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A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the hu A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, 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. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together. John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.


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A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the hu A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, 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. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together. John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

30 review for The Anthropocene Reviewed

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    I don’t fail to see the irony in reviewing a book that’s essentially all about reviews, but I was actually pretty surprised by this book. One minute he’s talking about hot dog eating contests and Dr. pepper and the next he’s talking about human loneliness and connection and life during a pandemic. It was actually really cool to read a book that talked about COVID and the struggles of living during a pandemic, this is the first book I’ve read that really talks about it. I also really enjoyed hear I don’t fail to see the irony in reviewing a book that’s essentially all about reviews, but I was actually pretty surprised by this book. One minute he’s talking about hot dog eating contests and Dr. pepper and the next he’s talking about human loneliness and connection and life during a pandemic. It was actually really cool to read a book that talked about COVID and the struggles of living during a pandemic, this is the first book I’ve read that really talks about it. I also really enjoyed hearing about his relationship with his brother Hank, and their discussions about the meaning of life. This book ends on a really great note, the ending gave me goosebumps. Thanks so much to Libro.fm for providing me with an advanced listening copy!

  2. 5 out of 5

    aries

    HAND IT OVER IMMEDIATELY, JOHN.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    I received a copy of this audiobook, read by John Green, through libro.fm and their ALC Program. I am not super familiar with the podcast of the same name, but still, I knew that I was predisposed to love this. And love this I did. This is perfectly what I enjoy in a collection of essays: each essay well crafted, but all tied together by a strong central theme. Green writes with the flair of a seasoned storyteller so that I can imagine even readers who are not usually fond of or used to non-ficti I received a copy of this audiobook, read by John Green, through libro.fm and their ALC Program. I am not super familiar with the podcast of the same name, but still, I knew that I was predisposed to love this. And love this I did. This is perfectly what I enjoy in a collection of essays: each essay well crafted, but all tied together by a strong central theme. Green writes with the flair of a seasoned storyteller so that I can imagine even readers who are not usually fond of or used to non-fiction would find it easy to sink into The Anthropocene Reviewed. These are stories, after all, told accessibly, in beautiful language, and by a keen observer. In his postscript, Green reflects on the contradictions of the human experience, the wonder of it all alongside the misery of it all. Throughout this work, Green captures those contractions well. He flawlessly ties together bits of human history and invention with personal stories, presenting both with equal skill. The macro parts of the story are clear, concise and well presented. The micro parts are vulnerable and full of emotion. I found myself also experiencing the highs and lows alongside the author. It was particularly emotional hearing Green muse on his own writing, on the pandemic, and on his relationship with his family, themes that appear throughout. Also layered throughout is a love of art and literature. At the end, Green wonders if his work is too full of quotes, as he is too full of quotes, but any other readers also full of quotes will find it a joy. I finished the book and wanted immediately to listen again. To slowly go back through and pick out those quotes, to do a few deep Google searches into Monopoly or geese or the QWERTY keyboard. To experience again the coziness of someone telling me an interesting story, about himself, but also about myself, and also about us all. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed 5 out of 5 stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook…read by John Green …..10 hours and 3 minutes Nothing prepared me for how wonderful this book is. I’m thrilled that I own it. Paul listen to parts, and now he wants his own copy on ‘his’ phone. I haven’t had so much enjoyment learning about trivial things that are not really trivial but may be trivial things from an audiobook as much as this one. And I haven’t thought about the really important issues of life — like this — (to my awareness) either. I’ve always liked John Green…. I like Audiobook…read by John Green …..10 hours and 3 minutes Nothing prepared me for how wonderful this book is. I’m thrilled that I own it. Paul listen to parts, and now he wants his own copy on ‘his’ phone. I haven’t had so much enjoyment learning about trivial things that are not really trivial but may be trivial things from an audiobook as much as this one. And I haven’t thought about the really important issues of life — like this — (to my awareness) either. I’ve always liked John Green…. I like his young adult books…. But my god… “The Anthropocene Review: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet”….. IS HIS BEST BOOK…. It’s OUTSTANDING- FANTASTIC- INFORMATIVE- MOVING - THOUGHT PROVOKING….. I LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!!! I will listen to this again. I look forward to it! I laughed, I got teary-eyed, and I continue to be in ‘awe’!!! To miss a this gem… would be a shame— I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE!!! John Green reads his own book with so much heart — we need a new definition to the word heart! I have pages of notes…. but I’m going to hold back sharing them as tempting as it for me. I could be too much of a a gem-give-a-way- chatterbox. I’m trying to discipline myself here —holding back my tongue. GO IN BLIND…. Regardless of how wonderful reviews are— no matter how descriptive, and thoughtful they are, this is a book that simply has to be experienced. AFTER taking one’s own turn reading it — there are themes, topics, issues, thoughts, feelings that are soooooo worth discussing with others who have read it. But don’t cheat ‘yourself’ …. Trust this book is worthy to be read!! ( listening was an added treat)…. but I’d like to own the physical book, and read it too. Great book club pick!! 5 stars for sunsets 🌅 5 ++++++++ and more stars for John Green and this wonderful gift he gave us.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rincey

    I give John Green's ability to make me view the world with hope and wonder 5 out of 5 stars Watch me discuss this book in my May wrap up: https://youtu.be/ouTm4bZ6TQw I give John Green's ability to make me view the world with hope and wonder 5 out of 5 stars Watch me discuss this book in my May wrap up: https://youtu.be/ouTm4bZ6TQw

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    This turned out to be a great choice for my bedtime book. John Green writes YA books, most notably "The Fault In Our Stars", which was also a popular movie. I read that one during my years at B&N to stay abreast of the teen section, and liked it a lot, though YA is not my favorite genre. It was an emotional novel about two cancer patients who fall in love during their therapy, so of course it was sad in parts, but also well written and not sappy. This is his first foray into writing for adults, b This turned out to be a great choice for my bedtime book. John Green writes YA books, most notably "The Fault In Our Stars", which was also a popular movie. I read that one during my years at B&N to stay abreast of the teen section, and liked it a lot, though YA is not my favorite genre. It was an emotional novel about two cancer patients who fall in love during their therapy, so of course it was sad in parts, but also well written and not sappy. This is his first foray into writing for adults, based on a podcast of the same name he co-hosts with his brother. The Anthropocene is our present day era, so each essay takes some aspect of our society important to him, good or bad, he explains it, dissects it, then gives it a star rating between 1 and 5 at the end. My explanation makes it sound dull, and it's not at all. It's uplifting and inspiring and informative in the best way, as his subjects are eclectic and very personal to him. Each essay was easily read in the time it took for me to nod off, sometimes 2 or 3 of them. Green is everything I look for in an essay writer, funny, honest, descriptive, and able to make obscure thoughts clear and understandable. I consider E.B. White a master of the essay, and Green is right up there with him. I hope this isn't the last of the Anthropocene collection, as there is no end of subjects to write about. Recommended to everyone, teens included.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liberty

    I give John Green ... 5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nev

    I loved this so fucking much. Apparently non-fiction essays were what I needed to rekindle my love for John Green’s writing. Through reviews of different facets of the world he tells stories of his own life, inventions, human connections, loneliness, mental health, living through a pandemic, and so much more. Some of the aspects of his writing that I started to not appreciate so much in his YA novels definitely work better here in adult non-fiction. His worldview, use of quotes, and deep musings I loved this so fucking much. Apparently non-fiction essays were what I needed to rekindle my love for John Green’s writing. Through reviews of different facets of the world he tells stories of his own life, inventions, human connections, loneliness, mental health, living through a pandemic, and so much more. Some of the aspects of his writing that I started to not appreciate so much in his YA novels definitely work better here in adult non-fiction. His worldview, use of quotes, and deep musings sometimes seemed a bit much for all of his teenage characters, but coming directly from him I really enjoyed it. I hope he publishes more non-fiction in the future because this book was phenomenal. I definitely recommend checking this one out. The reviews are short but impactful and flow like you’re reading a piece of fiction. This is a really special book and one that I know I’m going to continue to revisit in the future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lotte

    4.5/5. Such a ✨ soft ✨ book, I loved it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The Anthropocene Reviewed is a collection of essays in which the author, John Green, reviews everything from famous art pieces to the QWERTY keyboard (yes, really!). The reviews are insightful, well researched and utterly captivating, the language is beautiful and each and every essay leaves an impression. I already want to listen to this again. I give "The Anthropocene Reviewed" 5 stars The Anthropocene Reviewed is a collection of essays in which the author, John Green, reviews everything from famous art pieces to the QWERTY keyboard (yes, really!). The reviews are insightful, well researched and utterly captivating, the language is beautiful and each and every essay leaves an impression. I already want to listen to this again. I give "The Anthropocene Reviewed" 5 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samson

    The inherent and possibly intentional ridiculousness of having to write a review for this whole book is hilarious— and stupid. It's a truly, freely, un-ironic, heart-felt examination of what we love, how we love it, and who we love it with. It's humanity reviewed, renewed, examined and explained. The final "chapters" are almost entirely memoir, reflecting John's own participation in The Anthropocene. It's contemporary and classic and entirely, totally timely. It's the best, calmest, most respons The inherent and possibly intentional ridiculousness of having to write a review for this whole book is hilarious— and stupid. It's a truly, freely, un-ironic, heart-felt examination of what we love, how we love it, and who we love it with. It's humanity reviewed, renewed, examined and explained. The final "chapters" are almost entirely memoir, reflecting John's own participation in The Anthropocene. It's contemporary and classic and entirely, totally timely. It's the best, calmest, most responsible response to this hellish, extended age of lockdown and uncertainty. Hope may be the thing with feathers, but John Green is the giver of that hope. I give this book five stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    4 stars! I have to admit, when I found out John Green was releasing an adult nonfiction book, my very first thought was “I’m not smart enough to read it”. And then I found out the book was a collection of essays about the current geologic age and I was immediately relieved because I knew I could handle that. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Green and I thought it was fantastic. We got to hear all his thoughts and insights as he intended and it was a great experience. So many top 4 stars! I have to admit, when I found out John Green was releasing an adult nonfiction book, my very first thought was “I’m not smart enough to read it”. And then I found out the book was a collection of essays about the current geologic age and I was immediately relieved because I knew I could handle that. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Green and I thought it was fantastic. We got to hear all his thoughts and insights as he intended and it was a great experience. So many topics were covered in this book, everything from dinosaurs, to a feud with a creature in his garden, to feelings about living in a pandemic. When I was listening I experienced a range of emotions. There were so many times when I was laughing out loud, and one time when I teared up. I think this is a really excellent book and I can see myself recommending it to a lot of people. I give this book 4 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megha

    I need this badly

  14. 4 out of 5

    alexandra

    short, sweet, and just what i needed. i can’t wait to revisit some of these chapters for years to come.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tom Ives

    One of the most beautiful podcasts becomes a book. Such a simple concept, but so illuminating about what it is to be alive, the power of the human spirit and the absurdity of it all. I will always carry googling strangers with me. He is alive.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Megan Berchem

    I don't know if I can even properly put into words how special this book is, to me at least. I recently started rereading "Looking for Alaska" for the first time in my adult life, and I found myself understanding the criticisms of John's YA fiction. For example, the language; the characters that are hyper fixated on an author/poet or some niche subject such as last words; references to a wide array of texts, etc., etc., are not usually elements present in the conversations of most high schoolers I don't know if I can even properly put into words how special this book is, to me at least. I recently started rereading "Looking for Alaska" for the first time in my adult life, and I found myself understanding the criticisms of John's YA fiction. For example, the language; the characters that are hyper fixated on an author/poet or some niche subject such as last words; references to a wide array of texts, etc., etc., are not usually elements present in the conversations of most high schoolers which renders the voice unrealistic. (I am fully aware that these are among the lighter criticisms of his work, but the others are a topic of discussion for a different time.) However, these elements completely transcend into the realm of non-fiction. These essays are beautiful narratives on the human condition interwoven with personal stories, references to works of art, historical facts, scientific studies, and many more. These essays left me with the feeling you experience right after you have a much-needed cry that you have to get out of your system. It's very easy for me to get into a negative spell. To feel like there isn't a point to anything that we are doing. To get sucked into that dreaded meaninglessness feeling. This book is the perfect reminder that the world is crazy, but crazy can be good. The Anthropocene is both awful and wondrous. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed five stars. Note: I understand that non-fiction and John's writing are not for everyone. However, there are three essays that I truly believe that everyone should read. First, "Googling Strangers" is hauntingly beautiful. Second, "The World's Biggest Ball of Paint" explores the everchanging world of art and its impact. And then there my favorite, "Auld Lang Syne." When I say that I have listed to this specific episode of the podcast of the same name too many times to count, I mean it. It is the single best piece of writing of John's that I have had the privilege to read. "Auld Lang Syne" captures the entire essence of this book and the podcast series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    fatma

    such a big-hearted, brave book. john green writes with real vulnerability and grace, and the result is a collection of essays that's empathetic, thoughtful, and so moving. such a big-hearted, brave book. john green writes with real vulnerability and grace, and the result is a collection of essays that's empathetic, thoughtful, and so moving.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leah (Jane Speare)

    I give this book: four and a half stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    talia ♡

    you know, i started reading this on the plane but had to quit because i was afraid i was going to cry too loudly. this podcast was one of my most necessary life sources of the past two years and i have never been more grateful for this book at this moment in time. john green has a way of writing about these mundane, silly, and sometimes distressing parts of life in such a tender way, it was inevitable for me to be moved to tears. also, it's just so nice (and by nice i mean important to me in a wa you know, i started reading this on the plane but had to quit because i was afraid i was going to cry too loudly. this podcast was one of my most necessary life sources of the past two years and i have never been more grateful for this book at this moment in time. john green has a way of writing about these mundane, silly, and sometimes distressing parts of life in such a tender way, it was inevitable for me to be moved to tears. also, it's just so nice (and by nice i mean important to me in a way that i can never fully articulate) to read about someone whom i admire who has OCD and learn how they manage to navigate life, especially in its most disturbing and terrible times. i am grateful to have these essays to go back to in the moments i will need them most. ---------- john green...my teacher, my academic high school hero, my best friend <3 my book (signed!) just arrived and i feel 11 years old again getting my first copy of The Fault in our Stars. oh nostalgia !! i bow at your feet

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I have listened to the podcast but those are harder for me to pay attention to and absorb and to appreciate the writing. I loved reading this book and seeing the world through John Green’s eyes. He makes hot dogs and a song I’ve never heard of and even grass so fascinating. It even got me to try Dr Pepper (which I grabbed at a celebration for a coworker’s retirement. I doubt I would have gone out of my way to buy one at the store, but still.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Micah Cummins

    I love the wit, irony, and everyday observations that John brings to the table in his collection of essays in The Anthropocene Reviewed. John Green's podcast by the same name, upon which this book is based, has (obviously) many of the same essays, however, there are a few bonus essays for the book edition. I really enjoyed the audiobook, narrated by the author, it was just like listening to the podcast. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed, four and a half stars. I love the wit, irony, and everyday observations that John brings to the table in his collection of essays in The Anthropocene Reviewed. John Green's podcast by the same name, upon which this book is based, has (obviously) many of the same essays, however, there are a few bonus essays for the book edition. I really enjoyed the audiobook, narrated by the author, it was just like listening to the podcast. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed, four and a half stars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    As soon as I heard that John Green was publishing a non-fiction book, I had to preorder it right away. Both he and his brother Hank always appear to be highly intelligent and well-informed people, I was a big fan of their VlogBrothers YouTube channel back in the day. And of course read some of John Green’s YA (who didn’t) but then swore off it for a long while now. Perhaps I shall finally return to those stories soon… I haven’t listened to the Anthropocene Reviewed podcast, but upon completing th As soon as I heard that John Green was publishing a non-fiction book, I had to preorder it right away. Both he and his brother Hank always appear to be highly intelligent and well-informed people, I was a big fan of their VlogBrothers YouTube channel back in the day. And of course read some of John Green’s YA (who didn’t) but then swore off it for a long while now. Perhaps I shall finally return to those stories soon… I haven’t listened to the Anthropocene Reviewed podcast, but upon completing this I have subscribed and am hoping catch up with some past episodes, as I bet it is amazingly informative. I struggle with being able to concentrate on podcasts, I’m not going out and about very much the moment and that’s when I used to listen to them the most (if at all). The book is definitely filled with so many highlights though. I feel like this may have been even better suited to audiobook form, but I enjoyed it nevertheless and I’m sure it will make a good accompaniment to the podcast too if I do start listening in the near the future. So, what is the anthropocene? The definition is that it’s the "current geological age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity." John reviews byproducts of, and experiences within, the anthropocene. There’s a bit of history, a bit of science, a bit of John’s love for Liverpool Football Club… A truly mixed bunch of topics are covered. Everything is ranked and rated by the end of each chapter. Star ratings are used (like here on Goodreads!). It makes for a very unique read, full of knowledgeable details. The chapter entitled Harvey really stood out to me as John covers the subject of mental health as he frankly discusses his own experience of suffering from depression. You will learn, you may let out a chuckle at parts, or feel a little emotional as The Anthropocene Reviewed makes you think about what it means to be human and to be alive. I can almost guarantee you will learn some facts you previously didn’t know. I rate the Anthropocene Reviewed 5 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Averick

    I’m not a big non-fiction reader, especially when it comes to essay collections, but I’d read John’s grocery list. I LOVED the essays where we got a sneak peek into John’s life and personal experiences. Those made my heart warm. I struggled a bit with the essays where we saw less of John, but that was as to be expected. I would recommend to John Green lovers!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gabriela Pop

    Equal parts stubborn hope and self awareness. There are many things that my cynicism has managed to withstand over time, but I found it difficult to hold on to it in that same way in the face of such tender, vulnerable and heartfelt essays. I think it's impossible to read this book and not leave it feeling, if not completely hopeful, then at least a little less hopeless. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed five stars Equal parts stubborn hope and self awareness. There are many things that my cynicism has managed to withstand over time, but I found it difficult to hold on to it in that same way in the face of such tender, vulnerable and heartfelt essays. I think it's impossible to read this book and not leave it feeling, if not completely hopeful, then at least a little less hopeless. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed five stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bri &#x1f33b;

    This freaking book. It made me laugh cry smile think very hard about my priorities. I loved this. It was very John, and I think my love for this started there, with my appreciation for John and the way his brain works. But it didn’t stop there. It was written so smart, and seamlessly. He covered so many topics from the notes app in the iPhone to the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. My favorite essay is tied between Sunsets and Plague. This book was like sitting down for coffee with John and I lo This freaking book. It made me laugh cry smile think very hard about my priorities. I loved this. It was very John, and I think my love for this started there, with my appreciation for John and the way his brain works. But it didn’t stop there. It was written so smart, and seamlessly. He covered so many topics from the notes app in the iPhone to the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. My favorite essay is tied between Sunsets and Plague. This book was like sitting down for coffee with John and I loved every minute of it. I know he stuck to YA for so long but this proved to me he was made for non-fiction. Thank you for the wonderful addition to my bookshelves!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katey Flowers

    Thank you to Libro FM’s ALC program for a copy of the audiobook. I’m a fan of John Green. I’ve long found his way of reaching out for a realistic yet radical kind of hopefulness both relatable and inspiring, particularly when it comes to themes of chronic illness, mental illness, and big stuff like consciousness and mortality. And this book is basically a collection of essays in which he does exactly that (and more!). I knew I would probably adore it, and I did. I loved the audiobook as it feels Thank you to Libro FM’s ALC program for a copy of the audiobook. I’m a fan of John Green. I’ve long found his way of reaching out for a realistic yet radical kind of hopefulness both relatable and inspiring, particularly when it comes to themes of chronic illness, mental illness, and big stuff like consciousness and mortality. And this book is basically a collection of essays in which he does exactly that (and more!). I knew I would probably adore it, and I did. I loved the audiobook as it feels basically like listening to the podcast that became this book, but I will also be buying a copy of the physical book to reread in future. Earnest, challenging, life-affirming in all the ways John Green usually is, I felt like I learnt lots of interesting things about our weird and wonderful world while also learning more about my place in it. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed 5 stars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    An·thro·po·cene /ˈanTHrəpəˌsēn/ “relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.” In this wonderful collection of essays, John Green reviews things that have impacted the human experience and the world. I have been reading his stories for years and found that, in this book, he shares a deeply personal view of events that have shaped humanity and the planet. Highly recommend it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Danika at The Lesbrary

    I don't know how to rate this, because on the one hand, I love it. I will be buying a new hardcover, which I hardly ever do. This was probably my favourite ever podcast. On the other hand, I've already heard the majority of this from the podcast. It was nice to listen to again, but it didn't feel like a new experience to me--which isn't a fault of the book. I still highly recommend it, but if you've already listened to the podcast, maybe pick up the physical version instead. I don't know how to rate this, because on the one hand, I love it. I will be buying a new hardcover, which I hardly ever do. This was probably my favourite ever podcast. On the other hand, I've already heard the majority of this from the podcast. It was nice to listen to again, but it didn't feel like a new experience to me--which isn't a fault of the book. I still highly recommend it, but if you've already listened to the podcast, maybe pick up the physical version instead.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nazanin

    John Green is writing a new book and my world is 10 times brighter already. I FEEL SO BLESSED.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sleepless Dreamer

    Review to come! Dialogue Adventures (cause wow, I do so much dialogue): - "In some ways, we are all Jewish grandmothers who are overly concerned for each other's welfare and this is beautiful, regardless of our disagreements." - At this point, I've asked Palestinians all of the questions I want to ask. It's shocking for me to recognize that yes, I have no more questions. I read their news. I asked millions of questions already. I get it. I get it. - And maybe that's why I'm so overwhelmingly sad. Review to come! Dialogue Adventures (cause wow, I do so much dialogue): - "In some ways, we are all Jewish grandmothers who are overly concerned for each other's welfare and this is beautiful, regardless of our disagreements." - At this point, I've asked Palestinians all of the questions I want to ask. It's shocking for me to recognize that yes, I have no more questions. I read their news. I asked millions of questions already. I get it. I get it. - And maybe that's why I'm so overwhelmingly sad. There's a conflict around me but I no longer feel part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict personally. I can see why this is so challenging to solve, how we are unable to address each other's true concerns. I can't ignore their valid points or Israel's valid points, I don't have any burning anger anymore. - "Whoever is willing to experience a hate crime for being Jewish is Jewish, in my opinion.", he said. And oh, we love to define ourselves by our oppressors but how can we not? Can I look at someone who experienced a hate crime for being Jewish and say that they aren't Jewish enough for me? - A Palestinian friend was walking through her neighborhood, felt unsafe, and called me. And we joked around on the phone, as if this is normal, as if it makes sense that our sense of security has been hijacked, and for what? I have pretended to be Canadian in the last 10 days, pretended to be a foreign exchange student in my own hometown. - And Palestinians and Israelis both feel somewhat confused about Iran. Like, excuse you, find another place for your proxy war, we're busy here with other problems. - "You have some lunatics, we have some lunatics, we're equal." - the Haredim got into a heated fight about women studying Talmud. It was fascinating to see this divide between the more traditional views and the more progressive ones, even in these communities. The moment of "the mainstream says-" "no, that's not what the mainstream says". - Some Israelis called Palestinians out for how they forget their peaceful ambitions during war. What's the point of dialogue if in the moments of truth, they deny that war is hard for Israelis too, that their piece of the puzzle is not the entire image? If they blame us, attack us, shower us with pictures of dead kids? If they refuse to entertain the idea that Israelis are not just the problem? - And it ended up making a Palestinian cry. We paused. Thanked her for her honesty. Acknowledged that this is hard. And then we simply continued because this is a war and our words serve us better than thousands of missiles. - And I couldn't speak because I saw the destroyed houses of Gaza, the mothers crying, the dead children. And I cannot imagine the courage it takes to stand in front of the third best air force in the world. I cannot imagine how helpless it must feel to have nothing in this war, held captive under a shitty government, ignored by those in the Arab world who should be allies, nostalgic about the days before, when Israelis were in Gaza. I do not understand what it tastes like to live outside of Gaza as a Palestinian and simply watch. - And this is the problem really, Israelis delegitimize themselves in a way Palestinians do not. We enter dialogue ready to criticize ourselves. There is no space to discuss how Israelis feel. - She said, "I will be more human, even with the Israelis who do not see me as human" and I wonder if I can, too. If I can stretch my compassion, even to those who want to murder me. - The Haredim are speaking so much against their leadership and this, this is wild. This is a beginning and I am hopeful, let's fix this goddamn representation. We are all watching as Haredi parties refuse to investigate the Har Meron catastrophe and I desperately want Haredim to stand up and demand better. - I wish I could let the entire world know that I witnessed a Jewish Israeli pleading with a Palestinian not to leave the country, not to immigrate to Canada or Europe, to please, stay here, don't give up on us, don't give up on our future. - And I'd be lying if I said I don't also consider it. If I don't also wish this wasn't my problem. That I could pass this dumpster fire on to another person. But this is my problem. It's mine. - Me, most of the time: I do not see myself as part of the secular community. Me, when there's an opportunity to criticize secular people: here's a long list of reasons why we're basically the worst. - I spent 20 minutes complaining about the Hamas with two Palestinians. It felt so good, I didn't realize that what I needed was to hear them speak on this and remember that no, I did not imagine that we're here together, there are Israelis and Palestinians who agree on this. - And I criticized Ben Gvir and the police in Al Aqsa and saw relief in their eyes. We joked about Abu Mazen and Bibi, this region births monsters. The Torah once says this is a land that devours its inhabitants and it is true. - And yet, they kept saying that they're the "good Arabs" and expressing frustration that within Israel, even "good Arabs" experience racism, both systematic and societal. And it's easy to see why they, the "good Arabs" shouldn't experience this but what about the "bad Arabs"? Where do we draw the line? Between fully opposing violence and doing terror, there's a vast expanse of gray and I do not know where we draw the line or what we do with this line. - I feel like saying "going to Lod" is going to become a euphemism in Israel to dealing with the violence of the I-P conflict. Like, "sure, you think this way now but when you go to Lod, you can't". - "We can't judge each other during war", he said and I get it. I felt myself shift rightwards. It makes sense. There is a part of me, however small, that feels that Palestinians deserve it. And it's disgusting because no one deserves to be bombed, because I refuse to let this conflict end my pacifism but heck, when you're hiding from rockets, you no longer think rationally. - A secular person spent ten minutes trashing a religious university. I am so used to hearing religious people complain about secular universities, I didn't realize this goes both ways. - We started to call it "the racism of expectations". We do not expect Palestinians to show us the sympathy that we show them. We assume that they're Palestinians, the product of their upbringing, that they're so victimized they can't possibly understand us. We, the enlightened Israelis, are capable of understanding Palestinians but they simply don't have the same mental capacity. - And this is bullshit, we need to demand our Palestinian friends show us the compassion we show them. Even now. Especially now. You will cry for my losses because I didn't sleep for a full week during this war, watching bombs hit Gaza and fires burn Lod. You cannot ignore our suffering, you cannot speak for peace but push aside your Israeli friends, let us recognize propaganda when we see it, we need to see each other, through it all. - A Palestinian said, "the price of the occupation for Israelis is the time you all spend in the army, forced to serve" and on one hand, I've said the same thing multiple times, I would have never enlisted of my own free will, but on the other hand, the more I learn on the region, the more I realize the Palestinian struggle isn't the army's focus. - It is fascinating to see when Israeli-Arabs switch into Hebrew, where in their stories they use Hebrew, how Hebrew serves as a bridge, a "look, we're the good guys, we can speak your language". - And I haven't spoken Arabic in over two weeks. I can't get the words out. I know I'll be back to studying Arabic soon but right now, it just feels wrong. - And I forced a Haredi guy to admit behind his concern for Judaism stands a disdain for USSR Jews and converts. My group didn't appreciate it much ("wait, before we continue, can you explain what you're talking about? Where is this statistic coming from?") but I simply can't let someone speak of "half a million goyim" when they really mean Russian Jews who suffered insanely under Soviet rule. - Let's take a moment to acknowledge that Belarus' dictator blamed the Hamas when he diverted the plane. I love that someone in Belarus actually thought blaming the Hamas would work, like "pffft, it's those Middle Easterners causing the problem, not us", as if the Hamas would ever try fighting the EU, as if the Hamas would do this right after a ceasefire. I love that both Israelis and Palestinians found this hilarious.

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