Suggested Reading List
A Worldly Art
Author: Mariet Westermann
Description: This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other Old Masters.
Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City
Author: Russell Shorto
Description: Russell Shorto opens this delightful ode to an adopted city with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son. He spins a tale of a diverse city wrestled collectively from the sea, its coffee shops, canals, personalities and politics, with panache.
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 Fodor's guide features invaluable recommendations on where to stay and eat and what to do throughout the Netherlands. Compact and portable, 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, providing a series of tales that reflect the history and character of Holland and Europe through the years.
Good Beer Guide Belgium
Author: Joe Strange, Tim Webb
Description: The seventh edition of Webb's invaluable guide to breweries, beers and bars.
Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens
Author: Mark Lamster
Description: Ranging from his home in Antwerp to London, Madrid, Paris and Rome, Lamster uncovers the gripping tale behind one of the world’s most famous painters and his double life as a secret agent, diplomat and political operative in 17th century Europe.
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.
Rembrandt, Master of the Portrait
Author: Pascal Bonafoux
Description: With over 200 illustrations, this pocket-size encyclopedia traces the life and career of artist Rembrandt von Rijn. It offers insight into his influence on the art of the portrait -- an illuminating companion for any visit to Amsterdam and its museums.
The Anatomy Lesson
Author: Nina Siegal
Description: A fictionalized account of the events surrounding Rembrandt’s first commissioned piece, the Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.Well-researched and vivid with period details that transport the reader back to 1600s Amsterdam at the height of Dutch artistic vigor.
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.
Top 10 Brussels & Bruges Antwerp & Ghent
Author: Antony Mason
Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions.
Travels in Vermeer, A Memoir
Author: Michael White
Description: In the wake of a vengeful divorce and custody battle, an American poet travels to Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, London, Washington and New York to find solace and inspiration in the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.
Author: Deborah Moggach
Description: In this surprise bestseller, set in 1630s Amsterdam, 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 status as an absurdly desired object in Europe and its key role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland.