The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet (Paperback)

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The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet (Paperback)


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Staff Reviews

You know when you read a book, and it’s like the book just happened to arrive at the time when you needed it the most? That was this one for me.
John Green is not only known for the YouTube shows he runs with his brother, Hank (watching the Crash Course videos was definitely the highlight of my high school World History classes), but for his infamous coming-of-age novels (click for the list). The Anthropocene Reviewed is instead a collection of personal essays where he rates everything from Canada geese to viral meningitis on a five-star scale, effortlessly illustrating how in the anthropocene, there are no disinterested observers. There are only participants.
Ultimately, this book is a love letter to the human experience. I always have a hard time reading inspirational books about just how great it is to be alive – they feel… idealized? Plastic? Foolishly optimistic? Whatever the right word is, something is lacking. The Anthropocene Reviewed on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. It’s incredibly self aware, discussing both the egregiously bad and the incredibly good. I think John Green himself says it the best:
“To fall in love with the world isn’t to ignore or overlook suffering, both human or otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel your mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It’s to hold you children while they cry, and watch as the sycamore trees leaf out in June … We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open.”
Above all else, The Anthropocene Reviewed is a beautiful and honest attempt to do just that.
— Leah

This book...WOW! John Green puts together topics of the ordinary and not so ordinary things that are all around us. It was very intriguing to think of things that I already knew about in a different way and wonder about why it got the number of stars that he gave it (he rates the topics he writes about with a star system).

I also learned about things I was unaware existed or didn’t really know about. It was just a wonderful read, full of fun facts and little tidbits that made me stop and think about the everyday things that I breeze right by on any given day.

Everyone needs to read this! And if you listen to the audiobook on Libro there is a bonus chapter PLUS it’s read by John himself!

I give this book 5 stars :)

— Donna

“Masterful. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a beautiful, timely book about the human condition—and a timeless reminder to pay attention to your attention.” —Adam Grant, #1 bestselling author of Think Again and host of the podcast Re:Thinking

The instant #1 bestseller from John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down, is now available in paperback with two brand-new essays!

“Gloriously personal and life-affirming. The perfect book for right now.” —People
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, 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.

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.
John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of books including Looking for Alaska, The 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 Los Angeles 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
Praise for The Anthropocene Reviewed

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


★ “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