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Publisher's Summary

For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature's positive effects on the brain. From forest trails in Korea to islands in Finland to groves of eucalyptus in California, Williams investigates the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health, and creativity. Delving into completely new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and ultimately strengthen our relationships. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas - and the answers they yield - are more urgent than ever.

©2017 Florence Williams (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Paul
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • 03-18-17

Yes!...and No!

The sheer breadth and depth of information presented in this well-organized work was impressive. The arguments, backed at times with a blizzard of statistics, plowed through various scientific and academic circles to present an argument that intuitively seems correct: we evolved outdoors and our increasingly indoor, screen-obsessed culture is wreaking an awful toll on us, and particularly on our children. Fair enough.

But the author, abetted by a way too chirpy, sing-song narrator, struggled to cover her lack of science street cred with cringeworthy puns and swipes clothed in condescending asides at more fringe views of our relation with nature. The result leaves the reader unsure of what to take seriously, what is a joke or what is between the two? The narrator's forced joviality and unnecessary excursions up and down the sonic scale seriously detracted from the substance of the work. I needed to take frequent breaks from listening, during which I wondered if buying the print version of Nature Fix would not have been a better choice.

Bottom line: a good work and well worth the time to read but perhaps not to listen to.

54 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Great Book, Poor Performance

I listened to this book with great interest in some important information. However, eventually I was driven to purchase a hard copy book because the reading on the audio book was probably the most over-dramatized and infantile reading of any book I have ever bought through audible. It was annoyingly distracting. So, I recommend the hard cover book but suggest you bypass the audio book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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I've always felt better being outside

What made the experience of listening to The Nature Fix the most enjoyable?

This book hit many nerves for me. I've always felt better being outside. I've always loved to stand beneath trees, to linger at the edge of the sea, to touch the cool water of streams, to walk upon soft leaves instead of pavement. It has always calmed me down, perked me up, made my worries and pressures feel like nothing. After reading The Nature Fix, I know why. There is a vast amount of scientific study showing that all of these things reduce our stress hormones and blood pressure, elevate our internal disease-defeating processes, stimulate the body to fight off toxins, excite the happy centers of the brain and subdue the negative reflexes in the brain. Did you know that many trees emit immune responses into the air when attacked by insects and other animals? Humans have adapted over millions of years to benefit from these 'phytoncydes,' too. We evolved in nature, amid the trees, fresh air, soil and sea -- these elements promoted our well being. Have you ever thought about why you love the smell of fresh Christmas trees? -- conifers produce oils that are highly beneficial to breathe in. Penicillin is a miracle drug, right? -- but there is a vaster mix of fungi in our environment that our bodies and brains respond beautifully to. What's the most beautiful place you've ever been? Chances are, it involves sunsets, clear water or mountains, and that is because these kinds of settings are literally making us healthy. Far more so than urban environments -- though urban parks and 'daylighted' streams do wonders for our health too. Is your screensaver a photo of a landscape or of your children smiling in your yard or at the beach? There is strong medical and biochemical evidence that being outdoors in nature makes us stronger, healthier, happier and more creative, from average adults, to PTSD-impacted military veterans to children with developmental issues, and certainly all children, from the youngest age to the oldest among us. Wonderful book. I'm sure it will help you lead a happier and healthier life!

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More C

What made the experience of listening to The Nature Fix the most enjoyable?

The best book I have read on the diverse elements that make Nature our healer of choice.
The research and data are worth the purchase and the many reasons why you should incorporate more time in Nature or garden or forest or ocean is convincing to say the least.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Stimulating and Beyond My Expectations

I freely admit that I only purchased this because it was a Daily Deal, but I'm really glad I did. Funnily enough, I'd just finished reading The Smartest Kids in the World... by Amanda Ripley, and this book is an almost perfect companion to. In fact, the author focuses on some of the same issues concerning education, and ever references Ripley's book. I mention this because the secondary and tertiary messages in The Nature Fix... (education and child development) were actually far more compelling to me than the central message about the general health benefits of being in nature. I also found the cultural anecdotes (e.g., Japanese forest bathing) interesting. As far as recommending this book, I'd say that if you're looking for a book that validates your belief in the healing effects of being in nature (so to speak), then you'll get what you want. If you're otherwise looking for a book that you'll find intellectually stimulating and good food for thought, then you'll likely won't be disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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nature fix was fascinating!

loved it! enjoyed wide lens that revealed how nature breeds health and wellbeing worldwide. insightful and probing.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Loved it and spending more time outside

I loved this book. There was a wealth of information here and I'm glad the author looked into so many different studies on nature's effect on the human body and mind. It's true that this is a newly emerging field of study but I felt like there was still a lot to take away from this audiobook. For example, I already knew that sound and air pollution had negative effects but I had never looked into the studies done or realized how damaging sound pollution could be.

There were a few things that annoyed me but I'm not sure how much of it was the writing or the narration. For example, I felt like she was really dismissive of the potential role and studies that could be done using VR technology. During one of the chapters where she met with a man doing studies with VR, she seemed to act really dismissive and condescending (or so it felt to me). I'm not sure if that's the narrator's effect or the writing. While part of her dislike for it came from her getting motion sick from the VR experience, I feel like dismissing the potential information that could come from comparative studies (VR nature vs the outdoors, or using it to identify what key things cause positive reactions in the bain) is really short-sighted. Just because you didn't have a good experience doesn't me it can't extrapolate data for future use. Even if you didn't have a good time, why would you give such a biased view to your readers? This was a minor thing since I overall loved the book and the information it gave but in general, she sometimes had a tendency to be dismissive towards technology when that same technology was giving her the data she needed for this book.

Overall, loved it and would read it again. I'm very motived to spend more time outside now that I've finished it and I've bonded with my little sister more as we take more walks through the park together. Just remember to separate the data from the author's opinion.

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thought this book was boring

the author bored the sh*t out if me. the facts could be laid on a few pages and save you her boring stories.

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My son is nonverbal and thanks you for writing this book

At least, I believe he would if he were able.
He doesn’t have the access to language to ask for something so abstract as walking in the woods... so, when I took my 22 year old son for a walk... he changed.
When he saw a clump of briers he protected me from them by guiding me away... he did many things like that and wouldn’t have been allowed the ability without the quiet of the woods.
I have learned so much here but my main takeaway is that a daily walk in the woods makes a literal world of difference in the somewhat suffocating world that autism seems to inflict. So, thank you!

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Good incite on an ignored topic.

The examples given in this book are very extensive and insightful. Nature is an important element to mental health that is so often overlooked by society at large.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-21-17

a bit disappointed

the book wasn't to bad. however I found that she repeated herself many times. which I found boring. she did make some good points but over all it all could have been said in two chapters.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Garden123
  • 02-19-18

Written for Americans

A lot of good science and research but unfortunately it is often followed through by some low grade American “funny” comments which degrade an otherwise decent book.

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  • Jack Charles Evans
  • 12-01-17

The Nature Fix

Worth persevering through the first three quarters, as the last quarter was immensely insightful, valuable and moving. Jack Evans.

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  • donwyn
  • 09-07-17

Fascinating read that will have you heading outside

Really interesting and entertaining book. I would highly recommend. Good scientific research and storytelling brings the people behind the research to life.

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  • kay ribbons
  • 09-17-17

wonderful

Loved this book. It's one of those books that I will keep coming back to.
though the narrator and her impersonations was rather annoying.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaarpy
  • 06-14-17

Fascinating research presented in an enjoyable manner

While the benefits of nature to humans seems blind, bleedin' obvious to many of us, this is great stuff to see shown in different kinds of research that can translate into urban and wilderness policy and planning. No longer can we dismiss this as just whining from 'tree-huggers'. The benefits are wired into us through our neurological and physiological responses. One of the most fascinating benefits of nature is for people with ADD and PTSD as balancing and healing. The only downside of audiobooks like these is that you want to see the references list. I'll likely listen to this a few times as there's a lot of great information in here and the author has a good sense of humour. Very well narrated, with emotive, enthusiastic expression.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful