human caring into his life and work.

“A ground-breaking work about race and the American landscape.”

—Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk

Ruby's Birds book cover

For our youngest readers we have selected Ruby’s Birds by Mya Thompson. In this delightful story, a little girl discovers her spark–birds–in her own city neighborhood. They enliven her world and excite her about nature. Her own journey begins.

A good story, perfect for bird lovers and likely to entice the uninitiated.

—Kirkus Reviews

Read one (or both!) of these books with us. Share with your family and friends. Start a discussion. Engage in one of the many events throughout the region.

Follow us @LongwoodGardens and share your ideas using the hashtag #CommunityRead.