Every month, in addition to our featured book, we feature an illustrator who creates an original print with a quote from the book and a bookmark, free to download. I was excited for this month’s book, about an English couple’s move to Denmark, because I would get to choose a Danish illustrator. Sabine Brandt, of Sister Brandt, was one of the first Danish graphic artists I ever came across and I was so thrilled when she said yes!
Have you enjoyed The Year of Living Danishly? Would you ever make a big transition like this couple and live somewhere new for a year? (Sounds wonderful to me, actually…) Here are a couple of questions and some further reading suggestions for you. Feel free to continue to read along with us, and share your thoughts! Comment on our daily Instagram posts @larsbookclub, which continually highlight a section or quote from the book, along with sharing a lovely picture of Denmark (there are too many to share, really)!
1. Which (if any) of Helen Russell’s findings surprised you most? For example, that Danish women have the highest rates of lung cancer in the world? That there’s lots of drinking and smoking (and Denmark tops the charts for cancer in both sexes), even though – and maybe because – they have universal health care? Were you surprised that trust (in each other, in their system) seems to be the number one reason most Danes are so happy??
2. What did you think of the ending – Helen and her husband’s BIG life change?? (If it wasn’t something you couldn’t fake, I would almost think it was timed too perfectly for her book to be real, haha!) And did you anticipate their eventual decision regarding where to live?? I won’t reveal the end if you haven’t gotten to that point yet. 🙂
3. Ok, so let’s hear it! Do you currently or have you previously lived in Denmark? Were the author’s findings truthful, in your experience?? Or did you just shake your head and roll your eyes? Share your own Danish experience! 🙂
If you enjoyed The Year of Living Danishly and would like to read more about Danish culture, these suggestions might be right up your alley
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking
The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg
How to be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark by Patrick Kingsley
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth
Print it off!
Sabine created a poster for you to download with a quote about hygge from the book that also comes with a rad bookmark. Enjoy!
Print off the poster and bookmark here.
Feel free to tag your photos with #LarsBookClub
The Lars Book Club is led by Julie Richardson | Illustration by Sabine Brandt | Photography by Anna Killian