Today, I come to you with a review of Weather. Honestly, here on my travels Germany, the snow has been amazing! But no, I’m here to talk about the book, Weather, by Jenny Offill. At this point, the book is almost two years old, but as I’ve said before, it is a bit hard for me to stay up to date on printed pop culture.
Anyway, Weather made quite the entrance when it hit the shelves — getting reviewed in places like The New York Times. It’s a quick read (it took me a day) that follows a middle-aged female protagonist through the start of the climate breakdown. The crux? This woman answers listener questions for a podcast about the end of the world.
A rather literary book, there is not so much a strong narrative as a strong voice. In Weather, we hear a woman who is slowly unraveling with the stress of a life that’s shaping up to be full of personal and planetary crises. While I didn’t find the quippy, journalistic, writing style to be conducive to a page-turning plot, I did find it reflected in my own mind. I could relate. These days, it seems that each new day brings a new catastrophe and each time that I focus on one problem, I’m pulled somewhere else. Complete and coherent thoughts seem like a thing of the past. For me, Weather perfectly captured the mental state of disaster.
But, above all, what I found most interesting was the note at the end of the book. Jenny Offill wrote what she calls, an “obligatory note of hope.” Once you finish the book, you’re greeted with a call to action. A personal pitch from the author to join movements and seek systemic change, and she directs you toward her website https://www.obligatorynoteofhope.com/ for suggestions. It was incredible to me that a book contained a call to action, and I was deeply impressed. How many people have read it so far? How many people have stumbled upon this melding of climate and culture?
It also got me thinking about the potential for the Climate Action Explorer. With over 700 ways to get involved in the movement, it is the ultimate place to be sending people! Pop culture has an audience unlike anything else out there. If more people could be like Jenny Offill, creating art that spurs people to action and using it to link them to the movement, how far could we get? The Climate Action Explorer is ready for that moment.