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The Anthropocene Reviewed

Essays on a Human-Centered Planet

Author John Green
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Goodreads Choice winner for Nonfiction 2021 and instant #1 bestseller! A deeply moving collection of personal essays from John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down.

“The perfect book for right now.” –People

The Anthropocene Reviewed is essential to the human conversation.” –Library Journal, starred review

The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is an open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.
© Marina Waters
John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of books including Looking for AlaskaThe Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down. His books have received many accolades, including a Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and an Edgar Award. John has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is also the writer and host of the critically acclaimed podcast The Anthropocene Reviewed. With his brother, Hank, John has co-created many online video projects, including Vlogbrothers and the educational channel Crash Course. He lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit John online at johngreenbooks.com.

_________________________________________


John Green nació en Indianápolis en 1977, y se graduó en Lengua y Literatura Inglesa y Teología de Kenyon College. Tras iniciar su carrera en el mundo editorial como crítico y editor,  ha sido galardonado con el premio de honor Printz y el premio Edgar por sus diversas novelas.  Con su novela Bajo la misma estrella ha demostrado su capacidad para emocionar a lectores de  todas las edades y se ha convertido en uno de los autores más vendidos del mundo. View titles by John Green
From the Introduction
 
When I reviewed books, “I” was never in the review. I imagined myself as a disinterested observer writing from outside. My early re­views of Diet Dr Pepper and Canada geese were similarly written in the nonfictional version of third-person omniscient narration. After Sarah read them, she pointed out that in the Anthropocene, there are no disinterested observers; there are only participants. She explained that  when people write reviews, they are really writing a kind of mem­oir—here’s what my experience was eating at this restaurant or getting my hair cut at this barbershop. I’d written 1,500 words about Diet Dr Pepper without once mentioning my abiding and deeply personal love of Diet Dr Pepper.

Around the same time, as I began to regain my sense of balance, I reread the work of my friend and mentor Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who’d died a few months earlier. She’d once written, “For anyone trying to discern what to do w/ their life: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. That’s pretty much all the info u need.” My attention had become so fractured, and my world had become so loud, that I wasn’t paying attention to what I was paying attention to. But when I put myself into the reviews as Sarah suggested, I felt like for the first time in years, I was at least trying to pay attention to what I pay attention to.

•••
 
This book started out as a podcast, where I tried to chart some of the contradictions of human life as I experience it—how we can be so com­passionate and so cruel, so persistent and so quick to despair. Above all, I wanted to understand the contradiction of human power: We are at once far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough. We are power­ful enough to radically reshape Earth’s climate and biodiversity, but not powerful enough to choose how we reshape them. We are so powerful that we have escaped our planet’s atmosphere. But we are not powerful enough to save those we love from suffering.

I also wanted to write about some of the places where my small life runs into the large forces of the Anthropocene. In early 2020, after two years of writing the podcast, an exceptionally large force appeared in the form of a novel coronavirus. I began then to write about the only thing I could write about. Amid the crisis—and writing to you from April of 2021, I am still amid it—I find much to fear and lament. But I also see humans working together to share and distribute what we collectively learn, and I see people working together to care for the sick and vulner­able. Even separated, we are bound up in each other. As Sarah told me, there are no observers; only participants.
Praise for The Anthropocene Reviewed

#1 New York Times Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller
#1 Indie Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
International Bestseller

GOODREADS CHOICE NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR


★ “The book is a review of humanity: how we grow, how we build, how we destroy, and how we observe ourselves. Many books succeed at making the personal universal, but this one also makes the universal personal.

“This is a book about culture, about science and medicine, about Green himself, but really it surpasses these designations. It is essential to the human conversation. John Green whispered the truth of humanity onto the page, and as with all good secrets, you’ll need to lean in closely to hear.” —Library Journal, starred review

The Anthropocene Reviewed is the perfect book to read over lunch or to keep on your nightstand, whenever you need a reminder of what it is to feel small and human, in the best possible way.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Charming, curious, and heartfelt. Each essay feels like its own adventure on a journey toward understanding our world and humanity’s impact on it.”  —NPR, Best Books of the Year

“Moving, entertaining and mind-expanding. . . . Green has a Gladwell-esque ability to explain complex phenomena and his sense of humor and eye for life’s absurdities bring lightness to difficult and sometimes harrowing topics.”  —The Irish Times

“Green’s style is akin to that of someone like Susan Orlean, combining deeply personal anecdotes with fascinating facts. . . . The result is like falling into a Wikipedia hole if the entries were written as a form of therapy.”  —A.V. Club

“Green searches for joy—large and small—in human nature.” —Parade Magazine, Best Books of the Year
“Poignant and reassuring. . . . A reminder that even with everything going on in the world, we can still find joy in little things. Humans have an incredible capacity to love, and this book is proof that no matter how big or small, there is so much in this world to love.” —Business Insider

“There is something of the sermon in [Green’s] essays as he mixes curiosity and erudition with confession, compassion, and wit, searching for illuminating life lessons amid life’s dark chaos. His particular mix of irony and sincerity enables him to embrace both the sublime and the ridiculous.” —Booklist
 
★ “Each short review is rich with meaning and filled with surprises and together, they amount to a resonant paean to hard-won hope.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Each of the entries in The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet is a small gem, polished to near perfection…. What unites them is [Green’s] uncanny ability to structure each piece as both a critique of human foibles and an embracing of them.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“If you’re looking for a little hope this summer, look no further than John Green’s latest essay collection…. These personal essays explore humanity in every detail from funny and small to complex and powerful.” —Isaac Fitzgerald, TODAY Show Summer Reading Recommendations

“In his novels, John Green conjures richly imagined, heartfelt drama that lovingly explores the human condition. With The Anthropocene Reviewed, John pulls off the same magic trick while writing about the largest ball of paint...and it is glorious. Every page is full of insight. I loved it.” —Roman Mars, creator and host of 99% Invisible

The Anthropocene Reviewed somehow satisfies all the contradictory demands I have for a book right now: it stimulates my brain while getting me out of my head while taking me to faraway places while grounding me in the wonders of my everyday. I’m so glad it’s here. I need it.” —Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money and author of Let’s Talk About Hard Things

“If loving something out loud takes courage, and I think it does, John Green is Evel Knievel and The Anthropocene Reviewed is a series of ever-more-impressive motorcycle jumps.” —Latif Nasser, cohost of Radiolab

About

Goodreads Choice winner for Nonfiction 2021 and instant #1 bestseller! A deeply moving collection of personal essays from John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down.

“The perfect book for right now.” –People

The Anthropocene Reviewed is essential to the human conversation.” –Library Journal, starred review

The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is an open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

Author

© Marina Waters
John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of books including Looking for AlaskaThe Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down. His books have received many accolades, including a Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and an Edgar Award. John has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is also the writer and host of the critically acclaimed podcast The Anthropocene Reviewed. With his brother, Hank, John has co-created many online video projects, including Vlogbrothers and the educational channel Crash Course. He lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit John online at johngreenbooks.com.

_________________________________________


John Green nació en Indianápolis en 1977, y se graduó en Lengua y Literatura Inglesa y Teología de Kenyon College. Tras iniciar su carrera en el mundo editorial como crítico y editor,  ha sido galardonado con el premio de honor Printz y el premio Edgar por sus diversas novelas.  Con su novela Bajo la misma estrella ha demostrado su capacidad para emocionar a lectores de  todas las edades y se ha convertido en uno de los autores más vendidos del mundo. View titles by John Green

Excerpt

From the Introduction
 
When I reviewed books, “I” was never in the review. I imagined myself as a disinterested observer writing from outside. My early re­views of Diet Dr Pepper and Canada geese were similarly written in the nonfictional version of third-person omniscient narration. After Sarah read them, she pointed out that in the Anthropocene, there are no disinterested observers; there are only participants. She explained that  when people write reviews, they are really writing a kind of mem­oir—here’s what my experience was eating at this restaurant or getting my hair cut at this barbershop. I’d written 1,500 words about Diet Dr Pepper without once mentioning my abiding and deeply personal love of Diet Dr Pepper.

Around the same time, as I began to regain my sense of balance, I reread the work of my friend and mentor Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who’d died a few months earlier. She’d once written, “For anyone trying to discern what to do w/ their life: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. That’s pretty much all the info u need.” My attention had become so fractured, and my world had become so loud, that I wasn’t paying attention to what I was paying attention to. But when I put myself into the reviews as Sarah suggested, I felt like for the first time in years, I was at least trying to pay attention to what I pay attention to.

•••
 
This book started out as a podcast, where I tried to chart some of the contradictions of human life as I experience it—how we can be so com­passionate and so cruel, so persistent and so quick to despair. Above all, I wanted to understand the contradiction of human power: We are at once far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough. We are power­ful enough to radically reshape Earth’s climate and biodiversity, but not powerful enough to choose how we reshape them. We are so powerful that we have escaped our planet’s atmosphere. But we are not powerful enough to save those we love from suffering.

I also wanted to write about some of the places where my small life runs into the large forces of the Anthropocene. In early 2020, after two years of writing the podcast, an exceptionally large force appeared in the form of a novel coronavirus. I began then to write about the only thing I could write about. Amid the crisis—and writing to you from April of 2021, I am still amid it—I find much to fear and lament. But I also see humans working together to share and distribute what we collectively learn, and I see people working together to care for the sick and vulner­able. Even separated, we are bound up in each other. As Sarah told me, there are no observers; only participants.

Praise

Praise for The Anthropocene Reviewed

#1 New York Times Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller
#1 Indie Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
International Bestseller

GOODREADS CHOICE NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR


★ “The book is a review of humanity: how we grow, how we build, how we destroy, and how we observe ourselves. Many books succeed at making the personal universal, but this one also makes the universal personal.

“This is a book about culture, about science and medicine, about Green himself, but really it surpasses these designations. It is essential to the human conversation. John Green whispered the truth of humanity onto the page, and as with all good secrets, you’ll need to lean in closely to hear.” —Library Journal, starred review

The Anthropocene Reviewed is the perfect book to read over lunch or to keep on your nightstand, whenever you need a reminder of what it is to feel small and human, in the best possible way.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Charming, curious, and heartfelt. Each essay feels like its own adventure on a journey toward understanding our world and humanity’s impact on it.”  —NPR, Best Books of the Year

“Moving, entertaining and mind-expanding. . . . Green has a Gladwell-esque ability to explain complex phenomena and his sense of humor and eye for life’s absurdities bring lightness to difficult and sometimes harrowing topics.”  —The Irish Times

“Green’s style is akin to that of someone like Susan Orlean, combining deeply personal anecdotes with fascinating facts. . . . The result is like falling into a Wikipedia hole if the entries were written as a form of therapy.”  —A.V. Club

“Green searches for joy—large and small—in human nature.” —Parade Magazine, Best Books of the Year
“Poignant and reassuring. . . . A reminder that even with everything going on in the world, we can still find joy in little things. Humans have an incredible capacity to love, and this book is proof that no matter how big or small, there is so much in this world to love.” —Business Insider

“There is something of the sermon in [Green’s] essays as he mixes curiosity and erudition with confession, compassion, and wit, searching for illuminating life lessons amid life’s dark chaos. His particular mix of irony and sincerity enables him to embrace both the sublime and the ridiculous.” —Booklist
 
★ “Each short review is rich with meaning and filled with surprises and together, they amount to a resonant paean to hard-won hope.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Each of the entries in The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet is a small gem, polished to near perfection…. What unites them is [Green’s] uncanny ability to structure each piece as both a critique of human foibles and an embracing of them.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“If you’re looking for a little hope this summer, look no further than John Green’s latest essay collection…. These personal essays explore humanity in every detail from funny and small to complex and powerful.” —Isaac Fitzgerald, TODAY Show Summer Reading Recommendations

“In his novels, John Green conjures richly imagined, heartfelt drama that lovingly explores the human condition. With The Anthropocene Reviewed, John pulls off the same magic trick while writing about the largest ball of paint...and it is glorious. Every page is full of insight. I loved it.” —Roman Mars, creator and host of 99% Invisible

The Anthropocene Reviewed somehow satisfies all the contradictory demands I have for a book right now: it stimulates my brain while getting me out of my head while taking me to faraway places while grounding me in the wonders of my everyday. I’m so glad it’s here. I need it.” —Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money and author of Let’s Talk About Hard Things

“If loving something out loud takes courage, and I think it does, John Green is Evel Knievel and The Anthropocene Reviewed is a series of ever-more-impressive motorcycle jumps.” —Latif Nasser, cohost of Radiolab

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