Review by Booklist Review
Science journalist Williams' (Breasts, 2012) research leads to a scientist who hopes to design you guessed it an app so smartphones can measure the aesthetic and restorative powers of physical settings and users can crowdsource their findings. Various scientists hook Williams up to gear that either tries to measure her contentment or tries to imitate nature. She usually emerges with motion sickness, or her vital signs don't react as predicted. Williams visits Japan and South Korea, whose national programs in forest bathing, or experiencing nature, aim to slash health-care costs, mainly by reducing stress. In Finland, which is also seeking to reduce the cost of health care, she meets researchers who claim that humans need a minimum of five hours of exposure to nature a month. In Scotland, she observes nature therapy for petty criminals and former drug addicts. Williams often states that real nature works better than fake nature, but the only large-scale slowdown in the speeding spread of techno-mediated life is when a blizzard forces intimacy with the wild. This topical inquiry should be in demand.--Carr, Dane Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Outside magazine contributor Williams (Breasts) writes frequently about the environment; in this extensively researched book, her travels take her to Japan, Korea, Singapore, Scotland, and elsewhere in search of hard evidence that exposure to nature causes positive changes in the brain. Her curiosity was piqued when she and her family moved from Boulder, Colo., to Washington, D.C.; soon, she found herself yearning for the mountains, and feeling disoriented and depressed. The idea that the open air enhances creativity and outlook isn't new; Williams traces it as far back as Aristotle. What are new, however, are current and ongoing studies by scientists (many of whom readers will encounter in these pages), who are using forests and natural landscapes as laboratories to learn more about how nature affects human health. Williams brings some intriguing observations to light; in the forests of South Korea, for instance, she learns that time among the cypress trees reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Within the U.S., she finds programs using nature to help kids with ADHD and veterans with PTSD. She also reveals how city planners can successfully bring nature into the urban environment. This powerful environmental call to arms proposes that for optimal well-being, regular doses of nature are not only recommended but required. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Philosophers and artists have long expounded the benefits of activity in the natural world. Williams (contributing editor, Outside magazine) argues that ample scientific evidence exists to support this view. In a world of urban dwellers who interact more with devices than plants and animals, she claims that even small amounts of time spent outside have great benefits physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Her argument is based on volumes of scholarly research along with personal antidotes and experiences in America, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Finland, and Scotland. These countries pursue policies promoting outdoor activities to help people suffering from mental disorders and addictions. Williams also contrasts both Western and Eastern attitudes toward nature, with the former seeking to harness nature for their own means and the latter trying to live in harmony with rhythms of the natural world. The work presents all this in a light, humorous manner, and Emily Woo Zeller's narration reflects this tone. VERDICT Listeners interested in health issues and the outdoors should enjoy this interesting and entertaining audiobook.-Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib. © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.