Ellie Codes

Read Harder 2018 Progress Report, June

I decided to skip to a couple of other books this month because I was slogging through Murder on the Orient Express, though I don't have much left to go on that one.

On June 14, I read the entirety of In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang, which was my choice for the comic written or illustrated by a person of color prompt. It was a quick read and it reminded me of growing up online and learning how to interact with others from different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. It immediately reminded me of when I was a younger girl and my mother told me not to talk to older people online. To my knowledge, I never interacted with anyone from China online as a kid, but I did interact with people as far as the Netherlands and Russia. This story is a reminder of how powerful the internet can be in connecting people across the world and the help we can provide each other.

The next day, I was hospitalized because my gallbladder was about to explode. I'm exaggerating a little, but I ended up having to undergo emergency surgery that weekend, so my reading in addition to everything else was on hold while I recovered from poking, prodding and anesthesia. 😅

Prior to my surgery, Chris, Ethan and I went to Toys R Us for their final sale days and picked up a couple of classic children's books in addition to toys for Ethan's first birthday. We picked up Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, complete with large text and pictures, so I decided to change my choice for the children’s classic published before 1980 prompt to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I read it to Ethan over the course of a few nights, reading 2 chapters on average per night, and the wild story was really good at helping him to go sleep. (I'm not sure he could actually visualize the things I was talking about, but he seemed to fall asleep faster.) Honestly, I had never read it because I wasn't much of a reader as a kid and I'd seen the animated Disney classic as well as a horrifying 80's version that I don't remember all of. (Is there a horrifying 80's version of everything?)

I also kind of started reading my choice for the comic written and illustrated by the same person: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sidney Padua. The book starts out by explaining what happened to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage in real life, and now I'm up to the part where the author is taking some creative liberties, which I don't disagree with. It's a long book, but I'm looking forward to reading it more.

I'm also teetering on my choice for the book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries prompt, in which I chose A Woman is a Woman Until She is a Mother by Anna Prushinskaya. I started reading it a bit but felt myself less interested as I was going through it. I'm tempted to switch it to The Joy Luck Club instead, though that is set in San Francisco about a group of women who immigrated from China, so I'm not sure if it counts. However, Book Riot seemed to suggest some very America-centric books in this category, so I'm wondering if I can get away with that.

I also put all of my books in this challenge into a separate list in my Todoist account. Checking them off the list has felt really good and it's been making me feel more accomplished as a reader. Now I just have to get through the rest before the end of the year.


Ellie Strejlau

Ellie is a programmer, wife and mother from New York. She currently works as a Senior Developer at Phase2 Technology and has a bachelors and a masters degree in Information Systems.