Yesterday we shared the new poster and bookmark that our featured illustrator of the month, Jacqueline Colley, created for our book club book of the month, Encore. Jacqueline is a UK based illustrator and print designer who specializes in playful illustrations. I thought she’d be the perfect person to capture the words of Charity Tilleman-Dick who passed away from health complications last month and is the focus on this month’s book. She offers some wonderful advice and thoughts about her journey!
Imagine you’re at your peak of health and young adulthood, a promising opera career just ahead of you…and then you’re diagnosed with a fatal disease and given only five years to live. The Encore: A Memoir in Three Acts is about the life of Charity Tillemann-Dick, a soprano singer who performed in opera houses all over the world, all while enduring the immense complications of Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension and two (yes, TWO) double lung transplants.
My friend, Charity, passed away last two weeks ago on April 23, at age 35, but her story and tenacity to live and pursue what she loved despite her disease still inspires many. In homage to the beautiful person she was and the light she still shines, we are reading her beautiful memoir. We hope you’ll join us as we honor her this month and read about Charity’s perseverance and experiences of living close to death through her own candid, honest words.
Stay tuned for artwork later this month, and follow along with @larsbookclub.
Helloooo readers! We’re well into March (and spring!) and hope you’re enjoying A Big Important Art Book: Now With Women! Has it opened your eyes to the art women have made and ARE making all over the world? Pretty amazing, right? We’ve got some questions below and fabulous art print for you! This month, our poster and book mark were illustrated by one of our favorite artists, Australian artist and designer, Beci Orpin, who leads the way in collage art and bright and quirky products and illustrationgs (pssst–you HAVE to check out her new portfolio site. It’s a piece of art!) We’ll be featuring an interview with Beci on Sunday, so stay tuned!
Beci illustrated a quote from fine artist, Bobbie Burgers, that reads “be willing to destroy” because we all should be, no?!
Readers!! How have you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? So many of you said you’d read it, and would read it again! Have you read the book and seen the movie (and which did you like better)? This book truly strikes a chord with so many of us, whether we relate to the book’s themes of loss, love, or uniting with others in the face of something dark and terrible. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows included some superb questions in the back of their book (really, they’ve touched on everything!), but here are some others we’d like to ask you! Please feel free to share your thoughts on Instagram @larsbookclub! This month’s fantastic artwork was illustrated by Emma Block and will have you dreaming of a cozy night in!
1. How did the book’s format of letters and telegrams influence the story? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
2. The book was filled with fabulous characters. Which one did you relate to the most? How were Dawsey and Markham V. Reynolds different, and what kind of influence did they have on Juliet?
3. How has a book or book club helped you make lasting personal connections? Do you think books really can find their way to you at just the time you need it?
If you enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, you might like:
Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner (a 2016 book club pick!)
Photography by Jane Merritt | Artwork by Emma Block
November Book Club
Have you ever read a book at just the right time, when you needed it most in your life? Did it seem almost like that book serendipitously found you for a reason? Written words are powerful – they can change us, they can carry us through hard and good times, and they can bring people together. This month we’ll be reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set during WWII on the small island of Guernsey located between southern England and France, this is a story of love, loss, and living amongst the enemy. A London writer finds a new subject to become passionate about as the Islanders try to move on after the Nazi occupation of their tranquil island. Told in reflective, heart-breaking, witty, and hilarious letters and telegrams, this book endears you to its amazing characters. If you haven’t read this yet, you’re in for a treat. If you have, read it with us again! It recently became a movie, but we promise the book is better. 😉 Stay tuned for artwork later this month, and follow along with @larsbookclub. We want to hear your thoughts! Enjoy!
Can you believe it’s halfway through October, readers? Has Bram Stoker’s Dracula put a bit of classic spookiness into your fall season? 🙂 We’ve got a few questions for you below, as well as some other classic creepy stories you might want to add to your list of October reads! This month’s amazing artwork was illustrated by Yas Imamura of Quill & Fox. It’s a little bit dark and spooky and I love it! If you’re unfamiliar with her work, be sure to check her out!
October Book Club: Dracula
Happy October, readers! Fall is in full swing, and these are the cozy months to curl up with a good book, right? October is usually the month to choose a good, creepy classic (Frankenstein in 2016, and Rebecca last year!), so this year we’ve got another lined up: Dracula by Bram Stoker. Dracula, like Frankenstein, is a well-known character in Hollywood, but the original story might not be what you expect. Told from multiple points of view through letters, telegrams, and diary entries, the reader pieces together the story of Count Dracula, a mysterious man from eastern Europe who makes his way to London. As you can imagine, he wreaks his own nocturnal havoc quietly, amongst a people unaware of what is happening!
Follow along with us as we read a classic that explores ideas of masculinity and femininity, life and death (or the “undead”), and modernity or contemporary knowledge versus tradition and old superstitions. Stay tuned for some artwork and questions later this month! Enjoy!
How Art Can Make You Happy
September is upon us, readers! Schedules often get busy, so we’ve got a short gem of a book for you to read. But small as it may be, this is a book that has BIG impact. Do you love art, but feel unknowledgeable? Do you want to engage in art somehow, but don’t know where to start? How Art Can Make You Happy by Bridget Watson Payne shares just that and more! Payne unlocks what art can do for you, yes YOU. It can make you feel something, it can help you relate to others, it can bring awareness to the world around us. Follow along with @larsbookclub as we dive into art in a personal, relatable way. It’s a quick yet powerful read! Join us!
Stay tuned for fabulous artwork and questions later in the month! And take a peek at previous months here.
Have you enjoyed Tales from the Back Row? A look inside the fashion industry is equally entertaining and perplexing, isn’t it? Odell does a good job at giving the inside scoop while keeping an “outsider’s” point of view. Check out discussion questions below (if you’ve been following us on Insta, maybe you’ve read some of them already!), and further reading suggestions – we read Grace Coddington’s memoir last year and it was fabulous! This month’s awesome artwork is by one of my previous interns, Victoria Riza, who has gone and done some incredible things! We hope you enjoy!
Let’s talk about Tales From the Back Row!
Tales from the Back Row: An Outsider’s View from Inside the Fashion Industry
Happy August, readers! Your summer might be winding up, but we have a fun book to make you laugh as you enjoy the last warm evenings in your hammock. Do fashion shows inspire you? Does your heart beat faster? Or are you thinking “What in the WORLD are they wearing?? Someone actually thinks this looks good on a HUMAN??” In Tales from the Back Row: An Outsider’s View from Inside the Fashion Industry by Amy Odell, we hear both sides of the story.
Odell, an editor whose career began as a journalist and (sometimes snarky) fashion blogger, constantly walked that tightrope of insulting these crazy fashion people who think nothing of wearing leather pants as daily office attire, yet couldn’t say yes fast enough at a chance to interview with THE Anna Wintour for a job at Vogue. Odell gives us a glimpse of NY’s Fashion Week, of interviewing models and celebrities, of the hierarchy of reporters vs. bloggers, and ultimately the contrast of serious business with the ridiculous! She’s part of the industry but slightly removed, which makes her honest observations totally hilarious. We hope you like it (and maybe learn something new about the industry)! Join us during the month of August as we post about Tales from the Back Row, and stay tuned for some printable artwork!
Hello readers! Have you enjoyed reading about Leonardo? What do you think of this man whose curiosity knew no bounds? We know it’s a large book, but hopefully, you’ve been able to find some downtime during your summer to read! This man was an amazing scholar for his time, questioning and achieving so much, even though most of his findings weren’t shared with the world for centuries. Here are some discussion questions for you, plus some other great reading suggestions (Isaacson is a fabulous biographer!). Also, this month’s Leonardo Book Club Artwork was done by Normandie Luscher, one of our current interns! She is beyond talented and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase her work here!
Hello Lars readers! Each summer, we love picking a fun biography or two to delve into, and this one doesn’t disappoint! Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (master of biographies!) is an astoundingly thorough and colorful look at this “Renaissance Man”. Scientist, observer, engineer, and so much more, Leonardo was a complicated man who had a mind filled with curiosity and creativity that crossed disciplines. His art aided his scientific discoveries and vice versa. And if you can believe it, considering himself an artist or painter was actually LAST on his list of abilities! So grab a copy, follow along with us on Instagram, and learn something new this summer about the 15th and 16th centuries – a time of invention and innovation – and the people that adored Leonardo, his quirks, and his genius. Stay tuned for printables later this month! Enjoy!