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SHSU Common Reader 2023: The Anthropocene Reviewed

Resource Guide for the 2023-24 SHSU Campus Common Reader: The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

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About The Book

About the Common Reader Program

The SHSU Common Reader program provides all interested SHSU students with the annually selected book. First-year students receive their copy as a summer reading assignment during orientation sessions. Faculty and staff develop and present scholarly dialogues about complex subjects through coursework and events, including a poetry slam, poster competitions, a film festival, and a podcasting workshop.

The mission of the SHSU Common Reading Program is to create a shared academic/intellectual experience, facilitate a campus-wide cross-disciplinary conversation, and enhance the community with students, faculty, and staff.


Kirkus Reviews
Book Review

"The bestselling author offers a miscellany of essays on life and letters in an environmentally fraught time.

Green, who admits to a certain amount of OCD, opens charmingly with a telling instance: It took him 30 days to create a path through the woods behind his Indianapolis home to reach a treehouse less than a minute away: “It took me a month to build a fifty-eight-second walk in the woods.” He might well have conjured the critic Morse Peckham, who once observed that a futile activity isn’t so futile if it puts off recognizing its own futility. It’s one of few bookish allusions Green misses in this pleasing book of essays personal and cultural...

A grab bag, but one that repays reading and reflection and a pleasure throughout despite occasionally dark moments."

Publishers Weekly
Book Review

"YA novelist Green (Turtles All the Way Down) makes his adult debut with this perfectly calibrated collection that reviews and rates various aspects of the current epoch. Taking on the style of a Yelp review, Green assigns a five-star rating to each topic he covers. Each short review is rich with meaning and filled with surprises—”Sunsets,” for example, draws on several poems to ask “what should we do about the clichéd beauty” of a setting sun— and together, they amount to a resonant paean to hard-won hope. Green’s legions of fans will be delighted."

Book Review

"The Anthropocene, according to the National Geographic Society, is “an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems.” Significant is putting it mildly. Environmentalists might say catastrophic, even apocalyptic. John Green, an award magnet for his six beloved, best-selling young adult novels, including Turtles All the Way Down (2017), channeled his curiosity about disparate aspects of our lives on our “human-centered planet” into a podcast, The Anthropocene Reviewed, the foundation for this essay collection, his first nonfiction book and first book for adults, though YAs will avidly read and revel in it, too."

Library Journal (Starred Review)
Book Review

"In Green’s (The Fault in Our Stars) latest book, he dives into a wide range of topics, including Halley’s Comet, scratch-and-sniff stickers, Diet Dr. Pepper, sunsets, the movie Penguins of Madagascar, Monopoly, whispering, and plague, to name a few. This collection of essays began as a podcast (The Anthropocene Reviewed), where Green covered topics of his choosing but also those suggested by listeners, resulting in the eclectic list of subjects. Yet it’s hard to tell who chose what, because each topic feels as significant as the others, even the more light-hearted ones. In each essay, Green reveals a little bit of himself through personal anecdotes as he relates the history of the essay’s topic and its connection to the world today; he then rates each on a five-star scale. Green’s extensive research is evident throughout the essays, but it’s his lyrical phrasing and openness that will stick with readers."


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