Here in Los Angeles, we've had the most glorious reading weather the past month. It's been a string of days waking up to gently falling rain which led to misty mornings reading with bright candles and hot coffee. The mornings became cozy afternoons ...


Recording the Reading Life and more...

Recording the Reading Life

Recording the Reading Life by Paper & Glam

Here in Los Angeles, we've had the most glorious reading weather the past month. It's been a string of days waking up to gently falling rain which led to misty mornings reading with bright candles and hot coffee. The mornings became cozy afternoons organizing my library while listening for the tea kettle to whistle.

As I took the books from their color-coded homes, to lovingly dust the shelves, I was flooded with memories as I held each title. Memories of other lives, in other apartments, in other cities came back to life. Like the pages of a journal, each book held a piece of my life inside it.

Some books represent an entire season of life. The season that gave rise to the Paper & Glam we know today includes Simple Abundance, Cold Tangerines, and Love Does. Other titles hold very specific memories. When I hold Food, Women & God I think of sitting on the floor by the fireplace of my first apartment, unfurnished and newly built. Even books I didn't enjoy held tangible memories as I flipped through to find pictures and seasonal living lists from years past I used as bookmarks.  

As I hold The Light Between Oceans, I remember reading it with my book club in Denver, which inspired me to start the Paper & Glam Book Club. Holding Stories I Only Tell My Friends, I remember a November day, listening to Rob Lowe read it on Audible and cackling while a Lush orange sparkly pumpkin dissolved in the bathtub of my first apartment in LA.

Those days are gone, but the books are still here holding their moments.

As I went through this two month process of organizing my library and deciding what titles have earned their place on my shelves, and which will go back into the world, I realized how my reading life has shaped every piece of the life I lead today.

Books capture entire places of time in our lives as we turn their pages. Then, like a time capsule, we open them some years later to find pieces of ourselves we left between their covers. 

Rosanne Cash said, “Books find their way to you when you need them," and that's been my experience. When I walk into my library to choose what to read next, the book seems to choose me like they was just sitting there waiting for me to come to just this moment. When I read, there's almost always a line that changes the way I view the entire landscape of my life. I read for moments like that.

My library organization project is complete; except for the final task of donating a stack of books taller than I am. I've come away from this project wanting to create a dedicated record of my reading life.

I've invested in two Leuchtturm1917 hardcover journals: one blank lined  journal and an ex-libris book review journal.  The pink journal will record my favorite quotes and the black journal will hold my reviews and notes.

Do YOU record your reading life? If so, how?


God & Glam: The Bible Study

The Paper & Glam Bible Study 2018

Paper & Glam Sisters, 

At long last, after two years of prep the Paper & Glam Bible Study is here!

Today we kick off our first year of God & Glam together. But before we begin, let's talk through the foundation for the study and the heart behind it.

You may be thinking that the weekend after Thanksgiving is an odd time to start a year long study, so let's start there.

When does the new year begin?

Is it January 1st with new year resolutions and a fresh planner? Or does the time of our lives restart with the academic year, after the summer when it's time to leverage the energy of fall to cozy up and get down to business. 

Today, we're talking about a third way to mark the time of our lives: The Christian Year.

The Christian Year

The Christian year is modeled after the life of Christ, offering us the opportunity to embed His life into our own lives as they unfold day by day, season by season, year after year.

The Christian year begins on the first day of Advent, which is four Sundays from Christmas each year. This tradition began during the dawn of Christianity, in the 4th century when Roman Emperor Constantine designated December 25th as the official birth of Christ. This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd.

Advent is a time of prayer and reflection, but also one of hope and celebration. The first two weeks of Advent are a reflective time of preparation, marked by deep shades of purple. The third Sunday of Advent is marked by pinks which represents a change in atmosphere from reflection and preparation, to joyful anticipation as we grow closer to the coming of Christ. 

In addition to it's own calendar year, the Christian year also includes colors and themes for each season. If you're a part of the Paper & Glam Planning and Seasonal Living communities, this is starting to sound familiar, right? Much like the church has marked the seasons of Jesus' life with color and celebration, I've instilled a similar rhythm into the Paper & Glam lifestyle with colors and celebrations for each month. 

With that foundation, I was inspired to develop a seasonal living Bible Study following the liturgical year, also known as the Christian Year. 

Living the Christian Year

Living through the Christian year builds depth, beauty, and joy into our lives that grows richer and more impactful with each passing year. We live the Christian Year by reading through the life of Christ seasonally, and doing our best to live in light of the truths we encounter in His story.

The first half of the liturgical year follows the life of Christ from the joyful anticipation of his birth during Advent through his ascension into heaven. These events run roughly December through May each Christian Year.

During the second half of the liturgical year, June through November, we explore what it means to live a Christian life.  Each week we will explore a new theme including rest, beauty, community, freedom, and many more, all in pursuit of knowing, loving and becoming a little more like Jesus everyday. 

The God & Glam Bible Study

Let's talk logistics: what does it look like to participate in the God & Glam Bible Study?

The God & Glam Bible Study includes daily, seasonal readings with grace days sprinkled throughout the week. We know life doesn't fit into tidy planner boxes despite our best efforts, so grace days are designed to give you exactly that: the grace to start anew tomorrow. Our reading does grow heavier during Christmas and Easter, and as we transition between seasons. I recommend planning to read each day and using your grace days as needed. 

When does the God & Glam Bible Study start?

The Christian Year begins anew the first Sunday of Advent. This year, that falls on December 3rd. This first week together we'll prepare by gathering our resources, setting aside time in our schedules, and beginning to read a few verse to set our hearts and minds for the year ahead.

How can I prepare?

  1. Download or purchase the God & Glam Bible Study Reading Guide

  2. Bible: Any Bible will work! This my personal Bible, and the one I've used for the past 6 years. While I have quite the Bible collection including The Jesus Bible, She Reads Truth BibleInspire BibleMessage Canvas Bible, and the ESV Journaling Bible, this tattered pink Bible remains my very favorite.

  3. Living the Christian Year: Invest in a copy of Bobby Gross' book Living the Christian Year.  This is an invaluable resource exploring and unpacking our liturgical daily readings. 

  4. Planner or Journal: You'll want a place to plan your daily reading and take notes. I'll be using the Glam Planner Horizontal for this purpose.

  5. Open your heart and your life by setting aside an hour a day as your sacred time with the Lord.

    What time of day is best?

    A general guideline is to give God your best. Pick the time of day you are at your most rested and least distracted. I'm at my best from 6:30 AM to 7:30 AM with a hot cup of coffee, sitting in the silence watching the sunrise. I've held this time out as uninterruptible for the last six years and it's made all the difference.

How can I participate and connect with other members of the community?

Our home base will be the God & Glam Facebook Group. While I understand not everyone chooses to use Facebook, the platform is the most interactive and user-friendly. 

I'll also be posting on the @godandglam instagram and here on the blog as often as possible. Those platforms also offer us the opportunity to connect with, and encourage, one another. 

As with Paper & Glam, I've got big plans for God & Glam! In future years, I'd like to create more resources including a weekly post here on the blog, a weekly video on the God & Glam YouTube channel, plus a God & Glam planner, journal, and devotional.

For now, we're starting where we are with the tools and internet spaces I've outlined above.

If the heart behind this study resonates with you, I'd be honored to read and worship the Lord alongside you and grow together this year.

Are you in for a year of living and learning together? I'd love to know in the comments below!

Let's start today!

If you're ready to begin the God & Glam Bible Study, pick-up your copy of Living The Christian Year and begin with reading the Foreward, Introduction to Sacred Time, and Preparing for Advent (pages 1-48). This week, we can plan for 10 pages a day, with a couple grace days in there. Then, next Sunday, we'll start the Christian year together on page 49 as we begin Advent, the season of joyful anticipation.

The preparation week in the God & Glam Reading Plan guides us through what I've found to be the most transformative verses in the Bible; that are not included elsewhere in our year of study. As you begin to read through Living the Christian Year, meditate one of these verses each day. This will open your heart and your mind for the year ahead, and get us in the routine of daily prayer and worship, before we officially begin next Sunday.

I'll leave you with this excerpt from the Foreword which so beautifully captures what you can expect along our journey together:

One of my goals in life is to inhabit the Christian year so fully that Advent will be the instinctive beginning of my year. I want the Christian story to shape everything I do, even how I reckon time. Jesus drew my attention to Himself, and the church calendar has kept it fixed there -- on him. If you really live into Advent - rather than starting Christmas the day after Thanksgiving - and if you really live into a season of Easter that lasts long after the peeps are gone, you will be doing something so countercultural that it will not escape the notice of your friends and neighbors -- and they will ask you why you are doing the things you are doing -- and you will have a chance to tell them something about Jesus.
− Lauren F. Winner, Living The Christian Year

For more God & Glam, I'm walking through everything we've discussed today and my heart for the God & Glam Bible Study over on the Paper & Glam YouTube Channel.




The Paper & Glam Book Club 2018

The Paper & Glam Book Club 2018

Paper & Glam Readers,
It's time to meet our 2018 Reading List!
Before I walk through our year in books, let's briefly discuss the framework and heart behind the Paper & Glam Book Club.
How are the titles chosen each year?
Our reading list framework is a three-way split between classics, fiction, and non-fiction. In addition, the list includes a work of children's literature and a young adult title. This structure ensures whether you're a devoted fan of pop-culture phonemes, literary greats, or a student of the human experience, you're sure to meet a book you can't put down!
The goal of the Paper & Glam Book Club is to read both deeply into each title as well as widely into many genres, thus expanding our literary horizons while experiencing each book within the context of community. Each title on the reading list received many votes from the Paper & Glam reading community, and at least one glowing endorsement from a monthly book chatter who read it and savored every page.
You will notice these titles are by no means the latest releases in the publishing world. This is by design. New releases are hot commodities, and therefore, difficult to procure at your local public library. Few pursuits enrich my life to the degree that avid reading does, and I want to ensure everyone is equipped to read along with an internet connection and library card.
If an advance screening of the best new literary releases is a priority, I cannot recommend the Book of the Month Club highly enough. A subset of the Paper & Glam Book Club titles were previous Book of the Month titles, and the hardcover editions are available from Book of the Month for $9.99. If you're interested in joining Book of the Month, do so using this link and receive 30% off your membership!
“Is there anything more satisfying than to keep abreast of the best new books of our time as they appear? In reading them, in enjoying them, in talking with others about them, we feel our day taking shape.”
—Book of the Month Club
 founding statement, 1926
How do I join The Paper & Glam Book Club?
There are a few ways to get connected and read along:
  1. Live Monthly Book Chat: Our main monthly event and connection point is the Book Club livestream. As in 2015 and 2016, Book Club is live the last Thursday of the month on P&G TV at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST (with the exception of December when we'll meet the third Thursday, December 20th). Join us live and discuss the books along with our eight live chatters in real-time. 
  2. Facebook: Join the Book Club community on Facebook to discuss our monthly selections and all things reading-related. From reviews to memes, we've got reading covered. No spoilers allowed. 

  3. GoodReads: When you've finished our monthly read or as your reading along, join us in our GoodReads forum to share your thoughts with the group, favorite quotes, spoilers welcome.

  4. Instagram: We've set-up a Paper & Glam Book Club Instagram with posts including our monthly discussion questions, quotes from our monthly reads, reviews of books I'm currently reading, and fun library shots from candles to covers and everything in between.
That's a wrap on book club logistics! Without further ado, let me introduce our Paper & Glam Book Club Reading List with a brief description of how each title fits in and why it was chosen:
  Paper & Glam January
Here in Paperandglamland, we like to do things seasonally. This means January's read is a non-fiction motivational kick-starter to set our new year off with a bang. Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air has been on my to-read list since it was a Book of the Month title back when it released January of 2016. Here is excerpt from the publisher with a glimpse into Paul's world:
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. 

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all.
I can't wait to read the last words from a brilliant neurosurgeon, father, and husband, who was forced to confront life's hardest questions. I hope this book sets the tone for our by reminding us to stay present in the moment and focused on what makes life worth living. 
Paper & Glam February
Only Love Can Break Your Heart is one of our thriller fiction reads for 2018. The title was a Book of the Month selection and an NPR Books selection, with just shy of a five star review on Amazon. NPR Books called our read, “A lush mystery-within-a-coming-of-age-tale-within-a-Southern-Gothic. If a book could have an Instagram filter, Tarkington’s would be set on something called ‘Nostalgic’ . . . interesting, readable and beautifully written.” I'm excited...let's dive in.
Paper & Glam March
It's a Paper & Glam tradition to start our spring with thriller fiction, so this March we're reading two back to back. Paula Hawkins skyrocketed to literary greatness with her debut novel Girl On The Train and a smash-hit movie that came quickly after. We read Girl On The Train together in March 2016, and Paula became a glam reader favorite. As a result, she's back on our list and I can't wait to read her latest! 
Paper & Glam April
In April, Jenny Han returns with the third book in the To All The Boys I've Loved Before Collection. We read her debut young adult novel, To All The Boys I've Loved Before together in April 2016, and many of us quickly devoured the follow-up, P.S. I Still Love You. Since then, we've been waiting with baited breath to read the final installment, Always & Forever Lara Jean. The Lara Jean trilogy are my all-time favorite young adult series even de-throning Twilight. Jenny Han takes me right back to walking the halls of my high school and sitting shotgun in "Peter's" black sports car.  
Paper & Glam May
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass is our children's title and one of our classics for 2018. I've never read the darkly whimsical adventures of Alice, and I can't wait to visit Wonderland together. P.S. How gorgeous is the Penguin clothbound classics edition (linked above) with it's flamingo cover?!
Paper & Glam June
One of our all-star original book chatters, Tabatha, selected A Piece of Cake. Tabitha says it's one of her all-time greats and we're ready to know why. Here's an excerpt from the publisher:

There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness.

Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she’d even turned twenty. And that’s when things got interesting...
Paper & Glam July
In July, we're reading Maria Goff's debut, Love Lives Here. Maria's husband Bob Goff's book Love Does: A Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World is in my personal canon and is a book I could read once a month. The spirit of the Goffs is captured so clearly in their work in all its whimsy inspirational glory. This summer, I'll be reading Love Does by the pool once again, and then diving into Love Lives Here
Paper & Glam August
All the Ugly & Wonderful Things is recommended by Paper & Glam reads weekly since it's release in 2016. It's been called a "modern day Beauty & The Beast" which also gained my attention quickly. The title took Book of the Month's Book of the Year Award as well as second place in GoodReads Best Fiction category. 
Paper & Glam September
This September, I'm introducing you to one of my all-time favorite authors, Jen Lancaster, with her self-publishing debut Stories I'd Tell In Bars. Jen Lancaster is a comedic genius. I can't tell you how many times she's left me cackling in the bathtub wishing I could re-live the hilarity with another reader. My personal favorite Jen Lancaster books are her Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment OfficeBright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, Such A Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big. I'll be re-reading those classics this summer in preparation for her comedic return along with The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off The Dog.
Paper & Glam October
Our 2018 Glamoween read is Anne Rice's gothic classic, Interview With A Vampire. This cult-classic has been on my to read list for years and the film adaptation starring Brad Pitt & Tom Cruise is on my books to movies list. Now is the perfect time to catch-up or relive the "original" vampire chronicles as Anne Rice is adapting the books into a TV series set to release in 2019.
Paper & Glam November
In November, we read our third and final quarterly classic, Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. Hemingway's final work has been on my to-read list since my favorite author, Shana Niequist, cited it as a favorite. Subsequently, I stumbled on a first edition copy at Powell's in Portland. I'm ready to roam the streets of Paris with Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book is heavy with beautiful quotes and passages, get your pink highlighters ready!
"You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil."
Paper & Glam December
Lastly, December's read is another seasonal selection! We're reading John Grisham's Skipping Christmas together. Christmas with the Kranks is the film adaptation of this fun holiday read staring Tim Allen. This read came highly recommended by Katrina, one of our original all-star book chatters. Let's curl up by the fireplace or get cozy under the Christmas tree!
   Paper & Glam Book Club Planner Kit 2018
To keep us organized and accountable to turning pages together in 2018, I created a Paper & Glam Book Club Planner Kit. The planner kit includes the 2017 Reading List and matching planner stickers for each book in the line-up.
If you'd like the reading list and planner stickers delivered to your door ready to rock in hot pink, the Glam Mail Book Club Planner Kit is for you! If you'd like to print and cut your own kit, the Digital Glam Book Club Planner Kit is available instantly the digital glam shop! 
For a video walk-through of our 2018 Reading List and all the details, watch here!


That's a wrap on Book Club 2018! Are you ready to read along with us in 2018? 

Were any of the titles already on your to-read list?
Is there one or two you're particularly excited to read? It's going to be tough not crack these titles early!
Looking so forward to our fourth year of reading together, 
FTC Disclaimer: Links may be affiliates. Thank you for your support of the Paper & Glam Book Club. 


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