I picked up a book at Goodwill the other day called Better Off by Eric Brende. It was kind of a random thing. Usually the books we get from Goodwill are either titles we recognize, authors we have heard of, or at the very least, an imprint I am familiar with (P&R, Tor, Crossway). But this book was none of those things. It just sounded interesting, and, hey, $0.50.
This guy was doing graduate studies at MIT, couldn’t find people willing to engage his ideas about the negative effects of technology on society, so he got married and took his new wife to go live with a group of people he dubs the Minimites—a group much more strict in certain ways than the Amish. They don’t use any kind of electricity under any circumstances, or even gas-powered engines. Eric and his wife lived with them for 18 months, in an exercise of both sociology and self-discovery.
I’m about half-way through the book right now, but I wanted to try capturing some of my thoughts on it here rather than waiting to the end and writing a review. I have found that the more I like a book the harder it is for me to express what I think about it when I am done. And I do like this book quite a lot so far. The writing is always engaging and really quite beautiful at times—much better than I would expect from an average memoir. Of course I’m on this luddite kick at the moment, so the subject matter is stimulating. It’s also pretty interesting to read about a Catholic trying to build relationships with a bunch of Anabaptists.
Anyway, I just wanted to introduce the book so that I can reference it in a few future posts.