Suggested Reading List
Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City
Author: Russell Shorto
Description: Opening with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son, Shorto spins a tale of a diverse city (178 nationalities, more than New York), wrestled collectively from the sea, its coffee shops, canals, personalities and politics.
Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Manfred Wolf (Editor)
Description: Organized by district, these 17 contemporary short stories by modern Dutch writers, including Cees Nooteboom and Geert Mak, are set amid the canals, cafes and neighborhoods of Amsterdam.
Author: Michelin Travel Publications
Description: Covering the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at a scale of 1:400,000.
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer
Author: David Winner
Description: A British journalist, Winner interviews football stars -- along with architects, political scientists and novelists -- in this insightful, humorous look at the transformation of Dutch society since the 1970s.
Dutch, A Rough Guide Phrasebook
Author: Rough Guide
Description: An A-Z pocket dictionary, phrasebook and mini-guide to the Dutch language.
Eyewitness Guide Brussels, Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp
Author: Rebecca Miles
Description: This superbly illustrated guide features color photos and maps of city neighborhoods, with information on history, culture and sightseeing.
Fodor's Amsterdam & the Netherlands
Description: The up-to-date, full color Fodor's guide features invaluable recommendations on where to stay and eat and what to do throughout Holland. With side trips to Belgium, it's ideal for either a weekend trip or an extended visit.
Girl With a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Description: Chevalier's richly drawn novel imagines the story behind Vermeer's mysterious portrait of a turbaned girl with a pearl earring.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue
Author: Susan Vreeland
Description: This finely-crafted novel tells the story of the girl in an imagined, undiscovered portrait by Vermeer. Created in the 17th century, the painting passes through a number of people's hands, and following its path provides a series of tales that reflect the history and character of Holland and Europe through the years.
Good Beer Guide Belgium
Author: Tim Webb
Description: The sixth edition of Webb's invaluable guide to breweries, beers and bars.
Author: Dorothy Dunnett
Description: From the reigning queen of historical fiction comes this fast-paced, thoroughly-researched novel of ambition and worldly goods in 15th-century Bruges. This is the first volume in her House of Niccolo series.
The Botany of Desire
Author: Michael Pollan
Description: Four marvelous essays on four plants, all with the common theme of how well each has manipulated humans for its benefit. The plants are: the apple, the tulip, the potato, and marijuana. Pollan's writing is beautiful, and the apple essay alone -- you'll never think of Johnny Appleseed in the same way! -- is as satisfying an essay as we've read in a long time.
The Embarrassment of Riches
Author: Simon Schama
Description: An engaging cultural history and much more, this book is a study of the Dutch in the 17th century and their surprising challenge to Spanish rule.
Author: Colin White
Description: A laugh-out-loud, irreverent guide to Dutch character and habits, including how to drink coffee and why you shouldn't even think about haggling over prices.
Author: Deborah Moggach
Description: A surprise bestseller, set in 1630s Amsterdam; in this gripping novel, a man contracts the talented painter Jan Van Loos to paint a portrait of him and his beautiful wife, Sophia. A vivid drama unfolds as a mutual attraction develops between Van Loos and Sophia.
Author: Mike Dash
Description: The story of the world's most coveted flower and the extraordinary passion it aroused, this vivid history traces the story of the tulip from its origins on the Turkish steppes to an absurdly desired object in Europe and its key role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland.