I first heard about The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet (2021) by John Green in my book club. We chose to read it. However, there were problems borrowing it from the library, and some of my friends did not like it. Thus, we ended up moving on without devoting a book club meeting to it. But by this point, I was intrigued, so I borrowed the audio version and listened to it in my car.
The Anthropocene Reviewed was read by John Green and is made up of somewhat meandering essays. Each essay is rated by an arbitrary designation of stars, like one would find in a movie review. I found this annoying at first, but then it grew on me. It made the five-star stories really stick out, and gave me a quick summation about how he felt about things. Green’s essays were consistently interesting and sometimes made me think. I felt that sometimes he tied things up a little too neatly or tried too hard to find meaning, but on the whole it was easy to listen to, and I felt I learned some things.
Unfortunately, I am way behind in reviews and finished this book months ago. I’ve forgotten a lot of this book by now, but two essays still come to mind. One was about three friends who discovered some of the oldest cave art in the world. It is now on display for the world, but only a replica because the real cave is too fragile. Another story was about Canada Geese: their story, their impact on the Earth, and how their population has recently exploded–as well as how annoying they can be.
Green seemed to have a theme throughout his book showing how much effect humans as a whole have on the planet–including climate change and the decimation of species. However, he also focuses on how little control a single human has over the world or her life. It’s an interesting perspective.
You can find all my reviews on my blog.