John Green is an observer. He and his brother, Hank, have had a vlog discussing random topics for years now, while John has won multiple awards as a young adult author. The Anthropocene Reviewed is his first adult and his first nonfiction book, a large collection of essays about our human-centered– or Anthropocene– era, each ending with a rating on a five-star scale.
Green is interested in everything, and he reviews things as diverse as Diet Dr. Pepper, the world’s biggest ball of paint, and the smallpox vaccine. He openly discusses his struggle with depression and OCD, and he reads the audiobook himself in his gentle, slightly stressed voice. Green is warm and witty, and while some of his stories are funny, he also talks about the burned child who ended his career as a hospital chaplain and about his love for Amy Kraus Rosenthal and their last conversation before her death from cancer. He loves the earth, his wife and kids, and soccer.
During my time as a young adult book selector, I read everything that John Green has ever written. He writes the best bantering dialogue out there. These essays, however, are sometimes written in soaring prose, other times filled with fascinating information, and often seasoned with brilliant, searing rants. The short chapters are excellent for those of us who feel more distracted than ever these days.
Thoughtful and entertaining, I give The Anthropocene Reviewed 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I listened to an audio version of this book. Opinions expressed are solely my own and may not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.