What is The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on the Human-Centered Planet?
It’s a book based on the podcast where best-selling young adult author John Green (The Fault in our Stars, Turtles All the Way Down) reviews facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale. The cover is designed by Grace Han. Intended to be like a memoir, The Anthropocene Reviewed is a book of essays that take the form of extremely in-depth Yelp reviews. John described it as “beginning in my childhood when I saw Halley’s Comet and smelled scratch-and-sniff stickers and moves through my adolescence when I became fascinated by the internet and then through my twenties when I worked at a children’s hospital and survived a mental health crisis, and then, into adulthood, and becoming a parent.”
According to Anna Sale, author of Let’s Talk About Hard Things, “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.”
I (Ms. Eti) have created this Teen/Adult Fandom Grab & Go Kit to celebrate the release of this highly-anticipated book, which will be released on May 18, 2021. Our physical kit will be available in our Great Green Box starting the week of May 18th, as well as by the Adult Services desk. Stop by the library or contact us to reserve a kit to pick up.
Share what you’re created with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll spotlight it on our social media! Special thank you to fellow Nerdfighter Christina M., who helped me craft this kit.
John Green’s books are poignant, powerful, and emotional, and as a book that does address some difficult topics, including loss related to COVID-19, we wanted to share some of our community mental heath resources:
- Turning Point Mental Health Services
- JCFS Chicago Response for Teens
- No Shame On U
- Metropolitan Family Services
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 74`741.
We have included a couple items (Diet Dr. Pepper and Scratch-and-Sniff stickers) for you to explore to create your own sensory experiences and think about how you would review them. Some ideas to consider: what are your childhood memories of these items? What feelings do you associate with them? What is their origin? What do you think is their appeal? What connections to have to your friends and family and these items? How many stars would you give them? Use the stars we’ve provided 😊 Then, check out John’s reviews.
Hiroyuki Doi Circle Drawings Magnet
In the “Works of Art by Agnes Martin and Hiroyuki Doi” podcast episode, John reviews the “the monumental circle drawings” of the Japanese artist Hiroyuki Doi, who began drawing after the death of his brother, because he found that the circles gave him “relief from the sadness and grief.” John shares, “I also find that repetitive actions offer relief– provided I choose them and don’t find them too physically or mentally taxing. Of course it’s easy to chalk that up to my having obsessive-compulsive disorder, but studies have found that most people are more focused and retain more information when they are doodling than when they are not.” John has a long-term plan to draw 170,000 or so circles. In fact, The Anthropocene Reviewed end papers are based on his circle drawings and they’re beautiful!
Using the green sharpie, draw circles on the wooden disc magnet we’ve provided, hopefully while listening to “This Year” by the Mountain Goats, checking out the “Works of Art by Agnes Martin and Hiroyuki Doi” episode or “What’s wrong with taking the back streets?” Vlogbrothers video.
Share pictures of your creations with us! (Be careful to use magnets safely and keep away from young children.)
John has signed every copy of the first printing for the United States and Canada, which amounts to signing his name 250,000 times! Check out his Vlogbrothers video, “How to Sign your Name How to Sign Your Name 150,000 Times” for autographing insights. If you go to the end paper opposite the signature page, there’s a review of autographs. Using the green sharpie, try to apply his advice to crafting your own signature. Hide the notecard in a book for someone else to find it.
Check out our bookmark of The Anthropocene Reviewed readalikes. Whether you’re interested in beckoning lovely, innovative artists & creators, your relationship to nature, the hidden world of everyday design, or robots appearing overnight, this list has something for everyone.
Here’s the list of suggested readalikes:
Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir by Ashley C. Ford (expected publication date: June 1st, 2021)
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
You are an Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation by Sarah Urist Green
The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Kurt Kohlstedt and Roman Mars
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Write Your Own The Anthropocene Reviewed-Style Review
Select something from the human-centered planet to write a review in the style of The Anthropocene Reviewed. You can even select a topic from the book, write your own review, and then see how it compares with John’s assessment. Like all reviews, it’s just for fun and totally subjective. You can even use the notebook to write down your review and share it with us.
Here’s a template to help you get started:
- Start by defining the thing you’re talking about:
- Do some basic research to learn more about that thing.
- Where did it come from? Was it invented, and if so, who made it? Our library has lots of resources on our website under the page, “Research and Learning.”
- Make personal connections.
- When did you first experience it? What are your associations with it? What are some emotions you feel when you think about it? Don’t be afraid of meaningful tangents or rambles. It’s all about the journey. (You can always go with “but we’re not here to talk about the [insert number of stars thing] here.”)
- Find a way to make your reader cry or feel some sort of way about the thing.
- Come to a conclusion about the thing and why you approve/disapprove of it. End by giving your rating.
By the way, if you attend John Green’s virtual book tour, he’ll actually write a new review together using a strategy he developed for the book!
John shared in the “We Could All Use a Little Change” Vlogbrothers video how “a gratitude journal made by Kurzgesagt, the people behind those phenomenally beautiful and informative videos,” changed his life by writing down what he was grateful for every day. Use the notebook included to make your own gratitude journal or use it for whatever you like 😊: it’s yours.
Eti’s favorite essay/podcast episode is about Auld Lang Syne, which is also about the late author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who helped us all see magic and hope, as John writes, “Although she was a playful and optimistic writer, Amy was not deluded about the nature of suffering, or about its centrality in human life. Her work–whether picture book or memoir–always finds a way to acknowledge misery without giving in to it.”
We’ve included some coloring sheets inspired by her book, Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal. We invite you to color them, write a quote from the book on the back, and send it to someone as a surprise. Send 5-stars to someone in your life who is unequivocally a 5-star person. You can use the card we’ve provided to mail them a note to tell them how awesome they are. You can even add a scratch-and-sniff sticker or the stickers we made to bring them joy.
We’ve all experienced some form of isolation over the past year. Through Coming Together’s 2021 season, we invite you to reconnect with neighbors, family, and friends to let them know you’re thinking of them. Visit comingtogether.in for more information. Reach out to a friend or neighbor with the postcards we’ve provided to tell them you are thinking of them during these difficult times. In addition to sending postcards, you might choose to make a phone call to neighbors and/or friends you know. Pick up the phone and let them know, “I was thinking of you today and thought I would give you a call.” Then be prepared to listen and share in a conversation.
If someone you talk to needs help with resources for healthcare, housing, food, mental health support, etc., you may suggest they call the Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center/IDHS hotline at 847-933-0051 x609.
Attend the Virtual Tour
John is going on a virtual tour for The Anthropocene Reviewed and there will be a special guest each night! Tickets are available now, supported by independent bookstores across the USA! More info here: http://johngreenbooks.com/appearances.
Review the Book
First, get a copy of The Anthropocene Reviewed. You can, of course, put it on hold at our library.
Authors really appreciate reader’s reviews of their books – and it’s a huge part of gaining visibility and interest in their books. If you read The Anthropocene Reviewed, share a review on Goodreads, social media, or share it with the library and we’ll post it on our social media.
Is there another book you’ve loved this year? Show that author some appreciation and write a quick review and share it.
Review this Kit
We’d love to hear from you about what you thought of this kit, which has been created because of feedback we received to make more tween/teen/adult kits.
Please take a couple minutes to share your feedback with your Lincolnwood Public Library Youth and Teen Librarians and evaluate us on a 5-star scale. We will use this information to plan future Grab & Go Kits, just for you!
Fill out the form and you’ll be entered into a gift card raffle.
Here’s the link: www.tinyurl.com/LNK-KitFeedback
And finally, I give you 5 stars.
But wait, there’s more! Check out the incredible The Anthropocene Reviewed Map: a fan project from Ret and Jim, where you can Send in a photo of your copy of the book, write a review of your location, and see it on the map!