Book Discussions

Please Join Us  .  .  .

March 18, 2018
2-4 pm

The book selection is The Nature Fix by Florence Williams.

An intrepid investigation into nature’s restorative benefits by a prize-winning author.

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; and Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain.

In this informative and entertaining account, Williams investigates cutting-edge research as she travels to fragrant cypress forests in Korea to meet the rangers who administer “forest healing programs,” to the green hills of Scotland and its “ecotherapeutic” approach to caring for the mentally ill, to a river trip in Idaho with Iraqi vets suffering from PTSD, to the West Virginia mountains where she discovers how being outside helps children with ADHD. The Nature Fix demonstrates that our connection to nature is much more important to our cognition than we think and that even small amounts of exposure to the living world can improve our creativity and enhance our mood. In prose that is incisive, witty, and urgent, Williams shows how time in nature is not a luxury but is in fact essential to our humanity. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas―and the answers they yield―are more urgent than ever. (

Please join Mount Union Librarian Cheryl Paine, and Deborah Daskalov to discuss the ideas presented in The Nature Fix. Check with a local library or bookstore for “The Nature Fix” by Florence Williams.

The book discussion will be from 2-3 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Afterwards, Beech Creek Education Coordinator, Nancy Baker-Cezan, will lead the group in a guided hike from 3-4 pm. Nancy will take the group to off-trail locations so participants can be completely immersed in nature.

FREE event

Please note, the guided hike is free for those who take part in the book discussion. If you do not engage with the book discussion, but would like to participate in the guided hike, the admission is $3 per person, ages 0-2 free, members free.

August 12, 2018
2-4 pm

The book selection is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Called the work of “a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose” (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, “anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love,” by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take “us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. (

Please join Mount Union Librarian Cheryl Paine to discuss the ideas presented in Braiding Sweetgrass. Check with a local library or bookstore for “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

The book discussion will be from 2-4 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

FREE event

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