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See You in a Hundred Years: Four Seasons in Forgotten America

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  662 ratings  ·  171 reviews
To save their marriage and their sanity, the author and his wife sold their belongings, packed up their two-year-old son, and moved to a rundown farmhouse in the country without any plans past surviving the year. Living as though it were the year 1900, they struggled with recalcitrant livestock, garden-destroying bugs, rain that would not come, and their own insecurities, ...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published May 11th 2007 by BenBella Books
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The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. JacobsThe Happiness Project by Gretchen RubinAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara KingsolverEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertJulie and Julia by Julie Powell
A Year in the Life
22nd out of 134 books — 247 voters
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Five, Four, Three, Two, One-READ!
136th out of 212 books — 19 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,279)
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Ruanne
Worth the read, if only to laugh at them. Why, folks? Why? As far as I can tell, the real driver in their whole adventure must have been the book contract. I can appreciate the desire for a simpler, more rustic, self-sufficient life (hey- I picked up the book, didn't I?), but the strictures they place on themselves are ludicrous. And given that they were determined to live within these boundaries, why didn't they educate themselves more in advance of their start. One hundred years ago, no one wa ...more
Caroline Alicia
The premise of the book was okay, but...

I'm a country girl myself. My great grand's house had been outfitted with electricity and running water by the time I came along, but right up the path my grandad still had to get well water and the bathroom consisting of a room with a big metal tin for bathing in (with a chamberpot for the nightly bathroom trips) and an outhouse.

So the planting, harvest, totting water to and fro, preserving and pickling, tending animals- I watched and knew how all that w
...more
Shannon
Apr 12, 2008 Shannon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Micah, Matt Guest, Mary Truss
Recommended to Shannon by: Jason & Joel & Alanna (who gave it to me)
I'll admit that I received this book nearly 4 months ago for Christmas and it has languished on a shelf b/c it's non-fiction. My husband was more excited about it and read it not long ago, at which point he strongly encouraged me to make time to read it. With non-fiction books, I essentially have to force myself to get started and then if it's a good book, it's easier to keep going (sort of like a good run where getting out of bed is the hardest part).

I really enjoyed this book. The premise is t
...more
Cissy
I really enjoyed this account of a family trying to live a year as though it were 1900 (though I was put off by the many f-words in the first half--just a warning to like-minded friends). First, the author just tells us his family's decision, describes how it went, relates what he thinks of it along the way, and honestly shares his conclusions. There is no agenda, no politics, no beating us over the head with how we all should do this or that. Second, he weaves his experience with history by set ...more
Scott
This is a leisurely read of a family who decides to move from New York City to rural Virginia; and, much more importantly, live without technology that did not exist in the year 1900. This is not an updated Walden. The autobiographer certainly extolls the virtues of living off the land, getting off the grid, and many other sustainability-type coloquialisms. However, the family quickly learns that life with modern techonology is very difficult. For the first several month of the experiment, the f ...more
Jennifer
Logan Ward and his wife Heather took their son and set up house in the Shenandoah Valley here in Virginia. They spent a year living as if it’s the year 1900—growing their own food, forgoing TV and tampons, taking splash baths, etc.

Damn, I like this book.

It’s not even the 1900 stuff that’s most interesting, although it is. (Their son is still in diapers when they start the project, brave souls.) It’s the interaction with his neighbors, this getting along with people that would sooner poke their e
...more
Kfooshee
This book has left me thinking about it A LOT after reading it. I love books that do that! It is a great reminder of how technology has affected our connection to the earth and our gratitude for the food we eat and the ease of life these days. This book is authored by a man and he has written it like a man, in my opinion, with a slight lack of emotional description (which i sometimes felt like i needed). I appreciated his astute observations and his ability to "see" the deeper meaning of events ...more
Jason
This book chronicled a family's decision and execution of an idea to live as if it were 1900 for one year. It's a fascinating look at everything they have to remove from their newly-purchased rural farm (such as electricity, indoor plumbing and even the automated water pump) and their resulting dependence on the land, their animals, each other and their community. You'll think they're crazy - they are! - but by the end you'll wonder if you could do it, because they gain so much and lose so littl ...more
(Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw
With uncanny timing and much stubborn devotion, a Manhattan couple leave the city during the spring of the year 2000 to try an experiment in living history. That is -- they buy a farm and try to live as people would in the year 1900. Of course this proves to be very hard on their bodies as well as their relationship. They must fight the weather, insect invasions, stubborn horses and goats, crazy motorists and major doubts about what they have chosen to do. Their little boy at age two, takes to t ...more
Kristine
Tired of their stressed-out 21st century city life, Heather and Logan Ward and their young son, Luther, sell their fashionable New York City apartment and buy a farm from another century. They settle in the farming community of Swoope in Virginia’s Shenendoah Valley, determined to live a “nothing modern” life out of 1900, for one full year.

Sound romantic, maybe even idyllic? Reality soon roosts with the chickens, forcing the Wards to face 1900 – and themselves –sans starry-eyed blinders: “Not on
...more
Erika
Mildly interesting but largely uninspiring, this book is another entry in the 'alternative-living project-lit' category. A young, harried, professional couple (with baby in tow) decide to drop out of the rat race for a year and live on a rural farm as if it were 1900. Clearly the result of a book deal, it feels a little too gimmicky and not very historical. Watch 1900 House or Frontier House by PBS for a more interesting and historically rich riff on this theme.
Sherri
I read this book because I thought it would be fun and interesting (which it was), but I was also surprised by its depth. The writing was funny and honest. It was probably more about family and community than it was about the 1900s (though there was that aspect too). The book made me examine my own "modern" life in a way I had not done before. Reading the book was enjoyable and thought provoking -- a rare combination
Betterthanfiction
We saw Ward speak at the WI Book Festival and he as was equally as amusing as AJ Jacobs, though a bit more low-key. Having thoroughly burnt out on the hectic lifestyle of New York, Ward and his wife decide to drop out for a year and experiment with living from the land. The caveat being that everything they use/eat/own for a year is pre-1900. Like many folks, Ward and his wife found the idea of moving to the country and living the simple life idyllic. At times Ward does have moments, and even da ...more
Dylan
I thought the concept of the book was very interesting, but I wasn't much of a fan of the execution. I didn't feel a connection to the author (main character) and I felt like the random quote use ended up being a little off-putting. I also was uncomfortable when he kept on mentioning his and his wife's sex life, as this is a non fiction book. I would have preferred if the book had focused more on the specifics of what they had to do rather then just being this family's adventure in the year 1900 ...more
Becky
Highly highly highly recommend. I would not ordinarily have picked up this book, but my boss (a former English major and fellow bibliophile), brought it in for me because he read it and loved it and thought I might enjoy it as well. He was correct. The premise peaked my interest, the author's writing kept me attentive, and before I knew it I couldn't put it down!

There are things Logan and Heather (his wife) did that I wouldn't even have thought of - like hmm, using a porta-potty, but having enou
...more
Lisa Mettauer
My cell phone battery just died, and it made better financial sense to buy a new phone than to replace the battery. Of course, my new phone came with a whole slew of new techno bells and whistles, and being a techno-tard, it was just a matter of minutes before I wanted to hurl my phone out the window. I can’t figure these things out.

You can imagine then, that a good ‘drop out’ book would be the perfect thing for me to read this year. And I found it in Logan Ward’s See You in a Hundred Years: Fou
...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Have you ever felt so stressed out that you wished for simpler times? That’s exactly how Logan and Heather Ward felt. They were living in New York with their baby - Logan was a writer and Heather worked for a justice-reform think tank. They felt like they worked all the time, but were so stressed they never had time to enjoy anything. They decided to embark on a year long experiment and live like Americans did in 1900.

They decided that “If it didn’t exist in 1900, we will do without. And that me
...more
Jenny
I loved the aspect of simplifying life that this family tried to achieve. Simplifying is something I think about a lot, not that I would ever attempt what this family did, but there is an aspect of being connected to the land and the basic necessities of life that was very appealing.

In the beginning of their year in 1900, everything focused on food...growing the food, harvesting the food, preserving the food...it was all consuming. I really enjoyed reading about their Thanksgiving and how they
...more
Mattalie Mcinerney
Found this one very disappointing, but I blame myself for expecting more of this "project". From the lack of initial preparation (understandable at times) to the conclusion, there is a sense that the undertaking is a bit fickle. If you can look beyond the early mishaps, which can at times be entertaining, the middle gets very interesting. The family begins to see how their quality of life has actually improved, time has become full but calmer, they have learned valuable new skills, and their com ...more
Terri
Well. I finished this book several days ago and have waited to write my review. I'm glad I did. If I had rated it right away, I might have only given it three stars. Two reasons: One, they decide to live as if they are back in the year 1900 (with only 1900 technologies, such as they were) but they didn't prepare well enough (IMO) considering they had a young toddler at the time. Two, I was very disappointed when I read the added updates at the back of the book.

The first part of their "experimen
...more
Natasha
Yes, another stunt book. This one goes as follows: successful couple from New York, with two year old son, move to the country and try and live life as it would have been lived in 1900 for one year.

This was an engaging read, but left me wanting more detail. What was it like to wash diapers by hand with no running water? How was the transition from e-mailing every day to writing letters by hand? Was it miserable to use the outhouse in the middle of winter?

These are the details that I wanted but
...more
Kevin Keith

See You in a Hundred Years: Four Seasons in Forgotten America, by Logan Ward, is a charming and intriguing contribution to the growing genre of "yuppies back to the land" memoirs. It tells the story of the decision by the author and his wife to not only move to a small farm in a rural area, but make their livings on that farm using only technology from the late 19th Century: no electricity, no cars, no telephone, and no gas or electric farm machinery.


Like many people who have made similar (thoug

...more
Gina Boyd
This was a fun and interesting read, and I give the author and his wife credit for following through with it. I also give him credit for being so honest about their feelings and behavior, even when it made them look less than stellar.

I think I could do this if I *had* to, and I think most of it is very very appealing, but I wouldn't like using chamber pots and an outhouse AT ALL. I would miss tampons and real pads (with wings! No rags pinned in there for me!) more than I can say.

Otherwise, I th
...more
Melody
Logan and Heather, who both spent some of their early years in Alabama, decide that they need to make a change in their life. They have become far to caught up in their jobs and the busy, impersonal life they are living in New York. Their relationship has grown cold and their two year old son is at day care all day. They take the radical path of ditching all things 21st century to return to the way life was in 1900. They buy a farm and pull out the indoor plumbing and the electric pump from the ...more
Chessa
Sep 18, 2008 Chessa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: living off the land fans, go local fans
Recommended to Chessa by: Blogging Bookworm
Logan Ward and his wife and two year old leave Manhattan to embark on an adventure where they try - as much as is possible - to live like dirt farmers in rural Virginia in the year 1900. They grow and preserve their own food, raise and milk a pair of goats and some chickens, and deal with a somewhat disdainful horse as their mode of transportation. What they didn't expect to necessarily find was such a supportive community, especially since they were newcomers to the area, and Yanks at that.

I re
...more
Rikki
Jun 04, 2007 Rikki rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This memoir was clever, funny, and a very quick read. See you in a Hundred Years is Logan Ward's account of a crazy, risky experiment he and his family undertook in 2001. They gave up the hustle and bustle of New York City life and moved to a farm in rural Virginia. As if that wasn't a big enough of an adjustment, they spent the entire year living as if they lived in the year 1900. No electricity, no playschool toys to entertain their son. No disposable diapers and... no goodreads.com! How did t ...more
Amber
This is the true story of the Ward families decision to leave their hectic lives in New York City and try to live like it was the year 1900 for one year. They soon find that they have traded in one kind of stress for another. Learning to do all the skills necessary to milk two goats, tame a headstrong drafthorse, produce and can all the food they will need for the whole year, and live without electricity or indoor plumbing prove to be a huge challenge.

This book made me realize that we create a l
...more
Anna
A couple (and their two year old) decide to spend a year on a farm living the way folks did in the year 1900 --- no electricity, no running water, no phone, no TV. It was a fun read, even though they sounded so much like city slickers and so many of their choices felt too black and white. (For example, since people back then could buy flour and sugar and firewood, they didn't feel any compunction about buying a solid year's supply by modern American standards. I suspect back then, sugar would ha ...more
Courtney
I read this book as a comparison with "Better Off". This couple decides to live in the year 1900 (as far as technology goes). Compared to Eric Brende in his book, this couple is on their own and trying to learn it all as they go. They give themselves one year to try out this lifestyle as a way of stepping away from the crazy pace of life back home.

I do wish there was a bit more follow up to the book. What changed in them after they came back to the new century? The stories are funny and help to
...more
Tracy Beauregard
In this true story, a man, his wife, and their 2 year old son leave a hurried, but modern and comfortable life in Manhattan for Virginia's Shenandoah Valley - to live as if it were 1900. Forsaking all modern convenience - cars, medicine, tools, electricity - they delve into a year-long project which at times is hilarious, and in others, rather frightening. The experience changes their lives enormously, and they come away with a new respect for themselves, the idea of community, and life as a who ...more
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Freelance writer Logan Ward has written travel stories for National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times, Men’s Journal, Popular Science, House Beautiful and other publications. He also writes regularly about science and architecture and is a contributing editor for Popular Mechanics, Cottage Living, Coastal Living, New Old House and Southern Accents. In 2000, he and his family moved from New ...more
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