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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

62 of 65 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

24 of 27 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great content, awful narration

I like the content and intentions of this book very much, including how investigating the benefits of nature exposure was done from different angles/perspectives. However, the narrator's cadence is so off-putting I nearly returned the book. If you enjoy feeling like someone is reading a children's book to you, then you'll love it, including weird tone changes to indicate other people's voices. This may be a good book to get a hard or e-copy of.

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REMINDER: We do best in nature

This book is a collection of stories that retells how we do better in nature. Even though Williams physically went to each event to record what happens, she is personally not in the stories nor does she pull threads together to deduce the final suggestion. Eventually she recites a formula for a best lived life, how much to experience daily, on weekends, and during yearly trips. Gardens, parks, forests, and large bodies of water. The only reason to believe it is because it makes only sense.

Even though Williams is a fine writer and a good journalist researcher, I became disenchanted the further I went into the book. There is something missing or perhaps mismatched.
- The stories don't build on each other.
- Williams doesn't relay what was at stake for her during this literary research project.
I would like to know what she experienced as she joined up with the wildly different groups of people healing themselves out in nature. I was left to form my own opinions about each person, like I was on the bus with each group. Frankly, I wished I hadn't joined up with half of the groups.
I guess there's a temporary satisfied feeling at the end when we learn a final word of advice. I felt vindicated, or maybe just satisfied to have planted so many fruit trees and flowering bushes in my yard. I was happy that I didn't have to meet more random groups of people and that I finished the book.

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Good primer but lacks depth of explanation

Good overview and performance but lacks depth of scientific enquiry and explanation.. Much more in depth research is needed on a critical topic

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A gem of an outdoor book!

If you enjoy the outdoors and nature, you will love this book. Florence Williams weaves delightful narrative storytelling with a CU journalist's impeccable research. One you no doubt will reread.

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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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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr R J Marshall
  • 10-03-18

Rerecord it!

Its an interesting subject, just read with more silly voices than a child's book, I'm not sure if I'll be able to listen to it all.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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  • Damian
  • 07-02-18

great book check it out. Biophilia ftw!

A very important topic. We need to recognize the power of nature and it's effects on us.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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  • Katy
  • 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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nic
  • 05-05-18

compulsory reading for all city planners

You are what you see, what you see, becomes your emotion. emotions are what you consume. more nature = happy healthy people.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melinda - YarnderWoman
  • 04-06-18

Revelatory and beautiful

I have lived the way this book has me focusing on how to get more time in nature. The studied benefits and huge increases in physical and mental well-being from time in nature is both fascinating and also has a primal understandable aspect.

Read this book - better yet, listen to it while outside!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-18

Great book

Well researched material wound together with great writing and presentation. Inspiring and just super enjoyable to listen to.