Brave New World was another stab at reading something from the Modern Library’s List of the 100 Greatest English-Language Novels of the 20th Century, and though it was more enjoyable than James Joyce, I was still a little relieved to wrap this one up and be able to move on to something else. Huxley’s take on the future is certainly intriguing (babies conceived in jars rather than wombs, the dissolution of the family structure as we know it, emotional engineering through the use of drugs and subliminal messaging), but I’m the kind of reader than needs even the tiniest glimmer of optimism in a novel, and he just wasn’t giving it. I’m sure I could appreciate his perspective if I better understood the political climate he lived in when he wrote Brave New World, but as I feared, much of his underlying social/political commentary was lost on me. This is one of those books that I’m happy to have read, but probably won’t ever feel compelled to read again.

And now, here comes the fun part: choosing what I will read next. I love to stand in front of my shelves full of read and unread books (the product of numerous gifts and my brother’s employee discount from the days when he used to work at Powell’s), feeling a sense of accomplishment over the books I’ve read and a sense of anticipation for the ones I have yet to read. I’ve narrowed the selection for my next undertaking down to Into the Wild, Summerland, or The Glass Castle (I’m now in the mood for a quick, fun read).