The Anthropocene Reviewed Review

The Anthropocene Reviewed is a strikingly unexpected book that I’m grateful to have read and know I will read again.  I’d been told by friends that it was something worth reading, despite its title and the fact that it is a book of essays, which makes me think of school and book reports, not enjoyment. Still, my friends were certainly right, and I’m grateful to them for recommending this book to me.

The Anthropocene Reviewed Review

The Anthropocene Reviewed ReviewThe Anthropocene Reviewed was the perfect book for starting the summer. It’s the perfect summer read because each chapter is a story unto itself, so you can pick it up and put it down at your own pace.  Each essay is relatively short, so even if you’re just waiting for a friend to arrive to have coffee, you can get through one and then set it down again.

Still, if your taste is similar to mine, you won’t just read one essay at a time. You’ll want to take in several. They’re all deeply emotional and thoughtful without being pretentious or forced. The Anthropocene Reviewed takes a look at some of the parts of our lives that I’d come to think of as mundane, but that are filled with a rich history and surprising social implication.

Without reading this book, I’d never have thought as deeply about our grassy lawns or about the prevalence of Canada geese – or known that there was a relationship between the two – but now that I know it, I’m glad I do.

A Powerfully Emotional Journey

There were essays that I absolutely adored, and there were some I simply enjoyed. There weren’t any that I disliked. Every one of them elicited an emotional response.  Whether it was surprise and curiosity, heart-filling joy, heartbreaking sadness, or the type of relief that makes it difficult to breathe for a moment, I felt them all.  I sobbed at some and laughed out loud with others.  It was beautiful, and I think I needed it.

I never would have expected that essays rating everyday things on a five-star scale could be emotional medicine for me, but that’s certainly what The Anthropocene Reviewed provided me.

This book was based on a podcast the author, John Green, had been keeping up for a while. That said, he did create some fresh essays specifically for the book, it seems. I have since listened to the podcasts that weren’t covered by the paperback and enjoyed them too.

I found the other half of the QWERTY keyboard podcast (which was covered in the paperback), which was about the kaua’i o’o bird to be particularly powerful. I still can’t think about it without tears filling my eyes. I can see how that one couldn’t have been included in the print edition as it included a bird song recording, but I’m glad I took the opportunity to stumble upon it.

If you have yet to read The Anthropocene Reviewed, please allow me to add myself to the list of many people who would recommend it to you.

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