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Author John Green is world-famous for his young adult novels, such as The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, but his latest book is a change of pace. It’s called The Anthopocene Reviewed and it’s actually an adaptation of his podcast of the same name. The anthropocene is the current geological age, referring to the human period of earth, and the book consists of essays on given topics that culminate in a rating of those topics on a 5-star scale. For example, he reviews the internet and sunsets, as well as Diet Dr. Pepper, teddy bears, CNN and so much more.
But the trick of it all, of course, is that these essays are incredibly personal. Green tells readers about his specific memories of a given topic, what it means to him and his family, his struggle with mental illness, his emotions. It’s an incredibly vulnerable memoir hiding behind the premise of reviewing various aspects of the human experience, and the conceit completely works.
Much more interesting than a traditional memoir, where an author may recap a part of their life in chronological order, Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed weaves those details in with fact-filled history lessons that will, at a minimum, help make readers into more complete trivia players, and, at best, help fill in gaps in readers knowledge base and expand their capacity for empathy and curiosity.
If you’re not sure whether the book is for you, there’s a simple way to get a free sample, just fire up a podcast app and listen to a few episodes of The Anthropocene Reviewed. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked instantly.
The Anthropocene Reviewed book and podcast are both available now.
I’m Evan Rook