Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Better Off by Eric Brende

"What happens when a graduate of MIT, the bastion of technological advancement, and his bride move to a community so primitive in its technology that even Amish groups consider it antiquated?
Eric Brende conceives a real-life experiment:  to see if, in fact, all our cell phones, wide-screen TVs, and SUVs have made life easier and better-or whether life would be preferable without them."

In this first-person account, the author shares his experience living among some mighty simple folk.  From planting, growing and harvesting their own food, to dealing with the isolation felt even within the community, to assisting with the birth of their first child, Eric Brende communicates the challenges and rewards of turning off technology.  Eric and his wife Mary tackle the everyday chores of living, with the added intensity of knowing that they are solely responsible for making things work.  Learning takes place on a daily basis for these two young adventurers.  Based on the way the book ends, it's fair to say that the 18-month experiment left a lasting mark on them.