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January 2015

December Book Club: Unbroken!

Paper & Glam - Unbroken

Happy Thursday!

Let's take a coffee break and discuss December's book Unbroken. If you haven't read Unbroken yet and hope to, this discussion will in no way diminish your experience of reading the book or watching the film.

Since we're already two weeks into the new year, many of you are flying through January's read #Girlboss. Thank you for your grace while I caught up from a whirlwind December. 

1. How did you experience the book?

Unbroken is a modern Odyssey and the most impactful story I read in 2014. It was also the most challenging (A close tie with The Monuments Men, another book on WWII focusing on the European theater and the art looted by the Nazi leaders). 

I've struggled to write this post. Commenting on a story as extravagantly tragic, and beautiful as Louie's without it feeling reductive is a feat.

Despite my best efforts, Unbroken is not a book I read quickly, averaging a clip of 20 pages a day. In contrast, I read 100 pages of #Girlboss last night without striving. Unbroken read more like a biopic than a story with an overarching message. This leaves me grateful for the movie which distilled Louie's journey beautifully, capturing his life's message.

My favorite moment came when Louie was in the raft dying of thirst, praying for rain...and the rain came. I was reminded of one of my favorite verses of scripture, Hosea 6:3:

He will revive us, He will restore us. 
Let us press on acknowledging the Lord;

As surely as the sun rises, He will appear;
He will come like the rain.
It's not my intention to compare my story to Louie's at any level, but this verse got me through a very long, dry season in life when it felt like I might spiritually die of thirst. If you're going through something similar, especially in your mid-twenties, I left some encouragement herehere, and here.

2. What was your favorite quote?

“A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain. Louie thought: Let go.”

3. Has this novel changed you—broadened your perspective? Have you learned something new or been exposed to different ideas?

It's rare we experience a story so compelling, horrific, yet also redemptive and convicting as Louie's. There's many reminders and takeaways, let's start with community.

Whether it was Louie's brother Pete, or his fellow POWs, Louie had someone rooting for him. The support community provides is integral to living whole, full lives. We can find that support in our families, our church homes, in school, or in a mentor, but we all need someone in our corner rooting for us and bearing our burdens alongside us. If we've got that, we can make it through any trial.

Second, Louie reminded me that our bodies believe what our minds tell them. Mac believed he'd die, and his body responded. Louie and Phil believed they would live to see the end of the war, to continue chasing their dreams, and they did. 

In my own life, and in much more benign circumstances, I need to mind what I tell my body. If I tell myself I'm too tired to workout, I feel too tired too workout. When I wake up and tell myself I'm excited to start the day with a run, I feel just that. 

Third, Louie reminded me how important it is to continue exercising our minds. He says if we don't make disciplined efforts to keep our minds sharp, our brains atrophy like any other muscle in our bodies. This piece of the story encouraged me to keep reading, writing, and pursuing new experiences every day. There's not a moment to lose if we want to live lives of continued growth.

4. Book versus movie?


While the meticulously researched book focused on the details of Louie's story, the movie focused on Louie's message of the indomitable human spirit and our capacity to endure and forgive. While it's not exactly appropriate to compare a decade of Laura Hillenbrand's research to a two hour movie, the movie brought the heart of the story to life.

Paper & Glam- Unbroken - Experience Life Louie Zamperini

Louie resided in Hollywood until his death in July 2014 at 97, just months before the release of his story in theaters across America. Louie did see the film before it aired. In December's Vanity Fair, Angelina Jolie recounts that extraordinary moment:

Louie was a part of the journey from the beginning. We’d call him sometimes and say “Does the raft look right,” or, “Did you or did you not have a screwdriver?” So he was always aware of it. But I hadn’t shown him the film. I was saving it. But I found out that he’d gone into the hospital, so I had it downloaded on my laptop and I drove to the hospital and held it over him, like this, so he could see it. And it’s hard to explain. How do you explain that moment? It wasn’t a judgment on a film and how well-acted or well-crafted it was. It was a man watching his life. It was a man at the end of his life, his extraordinary life—this mountain of a man, with his physical strength, at 97 years old . . . I had to help him a glass of water, his legs were very, very thin—watching himself run and win in the Olympics, watching his brother, watching his mother make gnocchi, watching all that he accomplished, all that he survived. And because he was a man of such strong faith, I think he was preparing himself, I know he was, preparing himself to die. And so he was also preparing himself to see his mother, and Phil, and Mac, and everybody. So it was hard to explain what it was. It was watching somebody relive all their experiences and prepare for that great, powerful, extraordinary, inspiring, long life to end.

Rest in peace, Louis Zamperini, your story lives on.

If you read or watched Unbroken, what did you think?

I'd love to know in the comments below. Or for further discussion of Unbroken, hop on over to YouTube for the video, our GoodReads home, or the brand new Facebook group! Choose your favorite platform for connecting with our other readers, or participate in each. 

Thank you so much for reading along with me! I am deeply grateful for the community of well-read women we are creating.

January Life List + Winners!

Paper & Glam - A Winter's Idyll

Happy, happy Friday! 

Every year there are so many beautiful reasons to celebrate. As a reminder, I started creating a monthly Life List.

Paper & Glam - January Life ListNot only do these lists give me little things to look forward to, they also serve as a reminder to celebrate everyday.

Since many of you posted that you want to start monthly life lists or bucket lists of your own, I thought I'd share mine for January.

One of my favorite January traditions is to host a Winter's Idyll. I stock the kitchen with hot chocolate & coffee, popcorn & cupcakes, stack up warm blankets & fresh DVDs, and we snuggle up for a warm night of pajamas and films.

I hope my list of little celebrations gives you some ideas for your own monthly Life Lists, and they remind us both to celebrate each day.

Maybe we can cross one of these off this weekend? I'm planning to light my winter candle and dive into #Girlboss.

Lastly, congrats to Lindsay Morris & Jose Ramirez from, and Savannah Smile from YouTube...your $100 gift cards are on the way! Thanks so much for hanging with me!

Happy weekend!

P.S. I made my Life List 4x6 to print and coil clip into my Life Planner and slip into my Project Life album!

12 Books to Read Before The Movie Hits Theaters

Paper & Glam - Bookshelf to Big Screen in 2015Few things get me fired up for a fresh year like a booklist! Like 2014, 2015 promises some great reading and watching!

I love reading books in anticipation of watching their adaptations hit the big screen. It's enchanting to see how directors, actors, and producers collaborate to make the visions in my head come alive on the big screen. 

Last year, I read a book each month before the movie came out. It was so much fun, I decided to do it again in 2015! Some of these titles we'll also be reading in the Paper & Glam Book Club, but others aren't on the schedule so I thought I'd share my list.

Here's a book to read each month before it hits theaters in 2015!

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Love, Rosie JANLove, Rosie
(Release: February 6th)

Fans of P.S. I Love You and The Book of Tomorrow will be excited for the film adaptation of Where Rainbows End. Watch the trailer here.

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - The Duff FEBThe Duff
(Release: February 20th)

Means Girls fan and hilarious high school parody fans are sure to love The Duff. I watched the trailer multiple times and could not stop laughing.

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Serena MARSerena
(Release: March 27th)

The dynamic duo Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are back,staring in the historical thriller Serena. Watch the trailer here

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - The Longest Ride APRThe Longest Ride
(Release: April 10th )

If your life is due for a Nicholas Sparks fix, he's back with a cowboylishious new flick. Watch the trailer here.

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Far From The Madding Crowd MAYFar From The Madding Crowd
(Release: May 1st)

For the fans of the classics, or more specifically Brit Lit, we're reading Far From The Madding Crowd as our spring Quarterly Classic. How BritLiticious does this trailer look? If you're new to our book club, we're reading a classic each quarter in 2015 in addition to our monthly reads.

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Paper Towns JUNPaper Towns
(Release: June 19th)

John Green returns from his smashing theatrical success The Fault in Our Stars with Paper Towns. Paper Towns is June's selection for The Paper & Glam Book Club because how can we resist the read with quotes like “I'm in love with cities I've never been to and people I've never met.” And how many times have we seen that on Pinterest?

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Pan JULPan
(Release: July 24th)

Fans of the cult fav Hook are in for a sweet treat with an update to the classic tale of Peter Pan.

P.S. Just snagged Hook on Amazon for $5. RIP Robin Williams.

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - The Jungle Book AUGThe Jungle Book
(Release: October 9th)

Bill Murray as Baloo? I'm in!

Update: The Jungle Book's release date was pushed out to April 15, 2016. 

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - The Dressmaker SEPThe Dressmaker
(Release: October 1st)

How can we resist a September "Australian gothic novel of love, hate, and haute-couture" starring Kate Winslet? I can't. September is made for hot gossip and haute couture.

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Frankenstein OCTFrankenstein
(Release: October 2nd)

Danielle Radcliffe (a.k.a. Harry Potter) is staring in Victor Frankenstein just in time for Halloween! A little history on Frankenstein via Wiki because Mary Shelley is a boss!...Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. Guess who won?! :) Frankenstein of course! Who run the world? #girls Love it!

Frankenstein will also be our Fall Quarterly Classic.

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Fallen NOVFallen
(Release: Fall Date TBD)

Ready for the next teen trilogy turned blockbuster smash-hit? Fallen has been franchised for another Twilighty turn minus the vampires and plus some fallen angels. Speaking of Angles & Demons...

Paper & Glam Books to Movies - Inferno DECInferno
(Release: December 25th)

The fourth installment in Dan Brown's Robert Langdon saga hits theaters Christmas Day! This is also our December read for The Paper & Glam Book Club. If 2015 time permits, I'd love to reread the Robert Langdon and revisit the movies. I never saw Angels & Demons...shameful since it's one of my favorite books. Makes me want to hop a plane to Rome!

How fun does the books to movies line-up look for 2015?! I'm so excited to dive into Love, Rosie when Amazon hits the door with my copy.

If you want to know more about these titles, I'll be filming a video as soon as Amazon arrives with these titles!

I'll also be adding these release dates to my planner ASAP using these stickers! And my Project Life album? Here's the Project Life cards! I'll be adding more to both collections as the movie posters hit the net. 

If you want more fun book stickers, these were designed for us by OhHelloStationaryCo. Do those color-blocked books look familiar? Let Kayla know you want the Paper & Glam colors!

Who's in to read and watch? While most of the titles aren't the "official" Paper & Glam reads, we'll be discussing them over on YouTube & GoodReads.

Cheers to reading and watching in 2015!