The Decatur Book Festival always has a few environmental authors and this year not only were the authors writing about nature but also about their hyper local Southern experiences in nature.  Everyone relearned why we need writers with this one passage, "I come inside with cockle-burs climbing up my jeans forming new constellations". Don't you just love a good turn of phrase?

In Wondering Around Center, Kathy Bradley continues her examination of the natural world as a prism through which to understand the human experience. The chronological stories, four years’ worth of tales that began life as newspaper columns, are inhabited by wild and unpredictable animals, civilized and unpredictable people, moons and cornfields, tides and floods and droughts. Bradley invites readers along on her wanderings in order that they might find their own meaning in the recounting of commonplace events and the lives of ordinary people.

From fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham. Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, SC place easy to pass by on the way somewhere else has been home to generations of Lanhams. In "The Home Place," readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural Southland in America today.


Please not we had some video issues so we have quite a bit of skipping at the end. We apologize but thought what didn't skip was compelling enough to keep what we had.