After three years of an unchanged lineup of books in the Identity, Culture and Community class all first-years take, a new book has finally arrived in the curriculum: “The Anthropocene Reviewed,” by John Green.

Derived from the Greek roots “anthropo” and “cene,” meaning “man” and “new,” respectively, the title refers both to the effect that human beings have on the world and the proposed term for the current geological age of the planet, as Green describes.

Green’s affable personality and knack for storytelling shine an interestingly positive light, while he writes topics that are often depicted as bleak and hopeless. 

Green’s reviews in the book range from Scratch ’n Sniff stickers to the beauty of sunsets to Canada geese, and I have never read anything quite like it.

By and large, “The Anthropocene Reviewed” is excellently intertwined with the human condition, and Green accomplishes this with an inherently human action: giving his topics a rating of up to five stars. 

Every essay brings Green’s perspective to experiences around the world, and I’ve chosen a couple that stood out to me.

“Harvey” is the best essay in the whole book. It is a very personal account of Green’s struggles with depression, and he writes in a touching, concise and understandable way. 

This story took place during a dark time for Green, as he had been struggling with clinical depression and a tough breakup. His sadness is woven right into the pages of the book, as his feelings of inadequacy and depression boil over. Then Green changes his life with a phone call to his parents.

He chooses to quit his job to move back home with his parents, and his boss simply tells him to watch a movie and return when he’s healthy. That movie, titled “Harvey,” is about the unrelenting forgiveness of human nature and the magnificence of kind acts. Green realizes that even when humans feel hopeless, destitute and worthless, we still can be kind. That’s enough.

“Lascaux Cave Paintings” demonstrates the power of human connection, art and their timelessness. Green tells the story of four boys who, one summer, discovered over 2,000 paintings adorning the walls of a cave no more than 100 yards deep.

Two of the boys stayed in France near the caves, becoming dedicated to preserving the paintings. Years later, the boys reconnected, and they reconvened every year for the rest of their lives. Green tells this story of connection and discovery in his voice. He brings his relatability and a comedic sense of wonder to each essay.

“Auld Lang Syne,” or “for old time’s sake,” is synonymous with reminiscing. In “Auld Lang Syne,” Green writes about the beauty of raising a glass to friends you once loved, friends who helped to shape you into the person you are today, but yearning for times that are now gone.

The essay talks about the whimsical ways that things always have been. The song “Auld Lang Syne” has been traditionally sung before every new year to usher in the new and remember the old. Green writes about how the tune is so timeless and hard to date because the qualities of each activity in the song have been going on throughout history. Friends and loved ones don’t stay forever, but the memories of them do.

Green, in “The Anthropocene Reviewed,” has encapsulated the human experience, and the ratings add a perfectly human touch. As he says: “This whole thing … where nothing gets five stars because nothing is perfect? That’s bulls—. So much is perfect.”

“Harvey” received five stars, “Lascaux Cave Paintings” received four and a half stars, and “Auld Lang Syne” received five stars.

I give “The Anthropocene Reviewed” five stars.