Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org
, a website that supports local bookstores.
by Colin White
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.
Travels in Vermeer, A Memoir
by Michael White
In the wake of a vengeful divorce, 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.
A Worldly Art
by Mariet Westermann
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
by Russell Shorto
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 from the sea, its coffee shops, canals and its personalities and politics, with panache.
by Mike Dash
The story of the world's most coveted flower and the extraordinary passion it aroused, this vivid history traces the tulip from its origins on the Turkish steppes to its status as an absurdly desired object in Europe and its key role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland.
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer
by David Winner
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.
Why the Dutch are Different
by Ben Coates
Mingling history with travelogue, Coates speaks to why the Netherlands is such fascinating country. He explains the significance of milk, beer and the color orange in the lives of the Dutch, their world-famous culture of tolerance and much more.
Delftware, History of a National Product
by Marjoleine Groen, Titus M. Eliens
An illustrated, hardbound history of De Porceleyne Fles, the famous Delftware manufacturer that has been in operation for 350 years.
The Netherlands in a Nutshell
by Frits Van Oostrom
With information on the Dutch East India Company, Huygens, Spinoza, Van Gogh, the Great Flood, the Dutch overseas colonies and much more, Van Oostrom's popular primer covers the essential highlights of Dutch history.
The Autumn of the Middle Ages
by Johan Huizinga
A pioneering work of social and cultural history, this well translated classic is a richly detailed portrait of life, thought and art in 14th- and 15th-century France and the Netherlands.
The Embarrassment of Riches
by Simon Schama
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.
In the City of Bikes
by Pete Jordan
Pedaling around the city on a "lumbering and sluggish" single-speed bicycle named Brownie, American expat and bike nut Pete Jordan turns his love of Amsterdam -- and of bicycles -- into an acutely observed cultural history of the city.
by Deborah Moggach
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.
An Island in Time, The Biography of a Village
by Geert Mak
Mak returns to Jorwerd, the small Netherlands village of his childhood, to spend time with the villagers and learn both the pleasures and contemporary challenges of small town life.
Rembrandt, Master of the Portrait
by Pascal Bonafoux
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.
by Michelin Travel Publications
Covering the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at a scale of 1:400,000.
Fodor's Amsterdam with the Best of the Netherlands
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.
The Anatomy Lesson
by Nina Siegal
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.
Girl With a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier
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
by Susan Vreeland
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.