Lars Book Club: September

free printable artwork by Jill deHaan for The House That Lars Built How’s the reading going? Are you following along with our Lars Book Club Instagram posts? I get it – there’s ALOT of info in Michael Rosen’s Alphabetical. But I hope the facts and history haven’t made your eyes glaze over. If so, just skip to the next chapter! ūüôā There’s sure to be a topic to interest you. Have you picked a favorite chapter (or letter) yet? How Rosen researched each of the letters and themes associated with them is mind-boggling to think about. I’ve truly enjoyed learning about where the language I speak and alphabet I use every day comes from. We take so much for granted! Below¬†are some questions to think about, plus a couple further reading suggestions.

This month we have partnered with letter artist, Jill De Haan,¬†to create a beautiful quote from the book: “Every letter tells a story.” It’s available as a free printable as well as a bookmark in three different colors. Downloads below!¬†

Lars Book Club: September

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alphabetical-by-michael-rosenIt’s that time, folks! We’re shopping for¬†school supplies, packing lunches and backpacks, and the leaves are beginning to show off their colors! While we’re in the “back to school” mode, we thought we’d learn something new along with the kids. Have you ever wondered how our alphabet evolved into what it is now?? Why and how were those 26 letters chosen to represent sounds, then combined to form words? In Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story, Michael Rosen gives¬†the reader the history of each letter, its pronunciation, what sound it represented, and how it was written – starting with the ancient Phoenicians up to the present, where the alphabet is changing every day due to technology and texting. The stories and facts presented with each letter and chapter are fascinating and Rosen’s jokes and word games will leave you chuckling. The evolution of the English-language alphabet (something we use every day yet never stop to think about) is truly mind-boggling! Enjoy!

We’ll be checking in with another free printable quote and bookmark with another fabulous guest illustrator, along with some discussion questions, so check in soon!

Get Alphabetical here 

by Julie Richardson  |  Photo by Anna Killian  |  Styled by Brittany Jepsen for The House That Lars Built 

Lars Book Club: August

Drew Barrymore Wildflower printable quote

We hope you’ve loved reading about Drew Barrymore and her life experiences in this month’s Book Club book, Wildflower. Her love of life is apparent and her refreshing, candid way of connecting with you as a¬†reader almost makes it feel like you’re having a conversation with her. Am I right?? Here are a few¬†questions to consider as you finish up Wildflower, plus some further reading suggestions and a printable quote and booksmarks from the book from this month’s guest illustrator, Danielle Kroll.

Drew Barrymore Wildflower printable quote

Lars Book Club: August

Wildflower by Drew BarrymoreWe had a ball reading the biography of Frida Kahlo last month and this month we’re reading a fellow¬†flower-loving friend.¬†

Many of us know her as the six-year-old, pig-tailed girl who starred in E.T., or Adam Sandler’s lovely¬†sidekick in later movies – we’re talking about none other than the adorable Drew Barrymore. Drew’s unconventional childhood and emancipation as an adult at age 14 led her down a path toward many amazing experiences, friendships, and ultimately a successful career. Her own accounts of her life are witty, short and sweet, and full of her humble, self-deprecating humor and love of life. In Wildflower, Drew shares with us the lessons she’s learned and hard-won wisdom she’s gained throughout her life, and more especially now as a mother. So grab Wildflower and read along! It’s a fun, light read, perfect for your last summer days at the pool or evening picnics! Follow along¬†on Instagram @larsbookclub and tag your own photos with #larsbookclub.

Pick up Wildflower by Drew Barrymore here

Photo by Anna Killian  |  Lars Book Club is run by Julie Richardson

Lars Book Club check-in: Frida Kahlo print & bookmark

Frida Kahlo quote printable

We all know Frida¬†as a pop icon, but it’s so fascinating to read about her life’s history through her biography by Hayden Herrera, Frida Kahlo, for this month’s book club selection. Even knowing how she got into painting is so fascinating. I still have a ways to go before I’m done, but I thought I’d pipe in with some encouragement to start. And! Even more encouragement is an illustrative¬†quote and bookmark by this month’s guest illustrator, Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag.

Lars Book Club moderator, Julie Richardson, has created some questions to get you thinking about the book. Feel free to comment in the comments section about your thoughts about the book and her life as well as over on the Instagram account.

Check out the discussion questions and prints below and join @LarsBookClub on Instagram

Lars Book Club: July

Frida Kahlo biography

Have you been enjoying the Lars Book Club so far? I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Do you like the book choices? Have any requests? Last month we read Daily Rituals: How Artist’s Work¬†and we¬†will discuss¬†it after the jump. Today we announce the book selection for July. The Lars Book Club is conducted by Julie Richardson. Add to the conversation and follow along for more inspirational quotes and discussion topics on our the @LarsBookClub Instagram account.

July 6th marks 109 years since the birth of Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico’s most celebrated and unique artists. Her personality and aura were described as mysterious and magnetic, with her¬†piercing, direct gaze, and a fire or passion that came from within.¬†I knew little about Frida before deciding to feature her in our Lars Book Club, and am now fascinated! What a unique, driven, intense woman, who suffered much pain and hardship, and recorded all of that on canvas. Frida also had a very tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, another revered Mexican painter. Learn more about Frida, her life, and her very personal works of art this month as we read Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera¬†(the cover of the one we got is different than the one on Amazon. Don’t fret ūüôā

Daily Rituals printable quote and bookmark

daily-rituals-quoteIt’s about time for a check in to see how you’re liking the Lars Book of the month. We’re reading Daily Rituals: How Artist’s Work by Mason Currey¬†this month. Have you picked up a copy? As someone who owns their own company and whose success depends on how I manage my time, I’m intrigued by famously successful artists, scientists and others¬†managed their schedules to produce some of the world’s greatest works and innovations.¬†PRINTABLE-BOOKMARKS

Monica Lynch is this month’s featured illustrator. She created this beautiful quote that you can download and print off from the book along with a printable bookmark. Get the full downloads below! And stay tuned for a full discussion when we announce the next book at the beginning of next month.

Lars Book Club: June

Daily rituals: How Artists work

By Lars contributor Julie Richardson

Every month here at Lars we announce a book at the beginning of the month and discuss it at the end. We just started an Instagram account for the Lars Book Club. Come follow along there! 

Maybe you have¬†a full time office job. Maybe your job is to create things. Maybe you’re at home with your kids and trying to teach them, clothe them, and basically keep them alive all day. Or maybe you’re in between. If I’ve learned one thing about having four children, it’s that my daily routine (especially mornings!) need to be planned out beforehand if I want to carve out some time for myself each day. Choices turn into habits,¬†which hopefully become¬†subconscious or instinctive actions, in other words, a routine. We’re all busy individuals, but I know that routines are beneficial in keeping chaos to a minimum, so I can be at my best for a good chunk of the day. (Some days that’s only in theory though.¬†Ha!) June’s book is called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry.¬†It’s a fascinating read about artists and their (sometimes quirky) routines that enable them to create. These are writers, painters, poets, musicians and more! Maybe you can get an idea or two. ūüėČ Enjoy and be sure to join¬†May’s discussion of The Artist’s Mother!

Lars Book Club: The Artist’s Mother printable quote

mother's day quote on The House That Lars Built illustrated by Jordan Sondler Mother's Day quote illustrated by Jordan Sondler for The House That Lars Built

Hey-o! Just popping in to see how you’re doing with this month’s book club book, The Artist’s Mother. It’s more of a visual catalogue of pictures and paintings by some of the most iconic artists, but it goes into some details about their mothers.

From here on out we’ll be featuring a quote that you can print off for free (download here) from each Book Club in the middle of each month as illustrated by a guest illustrator. One of my favorite illustrators, , is kicking it off with this one:

“The eyes of a mother are the first mirror we encounter. A good mother provides a true reflection.”

We’ll be going over the book at the beginning of next month and introducing the book for June then as well.

Get The Artist’s Mother here.
Download the illustrated quote here

Illustrated by |  Photo by Brittany Jepsen

Lars Book Club: May

The Artist's MotherEvery month Lars Book Club contributor, Julie Richardson introduces a new book to us, and reviews the previous month’s book along with some discussion questions. For the month of April we read The Reason for Flowers. Take a look after the jump for her review! Feel free to leave your own comments about it!


Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and as this year’s book list was put together, I thought it’d be fun to read something this month that honors mothers, but in a unique way. So in all my searching and scouring of book lists and websites, I was excited to find May’s book, The Artist’s Mother: The Greatest Painters Pay Tribute to the Women Who Rocked Their Cradles,¬†by Overlook Press,¬†Introduction by Judith Thurman.¬† Maybe you’ll know some of these artists, or maybe not. But either way, it’s an interesting look at how each of them portrayed their mothers through prints, paintings, and drawings. Enjoy this look into their lives.

And to all you mothering figures out there – you are appreciated, loved, and irreplaceable, for “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” ‚ÄĒ William Ross Wallace

Lars Book Club: April

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the-reason-for-flowers-book-club

WELCOME TO SPRING! I’m absolutely thrilled for the sunshine and blooms (though I hear it’s snowing on the East Coast?)

For¬†each Lars Book Club book we’ll be recapping the previous book and announcing the new book in the same post. You can find both after the jump from Lars contributor, Julie Richardson.

The new Lars Book Club

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Lars Book Club

Remember when I tried starting a Book Club two years ago? Almost to the day? One of my requirements was that it was a low-stress commitment. However! Clearly, I couldn’t even keep up my own promises and I let it slip. It took me ages to finish the first book! Gah! That was NOT a good start. Well, I decided I wanted something that would still keep me accountable and also include you, my dear readers, with books that we both potentially love so I asked my dear, long-time friend, Julie Richardson, to take over the Lars Book Club.

Why? Read below! And find out how to join!