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In which John goes Full Inception and reviews reviews of The Anthropocene Reviewed. Signed copies of TAR are still available in many places. Order one today:

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Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday.

So I wrote this book, The Anthropocene Reviewed, which is a collection of essays reviewing different facets of the human-centered planet on a 5 star scale.

I am very grateful—and a little surprised—that the book has found such a wide readership. It has now been on the New York Times bestseller list for 8 consecutive weeks, and my initial assumption that everyone who read the book would be like, someone who watches these videos turns out to have been wrong.

Like, just today I got an email that had, no joke, the all-caps subject line, "GRANDMOTHER LOVES YOUR BOOK." And I was like sadly, my grandmothers are not here to read it, so how could they love it? But it turns out it was someone else's grandmother. And it was just such a kind and sweet email, so thank you Katherine from Minnesota, I give your email 5 stars.

Which reminds me that one of the weirdest things about the last 8 weeks is that the book explores the simultaneous absurdity and indispensability of the 5 star scale, and, of course, it is now widely being reviewed on a 5 star scale.

In nice news, on both Goodreads and Amazon, The Anthropocene Reviewed has a much higher average rating than any of my other books. It also, for the record, has a higher average rating than Macbeth, which, you know, possibly indicates some problems with the 5 star scale.

But I have to confess, I have read some of these reviews of my book of reviews, and after reading them, I felt it was necessary to go deeper and review the reviews of my book of reviews. Before I do this, though, I just want to say, if you read the book and want to review it, that's great, but please don't go through reviews and like, say mean things to people.

Okay, let's start with a 2 star review that reads, in part, "Behind Green's ideological views I recognize the typical characteristics of a man with essentially feminine instinct." Thank you. Chef's kiss. 5 stars.

But the best 2 star review starts out something like, [clears throat] "Hank Green certainly knows his science, but he doesn't know anything about people." Unfortunately, I have to give that review 2 stars because on several levels, it unjustly maligns my brother.

Okay, a more positive one. On Goodreads, someone gave it 4 stars and wrote, "This is such a soft book. I love it." That is exactly what I (?~1:57) [want it/wanted] to do. I wanted to write a soft book for a hard moment. Now, I mean, if you loved it, you could've given it 5 stars, but then again, I gave the cave paintings at Lascaux 4 and a half stars, so maybe I should just shut up and be grateful. That said, of course, I can only give your review 4 stars.

Another nice one: someone named Gabriella wrote, "Equal parts stubborn hope and self awareness. There are many things my cynicism has managed to withstand over time, but I found it difficult to hold on to it in the fact of such tender, vulnerable, and heartfelt essays." Jeez, thanks Gabriella. It occurs to me that there is nothing more radical or counter-cultural at the moment than laying down one's cynicism in favor of tender vulnerability. 5 star review.

Also on Goodreads, someone gave The Anthropocene Reviewed 3 stars and described it as, "A little Ted Lasso-like." Which, buddy, if you think I'm going to be disappointed about you calling my book Ted Lasso-like, you are mistaken. I give your 3 star review 5 stars.

In one of my very favorite reviews, Aadil wrote, in part, "If there was ever a book that reminds us of what it means to be alive, then this is it." Which, I mean, I wrote it to remind me what it means to be alive, so, yeah, thank you, 5 stars.

And then we have Melissa, who wrote, in part, "As a covid nurse, the reflections in this collection have helped me find my white-knuckled way through this pandemic." Which, Melissa, the idea is that I make you cry, okay? Not the other way around.

Here's the thing, Hank. Almost all the reviews are like that, and I can't riff on them or make jokes about them because they are so open-hearted and thoughtful, and they evince the very sort of generosity of spirit that I tried to bring to writing the book. I don't really have any clever rejoinders to that kindness. All I can say is a deeply felt but wholly insufficient thank you, thank you, thank you.

Hank, I'll see you on Friday.

P.S. If you haven't read The Anthropocene Reviewed yet there are signed copies available, or you can get it at your local library, or you can get the audiobook read by me, if you want, you know, like 10 hours of this monotonic baritone. Is monotonic a word? It should be.