The Artificial Dawn Condition Watch

Last weekend my home was without power for over 48 hours. I wasn’t alone – Saturday Ottawa had somewhere close to 145,000 homes without power, 28,000 of them in my region/suburb. The good thing? Along with spending a lot of time with my family (poor them!), I got a lot of reading done. I’ve updated my Goodreads page, and popped in two reviews, which I shall share with you here.

First, a book I finished a week ago, Artificial Condition by Martha Wells, the second of the Murderbot Diaries.

Another fantastic Murderbot story. I really enjoy my time with Murderbot, the mis-named hero (anti-hero? okay, protagonist) of this series. We learn more about the character and the character’s past, something which actually changes how one might consider Murderbot. There are also some very strong supporting characters and what might be otherwise a side-story that kind of doubles as the main plot. Overall, really strong, really fun, and it’s got me looking for the next book.

And the book I ripped through this weekend, the Dawn Watch by Maya Jasanoff, a book about Joseph Conrad, his works and his times.

This book is an amazing synthesis of biography, history, and literary criticism. The author looks at Conrad’s life within the history and contemporary thought of the time, showing how that influenced his writing and what his fiction can tell us about him. As a fan of Conrad’s writing, this helped me to place it in a context that helped understand some of the aspects of his work – like racism and sexism – that are troubling. It can be hard to separate the artist from his work, but this book helps to show how it can be enlightening not to try, and what lessons we can learn when we do not. A really strong read.

You can find my reviews on Goodreads here and my author page here.

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