Who and What

My name is Hailey and my grandfather is a farmer. I'm the 7th generation to live on the family farm, and my babies (when the time comes) are going to be the 8th. My husband and I are even renovating a trailer on my grandparent's farm so we can move back to the family farm sooner. This blog encompasses the things that are important to me. These things are:

~Special Education
~ADHD, including my own battle with it over the years. It's now my superpower.
~Farm Life
~Equal rights for women.
~Goal setting
~Fitness and health
~Financial Stability
~Personal Happiness

Friday, January 2, 2015

100 Books to Read this Year

Photo from: http://weheartit.com/entry/24368146.
Over the last few years, I haven't gotten to read nearly as much as I would like. Darn you college and graduate school for sucking away my desire to read for fun. But for the first time in 19 years (yeesh I feel old), I have no school to go back to (other than my job, I am a teacher) after my Christmas break. Therefore, I think this is the year that I should embark on the journey to read 100 books. Audiobooks I listen to can also count, which is good, because I spend approximately 1 hour in my car commuting 5 days a week, and really, what else am I going to do with my time? I also found a reading challenge on Pinterest to help me ensure I'm diversifying my selections and getting the full benefits of my literary pursuits. These books are indicated with a PC:

  1. Currently, I'm in the middle of "The Secret History of Wonder Woman" by Jill Lepore. Even though I started this in 2014, I figure it still counts. 
  2. I've already ordered "Eat, Pray, Love" as my second book. My husband finally got his on Kindle for Christmas, which means I can finally get mine back from him. 
  3. I want to read a book about blogging in order to make my blog more efficient. Recommendations for this one are more than welcome. 
  4. "No Matter the Wreckage," which is a book of poetry by my favorite spoken word poet, Sarah Kay. 
  5. PC: A book with more than 500 pages. I'm going to try to read "The Time Traveler's Wife." I've heard good things about it, and time travel intrigues me.
  6. "Bitches on a Budget," which is a financial book geared specifically toward women. I think it may help us as we journey toward being debt free. 
  7. PC: A classic romance. I'm going to go for Pride and Prejudice. It's one of those books where I can't help but wonder how I got to (almost) 25 and still haven't read it. 
  8. "The Hobbit." I think I need to try listening to Tolkien instead of reading him. Maybe then I will have better luck with theses. As it happens I have tried twice to read this and failed all three. 
  9. PC: A book that has been turned into a movie. I want to read "Wild" which is the true story of a woman who starts on a crazy hiking expedition solo after personal tragedy. Then I can go see how Reese Witherspoon does playing it out on the big screen.
  10. "Labor Day" which was also made into a movie in 2014 is one of the ones I am dying to read. 
  11. PC: A book that comes out this year. I'm looking forward to reading "I'll Have What She's Having: My Adventures in Celebrity Dieting." This nonfiction book details the strange eating habits of the fit and famous. I think it will be a good reminder of why normal people simply don't look like celebrities, and that it's okay to be average. 
  12. "The Monuments Men" is another book that was made into a movie, but it sounds like a good read that would refresh my history knowledge. 
  13. "168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think." I'm one of those people who always tries to do way to much. Who knows, maybe reading this will give me super human productivity. 
  14. "The Fault in Our Stars." This was made popular by the 2014 movie, but I actually had it on my to read list before then, so I should probably get a jump on it.
  15. "The Freedom Writer's Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them." I'll read this when I need to be reminded of why I became a teacher. And I will need that reminder. 
  16. "Pride Over Pity." This one is by Teen Mom, Kailyn Lowry. I know that many view this show as trashy, but at its core, the intentions are good, and these young women are brave for sharing their stories. 
  17. "Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra Orthodox Girlhood." I have a certain level of fascination with super strict religions. This feeds into my curiosity.
  18. PC: A Book With a Number in the Title. I'm going to read "5 Acres and a Dream."
  19. "The Great Gatsby." This is another one of those books where I have to ask how I got to 25 and haven't read it. 
  20. "Moving Violations: Wheelchairs, War Zones and Declarations of Independence." One of my former professors told me that this is a must read for SPED teachers. Okay, I'll give it a shot. 
  21. "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption." I promise I did not look up books made into movies in 2014 to add to this list. This is happening completely by accident. 
  22. "Never Too Late." Written by one of the more controversial Teen Moms, Amber Portwood, I'm sort of morbidly curious what this crazy woman has to share with the world. 
  23. PC: A book by someone under the age of 30. I'm going to read "Bulletproof."
  24. "Bittersweet Blessings." Written by another Teen Mom, Ashley Salazar, who made the terrifying choice to give her daughter up for adoption. 
  25. Barnheart. Another farm lit book. 
  26. PC: A book with nonhuman characters. I actually think I'm going to reread "Black Beauty." Most see it as a children's story, but it was actually one of the first pieces of animal rights literature written. The last time I read it I was 13 and couldn't really appreciate it. 
  27. "Horse Heaven" is another book with nonhuman characters that explores the racing world through equine eyes. 
  28. "Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son." Oh the joys and confusion of parenthood, or so they tell me.
  29. PC, A funny book: Rurally Screwed.
  30. "Working it Out: A Journey of Love, Loss and Hope." Biggest Loser contestant Abby Rike recounts the tragic deaths of her husband and two children in a car accident, and her fight to find happiness is the aftermath. 
  31. "The Dark Side of Disney." As someone who loves all things Disney, I am intrigued. 
  32. PC: A book by a female author. Another, "how have I never read this?" book. "Gone With the Wind." 
  33. "The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love." This sounds vaguely familiar. 
  34. PC: A mystery/thriller book. I'm planning to read, "The Lost Symbol." This came out when I was a sophomore in college, which was my craziest year. Needless to say I never got around to reading it. 
  35. "Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales of an Allergic Life." This also sounds somewhat familiar, although my allergies are not generally life threatening. 
  36. "The Feast Nearby," which is another garden lit book. 
  37. "The Casual Vacancy" is also on my to read list. 
  38. Growing a Farmer. You guessed it, another farm lit book.
  39. PC: A book with a one word title. I'm going to try the "Matched" series, since it keeps coming up on my recommendations after I finish books on my Kindle. 
  40. Gaining Ground, which is another farming book. 
  41. PC: A book of short stories. "Me Talk Pretty One Day" is a book of short and humorous essays, detailing the various parts of the author's life. 
  42. Growing Into a Farm.
  43. Home Grown Honeybees
  44. "Graduates in Wonderland: The International Adventure of Two (Almost) Adults." I love Alice in Wonderland, and the "Almost" part of this title intrigues me. 
  45. PC: A book set in another country. "Love, Life and Elephants: An African Love Story," sounds like it would fit the bill and be a fun read. 
  46. "Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection." This sounds like a good reality check that I may need at some point. 
  47. PC: Mud Season 
  48. Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling and Reconnecting with the Natural World. 
  49. PC: A popular author's first book. "The Sisters" was recommended to me in a magazine, so I'm going to give it a whirl. 
  50. "Farms With a Future." I want my farm to have a future so this seems like a good read. 
  51. PC: A book by an author you love that you haven't read yet/ A Graphic Novel. I'm a huge Jodi Piccoult fan, so for this one I want to read a book she wrote while stepping out of her comfort zone, "Wonder Woman: Love and Murder."This is the only book I'm going to let cover 2 of the Pinterest Challenge Books. 
  52. Homespun Mom Comes Unraveled. 
  53. PC: A book that has won a pulitzer prize. "A Thousand Acres," is about a farm. Sounds good to me. 
  54. "Gunner: Hurricane Horses" This book is about the true stories of horses that survived major storms, such as Katrina. 
  55. PC: A book based on a true story. "A Chinese Cinderella," is the story of a young girl growing up in the 1940s in China. 
  56. Storey's Guide to Raising Turkeys. 
  57. PC: A book recommended to you by a friend. I'm going to read "Growing Up Duggar." That family is strange and morbidly fascinating. 
  58. "The Longest Ride." My inner horse girl needs to read more equine lit, and for those of you that think this isn't a genre, you clearly don't know any horse women. 
  59. PC: A book at the bottom of your to read list. I'm not a British Lit fan, but I'm going to talk myself into reading "Sense and Sensibility." 
  60. "Dark Places" which is by the Gillian Flynn, who also wrote "Gone Girl"
  61. "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" was recommended to me by two people.
  62. "Sharp Objects," also by Gillian Flynn. 
  63. PC: A book your mom loves. She's also into Jodi Piccoult, so I'm going to read her newest, "Leaving Time" for this one. 
  64. "On Sidesaddles to Heaven," has horses and sidesaddle riding, which I'm obsessed with. Sounds ideal. 
  65. PC: A book that scares you. The Bible seems terrifying enough, actually. 
  66. A Book of Bees
  67. PC: A book more than 100 years old. "Anne of Green Gables" seems like a fun option here. 
  68. "Sisterhood Everlasting" which is a part of the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series that I loved in high school. 
  69. PC: A book you picked based on the cover. "The Book of Unknown Americans" looks interesting. Literally.
  70. I am Malala
  71. PC: A book you were supposed to read in school, but never did. I'm not saying I did a good job, but I actually read everything I was supposed to. However, no class I was in ever read "The Grapes of Wrath." 
  72. How to Make Money Homesteading
  73. PC: A memoir. Cold Antler Farm. 
  74. PC: A book you can read in a day. I found this one on a Buzzfeed list, and the title alone made me giggle, "Who Will Run the Frog Hospital."
  75. PC: A book with antonyms in the title. "Cold Tea on a Hot Day" fits the bill.
  76. PC: A book that came out the year you were born. I'm going to reread "Jurassic Park."
  77. PC: A book with bad reviews. "Leaves of Grass" was trashed by some critics when originally released. 
  78. PC: A trilogy. I supposed I will attempt to tackle "Lord of the Rings Again." 
  79. PC: A book from your childhood. I am so reading "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle." 
  80. PC: A book with a love triangle. "The Infernal Devices" series apparently has this theme. 
  81. PC: A book set in the future. I saw "The Maze Runner" a few weeks ago and hated it with a passion, but it made me want to read the book. 
  82. PC: A book set in high school. "The Rules" is a dystopian fiction book that has caught my attention. 
  83. PC: A book with a color in the title. I loved the movie "The Green Mile," and I bet that the book is even better. 
  84. PC: A book that made you cry. I adore the book "The Horse Whisperer," but it is one heck of a tear jerker. 
  85. PC: A book with magic. "The Night Circus" is another book that keeps coming up on my recommended reads. 
  86. One Woman Farm. 
  87. PC: A book by an author you've never read before. I remember that one of my elementary school teacher's favorite books was "The Secret Life of Bees," and I've never read any of these before. 
  88. PC: A book you own but have never read. There's a copy of "Riders" by Jilly Cooper sitting on my shelf that I have yet to crack.
  89. PC: A book set in your home town. "The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University," has me interested simply because Liberty University is such a huge subject of controversy in Lynchburg. 
  90. Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs
  91. PC: A book that was not originally in English. "Inkheart" was originally written in German and then translated. 
  92. PC: A book set during Christmas time. I feel like it's a little early to look for these, but it is a yearlong list. Holidays On Ice.
  93. PC: An author with your same initials. H.G. Wells wrote "War of the Worlds" so let's go with that one. 
  94. PC: A play. I'm going to finally get around to reading "Taming of the Shrew." 
  95. PC: A banned book. Somehow I've never managed to pick up "Catcher in the Rye" so I should probably change that. I also can't help but quoting Skeeter Feelin from the help when she says "If the state of Mississippi banned them, they must be good."
  96. PC: A book based on a TV show. I'm looking forward to picking up "Coffee at Luke's" which is about my favorite show, "Gilmore Girls."
  97. PC: A book you started but never finished. I guess I need to try again on "Good Omens." Brad will be pleased as this is one of his favorites. 
  98. "Chickens for Dummies"
Now, off to pick up my book!


  1. I have an observation. Reading should be entertaining and recreational. One does oneself a disservice when the to read list resembles an assignment sheet in grad school. While the Great Gatsby is a terrific book and should be pleasant, so many of the other selections are just downright difficult reads. Perhaps instead of the trilogy by Tolken, you might consider something like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy or even the House of Night series. Also too much self-help makes us feel bad about ourselves. Read to escape and reading will prevail in the battle for time and attention over television. Keep in mind that the average book is about 280 pages, so you're talking about reading 28,000 pages this year. If it becomes "work" it won't happen. If it's fun, it will. I read 105 books in 2014. My list for this year is down to only 52 titles. Keep on reading! :)

  2. I appreciate your advice, but much of these are going to be undertaken via audiobook, since I have such a long commute each day, so that should take away much of the difficulty.