John Green remains, in my opinion, one of the more notable writers of my lifetime. He has written such prolific, emotional, and comforting books I can distinctly recall opening up at pivotal points in my life. However, there were critiques of his writing style and content, which I am happy to say he has worked past.
This book is a collection of small essays on various topics, objects, ideas, etc., that have appeared in the Anthropocene (the geological unit of time we currently exist in). He rates them as anyone would a movie or book, describing the thing, what it does or does not mean to him, some history on the thing, and then provides an out-of-five star rating. It was truly delightful to go through, and I hope he comes out with more books in this format as the human race continues to survive through this epoch.
Some reviews had me laughing, others put me in a deep, melancholic pondering. Some were a bit boring while others taught me about things I certainly would never Google. Overall, he writes informatively, passionately, and with the same sense of romance towards living you can find in his works of fiction. I do think he sometimes got a bit too self-reflective, or perhaps he simply mentioned too many times that he was an awkward, self-pitying, mess of a child/young adult for my liking. That aside, this book had a calming effect on me.
It was a book written during the pandemic, which he does mention a few times, and talks about plagues and diseases some as well. It was comforting to read and made me feel part of a greater community again. I am not just alone in my bed reading this book. I am one of many people alone in their beds reading any book.