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The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,100 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
For many of us, thinking about the future conjures up images of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" a post-apocalyptic dystopia stripped of nature. Richard Louv, author of the landmark bestseller "Last Child in the Woods," urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will evolve into a larger movement that ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rod Ruff
There are two kinds of journalists: reporters and storytellers. Richard Louv falls into the first category.

This book is a pragmatic exploration of how we can interact better with nature in the 21st century - something many of us are craving to find time for. There is no shortage of information here, Louv starts with an examination of all the positive health (physical and mental) benefits that may arise from increasing our exposure to nature, and then moves into all the practical ways we can int
...more
Connie Mayo
I was completely prepared to love this book. But I didn't find what I was looking for. I wanted and expected to find out a little about the science behind the idea that spending time in nature has brain benefits. I also wanted to know what exactly it is that scientists think is having the positive impact. Is it visual? Auditory? Is it the smell of outdoors? What if you are in a suburban environment, where there is a combination of nature and manmade structures - is it half as effective? Do peopl ...more
Michelle
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-issues
Like many, I came to this book having read and loved Last Child in the Woods. This book was good, too, going farther than Last Child by pointing out how a connection with the nature around us makes all of us--child AND adult--happier, healthier, more peaceful, more productive. While Louv makes a lot out of a few studies at times, and waxes kind of mystical and hippy-happy at times, still the book is a good read. I especially enjoyed the many profiles of and interviews with people who are helping ...more
David
May 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uplifting persuasive piece about the desirability of putting yourself in contact with nature. He goes beyond the sentimental testimonial anecdote (though there are quite a few "just the other day, I was taking a walk in the woods when I saw the most wonderful heron; can't get that on Facebook!" passages) to describe families banding together through nature outings, therapists prescribing outdoor time, workers being happier and more productive when they have windows in their offices overlooking w ...more
Kim June Johnson
The urgency I felt reading this book almost took my breath away. It was pivotal in my decision to move to a small island with my two daughters. It's not an understatement to say this book is life changing. Richard Louv balances science nicely with narrative for an enjoyable read.
Michael Jandrok
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always had a good connection with the outdoors. My father was an avid hunter and fisherman, and took me out with him whenever he had the chance when I was growing up. I never did catch the bug for hunting, but I still fish to this day. It helped growing up in a semi-rural setting in an era when children could pretty much roam free through the neighborhoods and surrounding countryside. Nowadays, though, there is a real concern that children and adults are suffering from a condition known a ...more
Bryan
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent reminder of how important nature is and how to be healthy we need to maintain a connection with the natural world. In some ways Louv may be too optimistic and he may take what little scientific evidence there is for the effects of nature on human health, including mental health, but he does make good points along these lines that are often neglected. Whether or not further research shows a stronger connection between immersion in nature and health, I have no doubt that some regular exp ...more
E.A. Burnett
Richard Louv begins his book with a promise to detail and support his theory of nature-deficit disorder. Unfortunately, Louv's book is slathered with anecdotal evidence and holds only a smattering of scientific findings- most of which are sketchy at best. Louv seems to have missed one of the most important facts of scientific research in his formulation of a theory: correlation is not causation. I was horrified by the huge conclusions Louv drew from a variety of stories and experiences he collec ...more
David
The Nature Principle states that "... a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival." Richard Louv is able to show how true this principle really is. Through a combination of psychology research and anecdotal evidence, this book shows how even a limited connection to nature helps us to re-ignite our bodies, our health, our imaginations, and our communities.

People are paying a high price for losing contact with nature. And, by the term "natur
...more
Tim
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read, but it did not blow my mind like Last Child in the Woods. That said, Louv's research is unparalleled, and he has again given me heavy stuff to chew on both personally and in the way I raise my children.

Great quote that sums up my view on the book:

"Sooner or later, a school of higher education--perhaps a school that teaches teachers--is going to realize the potential and create an entire program devoted to connecting people to nature. Enter this program, learn about the benefits of h
...more
Jen
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: I received this book as a Goodread's giveaway.

In my day to day life, I experience nature. I am fortunate to live in a small western town surrounded by mountains and high desert. The Nature Principle reinterated the quality of life I have. He talks about how the more you have technology in your life the more you need nature. He talks about the health benefits of nature, nature that is as near as our yards, creating nature to enjoy, and about the future of our collective nature. I found it t
...more
Nicole Hale
I just won this book in in first reads giveaway and I am excited to read it for sure. As an art therapist, I am always interesting in finding alternative approaches to finding therapeutic and creative ways to soothe the soul. People in society today spend entirely too much time wasting away in cubicle style jobs, forgetting how to find solace in the beauty of nature around us. The ideas that seem to be presented in this book are excellent, and as soon as I read it, I will be sure to post a thoro ...more
Samantha Garcia
I wanted to love this book - and I definitely agree with its core concepts. The style of writing felt disjointed. Random segments of descriptive prose then juxtaposed with emerging trends or research. It was a difficult read and I probably would read another one of Richard Louv's books. I do however subscribe to his web newsletter as a way of supporting his movement and staying on top of new initiatives.
Jeremy L
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
Richard Louv brings compelling anecdotes and evidence to back up his proposal that mankind is beginning to rely too much on technology in our daily lives. This increased reliance is proving detrimental to our collective productivity, creativity, and focus.

Nature deficiency disorder is becoming pandemic throughout the world, and is one problem we should all strive to overcome through increased immersion into nature, and the rediscovery of our natural selves.
Denzil
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Nature Principle, Richard Louv’s underlying belief is that connecting with the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit and survival.

To support this bold claim, he uncovers what is an extremely persuasive body of evidence – theoretical, anecdotal and empirical – that nature really does have a significant power to restore, heal and energize. If you weren’t already aware of the healing power of nature, you will be even after reading just the first few chapters of thi
...more
Stephen
Not sure how to classify this book. It seemed to be everything under the sun discussion about Nature and life. It covers a lot but seemed overly repetitive. Louv seems to spend much of the book trying to convince you that Nature is great but it seems if you are going to make it through this long book that is a given. The overall theme is Nature is important but it covers so much application of people in Nature and applying nature to everyday life that I'm not sure who I would recommend the book ...more
Melanie Keating
I don't read a ton of non-fiction so I don't have a lot to compare this to for ratings. I enjoyed reading this and learned a lot about how humans and nature interact and can benefit each other. I think I would have enjoyed this a little more if it was more focused and didn't jump around as much to delve into certain theories and studies more. I think it was a great choice for our first book club discussion at work and gave me some ideas about how to incorporate nature into my life more.
George
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less a book discussing the ideas of Nature Deficit Disorder (which he obviously feels he established in a previous book), but a blow by blow discussion of studies and activities/groups trying to restore nature to the world. I agreed with many of the ideas, but wish he was a little more critical of the concepts.

Basically the message was: Nature makes everything better - over and over again.
Emily
A well thought out book that is a starting point for adults looking to get reacquainted with nature. It doesn't have certain concrete solutions all figured out, it just points the way. Well done, but some more concrete ideas on how to get into a career in the new nature field would be most appreciated.
Judy Egnew Ness
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
As a therapist I was inspired by Louv's ideas for getting people to spend more time outside outside. I agree with him that it is not only good for our mental health, but essential for our mental health, to spend time in nature.
Saeed Zahraee
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good
Melissa
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book read like a blog: it kept very strongly to the core theme, and ended up being very repetitive. I actually put the book down for multiple years because it was such a struggle to get through. Every section, though seemingly focusing on a different aspect of nature's restorative properties, really boiled down to the same thing--we need more nature in our lives!

If you're interested in this book, you could read the intro and conclusion and get the entire gist of the book. No need to spend
...more
Melissa
May 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I want to start by saying that I do agree with some of the things that Louv says. Sometimes a low review might be a total rejection of the content, but this is not one of those times. I believe that time spent in nature is powerful and refreshing and something that can really help us.
Louv's writing was adequate, but the book felt difficult to get through. My number one complaint was that his science was soft. Maybe not enough hard science on the topic exists. Most of his evidence is anecdotal.
...more
Hans
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most challenging part of feeling intensely passionate about something is restraining yourself from exaggerating. It's obvious that the author really wants to get his point across and drive home just how important being Nature is to human health. While it is highly probable that there is truth to his claims one always has to be careful in their own zealousness to not go grasping at straws blowing out of proportion nascent research that it is still being corroborated and verified.

That being s
...more
Marsha
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I just won this book through First Reads - can't wait to receive it!

Let me start out by stating that I haven't read Louv's first book, but when I saw this one listed through the Good Reads Giveaway, I jumped at the chance to win a copy. We just moved, along with our three young sons, from a tract home in a planned subdivision to a 10 acre mini-farm - complete with goats and chickens. We are in the process of building a home off the grid and this just seemed like something that would be a great c
...more
Jess
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the books I've read this year (nearly 60 of them), this is the one I recommend most; the one that I wish everyone I know would read.

Louv writes about the necessity of humankind's connection to nature to restore our physical, mental, spiritual, and cultural health. He puts forth compelling ideas about how to re-shape our lives--our homes, communities, workplaces, businesses, schools, cities and suburbs--in order to bring nature back as a central focus, not only in conservation efforts but
...more
Molly Mccarty
The book Last Child in the Woods, which is the predecessor and companion to this book, is a tough act to follow. None the less, Louv expands and applies his concepts of Nature Deficit Disorder, bringing the adult into focus as lacking in Vitamin N. N as in Nature.
I really want to endorse this one heartily and I find I can not. In the 3rd Chapter, he mentions his father's death by suicide, and implies that it was done as a result of lack of Nature in the guy's life. From here, I am set up for a
...more
Dimitra
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Overall, I think I would give this book 4.5 stars. I’m really thankful for the publisher and Goodreads for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

First, the good parts. I agreed with everything that the author was talking about, about how nature makes us happy and gives us greater satisfaction with life, as well as making us more productive, (I'm oversimplifying). I also liked the suggestions he made about how to bring more nature back to inner cities and places lower on the socioeconomic l
...more
Stacy
In The Nature Principle, Richard Louv examines how nature is crucial to human health, and how we can better connect with nature in our modern lives.

The book had some interesting ideas. One of my favorite was the idea of family nature clubs, where families go out on hikes or other nature-oriented activities on a regular basis. He hopes this idea will catch on as book clubs have in recent years. I personally love the idea and want to start one with friends, if they're game.

The writing can be all o
...more
Hallie Rose
Very interesting and informative book. I get the feeling, though, that he really just wanted to write Last Child in the Woods again (and let's be fair, who wouldn't?), and that after deviating from an adult focus back to children, he'd sort of catch himself and say, "oh yeah! But this book is about adults and nature."

It was a lot of repetitive information, which really is good for me because it's how I commit things to memory, but I imagine for others it could get a bit dry.

SPOILER:The story abo
...more
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Richard Louv (born 1949) is a journalist and author of books about the connections between family, nature and community. His book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin), translated into 9 languages and published in 13 countries, has stimulated an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature.
More about Richard Louv...

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“The pleasure of being alive is brought into sharper focus when you need to pay attention to staying alive.” 4 likes
“This principle holds that a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival.” 3 likes
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