100 books like Tulip Fever

By Deborah Moggach,

Here are 100 books that Tulip Fever fans have personally recommended if you like Tulip Fever. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Muse

Lynelle Clark Author Of Love at War: A Love Story

From my list on provoking plotlines.

Who am I?

I am a very realistic person, curious by nature, who loves a good thrill. A good twist—no matter the genre—that has all the above recommendations captures my attention. A feel-good chick flick or book does nothing for my curious side but adds a twist or two and you have me hooked. Love at war is that kind of book. It has a few twists that touch on important topics and leave you with a few thoughts to think about afterward. Life is not only marshmallows and sprinklers. Life is real and I like my books like that, too. Therefore, I call myself a multi-genre author. I don’t want to be bound by one genre.

Lynelle's book list on provoking plotlines

Lynelle Clark Why did Lynelle love this book?

This was a different book than the normal Erotic Romance. I loved the cover, it just says so much about the story itself.

When women started to die at a famous artist's castle, suspicion ran rampant in Alvarez and Elle's minds. Who did it? Who could they trust? The mystery surrounding them mounted and everyone was a suspect. With a woman locked in the attic and an older woman seeking human blood and human organs for her sacrifices, you had a suspenseful time dissecting all the twists and turns in the book.

By Jessie Burton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Muse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller

A picture hides a thousand words . . .

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery…


Book cover of Girl with a Pearl Earring

Rebecca D'Harlingue Author Of The Map Colorist

From my list on 17th-century women.

Who am I?

I find the seventeenth century fascinating, and both of my novels are set in that period. The century was a time of great flux, and I am especially interested in exploring the kinds of things that women might have done, even though their accomplishments weren’t recorded. There is a wonderful article by novelist Rachel Kadish called “Writing the Lives of Forgotten Women,” in which she refers to Hilary Mantel’s comments that people whose lives are not recorded fall through the sieve of history. Kadish says that, “Lives have run through the sieve, but we can catch them with our hands.” These novels all attempt to do that.

Rebecca's book list on 17th-century women

Rebecca D'Harlingue Why did Rebecca love this book?

This book was a phenomenon when it came out, and with good reason.

Chevalier’s words paint a picture of the life of a young girl, Griet, who is working in the house of the artist, Johannes Vermeer in 1660s Delft. In the novel, Griet is the model for the famous painting. The relationship between artist and model, and what they do, and don’t, mean to each other, is complex and intriguing.

The way that Chevalier depicts the restrained interactions between the two seems to mimic Vermeer’s restrained yet visually detailed style.

By Tracy Chevalier,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Girl with a Pearl Earring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling novel by the author of A Single Thread and At the Edge of the Orchard

Translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film, starring Scarlett Johanson and Colin Firth

Tracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly-imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings.

History and fiction merge seamlessly in this luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of sixteen-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius . .…


Book cover of The Weeping Woman: A Novel

Lynn Bushell Author Of Painted Ladies

From my list on artists and their muses.

Who am I?

As an art historian and painter, I was inevitably drawn to the theme of artists and their muses when I started writing historical fiction. Female, passive, disempowered, and doomed sums up the fate of most muses. History is littered with their corpses - Rossetti’s model Lizzie Siddal committed suicide, Rodin’s model Camille Claudel went mad, Edie Sedgwick, made famous by Warhol, died of an overdose. The title ‘muse’ might offer immortality, but their lives were often hell on earth.  My books set out to understand what drove these women, some of whom were artists in their own right, to make such huge sacrifices. 

Lynn's book list on artists and their muses

Lynn Bushell Why did Lynn love this book?

We all know that Picasso wasn't very nice to his muses – nothing unusual there. He was arrogant and with a massive sense of entitlement. Dora Maar had good reason to weep. She was an artist herself – a successful painter & photographer, gaining commissions historically awarded to men and creating a radical new image of the modern woman  that's until she met Picasso. When she started to cause trouble he had her put away. It's extraordinary how many muses ended up in asylums. Unlike Rodin's muse she did get out, however. In Valdes' novel the story doesn't exactly end happily but in reality she did go on working, as a photographer, up till her death at eighty-nine. Good for you, Dora.

By Zoe Valdes, David Frye (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Weeping Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the prestigious Azorin Prize for Fiction, the best-selling novel about love, sacrifice, and Picasso's mistress, Dora Maar.

A writer resembling Zoe Valdes a Cuban exile living in Paris with her husband and young daughter is preparing a novel on the life of Dora Maar, one of the most promising artists in the Surrealist movement until she met Pablo Picasso. The middle-aged Picasso was already the god of the art world's avant-garde. Dora became his lover, muse, and ultimately, his victim. She became The Weeping Woman captured in his famous portrait, the mistress he betrayed with other mistress-muses, and…


Book cover of The Artist’s Muse

Lynn Bushell Author Of Painted Ladies

From my list on artists and their muses.

Who am I?

As an art historian and painter, I was inevitably drawn to the theme of artists and their muses when I started writing historical fiction. Female, passive, disempowered, and doomed sums up the fate of most muses. History is littered with their corpses - Rossetti’s model Lizzie Siddal committed suicide, Rodin’s model Camille Claudel went mad, Edie Sedgwick, made famous by Warhol, died of an overdose. The title ‘muse’ might offer immortality, but their lives were often hell on earth.  My books set out to understand what drove these women, some of whom were artists in their own right, to make such huge sacrifices. 

Lynn's book list on artists and their muses

Lynn Bushell Why did Lynn love this book?

How much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice, the book asks its heroine. It's time the victims had their say and it's a question Kerry Postle tackles head-on. Wally Neuzel was a model to both Gustave Klimt and Egon Schiele, giants of the Neue Sachlichkeit in Vienna in the early 1900s, artists who in today's terms, got away with murder. The novel highlights the delicate position a girl was in if she chose to model for an artist albeit a famous one. It might secure her a place in history, but models were regarded as little better than prostitutes, rejected (once they'd had their way with them, of course) by the very bourgeoisie who bought the paintings and often by the artists themselves. 

By Kerry Postle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Artist’s Muse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

‘The author tells an evocative story that is both illuminating and engrossing at the same time.’ Allie Burns, author of The Lido Girls

‘Lush and evocative.’ Rosemary Smith

‘The writing elevates this beyond many historical novels.’ Joseph Morgan Vienna 1907

Wally Neuzil must find a way to feed her family. Having failed in many vocations, Wally has one last shot: esteemed artist Gustav Klimt needs a muse, and Wally could be the girl he’s been waiting for. But Wally soon discovers that there is much more to her role than just sitting looking pretty. And while she had hoped to…


Book cover of Etty Hillesum: A Life Transformed

Susan Fries Author Of The Pope and the Prostitute

From my list on what to read when the world goes wrong.

Who am I?

I believe there is a supernatural spirit that guides the universe, and I am passionate about the God who created it. From the many experiences in my life, I have learned that there is a bigger picture. That picture is God. You can believe in his power to change lives or not. You can believe in him and his son or not, but that does not mean they don't exist. I may not believe in life in other galaxies, but that does not mean they are not out there somewhere.

Susan's book list on what to read when the world goes wrong

Susan Fries Why did Susan love this book?

This is undoubtedly the most captivating biography I’ve had the pleasure to read.

This woman, in the prime of her very ‘alive’, but somewhat distorted sexually active life is confused by her childhood, accosted by the Germans during the war, yet brings inspiration and love to those in the Nazi camp she finds herself living as wars escalate. She is hope.

By Patrick Woodhouse,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Etty Hillesum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On 8 March 1941, a 27-year-old Jewish Dutch student living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam made the first entry in a diary that was to become one of the most remarkable documents to emerge from the Nazi Holocaust. Over the course of the next two and a half years, an insecure, chaotic and troubled young woman was transformed into someone who inspired those with whom she shared the suffering of the transit camp at Westerbork and with whom she eventually perished at Auschwitz. Through her diary and letters, she continues to inspire those whose lives she has touched since. She was an…


Book cover of Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City

John Rennie Short Author Of The Unequal City

From my list on cities and their power to change lives and attitudes.

Who am I?

I grew up in a small village in a very rural part of Scotland. It was perhaps inevitable, then, that I would have an interest in the urban. Cities, especially big cities, seemed wonderfully exciting when I was growing up, full of mystery and promise, intoxicating, transgressive, with a hint of danger and a whiff of excitement. That fascination has stayed with me throughout my academic career as I have explored different facets of the urban experience. I am aware of the growing inequality but remain optimistic about the progressive possibilities and redemptive power of the urban experience to change lives and attitudes.

John's book list on cities and their power to change lives and attitudes

John Rennie Short Why did John love this book?

The writer loves Amsterdam that much is clear. He deftly shows how this one city grew from the most unpromising location to become not only a great city in its own right, but also the city where tolerance, markets, and the ideals of liberal tolerant capitalist society were forged and burnished. Our modern liberal cosmopolitanism was created in Amsterdam. We owe a great deal to Amsterdam and its citizens. 

By Russell Shorto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amsterdam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amsterdam is not just any city. Despite its relative size it has stood alongside its larger cousins - Paris, London, Berlin - and has influenced the modern world to a degree that few other cities have. Sweeping across the city's colourful thousand year history, Amsterdam brings the place to life: its sights and smells; its politics and people. Concentrating on two significant periods - the late 1500s to the mid 1600s and then from the Second World War to the present, Russell Shorto's masterful biography looks at Amsterdam's central preoccupations. Just as fin-de-siecle Vienna was the birthplace of psychoanalysis, seventeenth…


Book cover of The Coffee Trader

Annabel Townsend Author Of It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Ten Years of Misadventures in Coffee

From my list on wannabe coffee shop owners.

Who am I?

I've been going by the handle ‘Dr. Coffee’ online for over a decade now. I really do have a PhD. in coffee! In 2007 I embarked on a doctorate and wrote my thesis on ideas of quality in the coffee industry. The inevitable question is then, ‘what do you do with a PhD in coffee?’ and my answer was to open coffee shops, first in the UK and then in Canada. In recent years, I've switched from owning a coffee shop with books in it to a bookshop with coffee in it, but it still manages to satisfy both passions. I firmly believe there is no better combination than hot coffee and good books.  

Annabel's book list on wannabe coffee shop owners

Annabel Townsend Why did Annabel love this book?

I am a fan of historical fiction anyway, but historical fiction and coffee? Brilliant! Liss’s book is set in 17th Century Amsterdam, which at the time was the centre of commerce in Europe, and in particular, one of the first ports to trade in the newly discovered coffee commodity. The main character, Miguel Lienzo is loosely based on Pasqua Rosé—the historical figure credited with opening the first coffee house in Oxford, England. There are diabolical schemes, adventure, plenty of double-crossing, flawed but likeable characters, and a very satisfying ending. To my knowledge, this is extremely historically accurate as well.

By David Liss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Coffee Trader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amsterdam in the 1690s - a boom town with Europe's biggest stock exchange and traders who will stop at nothing to get even richer.

Lienzo, a Portugese Jew, stumbles across a new commodity - coffee - which, if he plays his cards right, will make him the richest man in Holland. But others stand in his way - rival traders who do all in their power to confuse the exchange and scupper his plans, his brother who is jealous of his financial wizardry and even his brother's beautiful wife who both tempts and spurns him in equal measure.


Book cover of The Dutch and Their Delta: Living Below Sea Level

Ben Coates Author Of The Rhine

From my list on rivers and the people who leave alongside them.

Who am I?

I'm an Anglo-Dutch writer living in the Netherlands, and the author of two books. Growing up in England I never thought much about rivers, but in the Netherlands they’re hard to avoid, and I’ve become fascinated by them. These days, when we all work remotely and (when rules allow) usually travel by car, train, or plane rather than boat, it’s easy to think of rivers as just scenic backdrops, rather than anything more important. But the truth is many of our cities wouldn’t exist without the waters which flow through them, and waterways like the Rhine, Thames, and Seine have had a huge influence on the history and culture of the people living alongside them. If you want to understand why somewhere like Rotterdam, London or Paris is the way it is, you could spend the day in a library or museum – but you’d be better off going for a boat ride or swim, poking around under some bridges and talking to the fishermen, boatmen, and kayakers down at the waterline.

Ben's book list on rivers and the people who leave alongside them

Ben Coates Why did Ben love this book?

This book tells the story of how the people of the Netherlands – the country where I’ve lived for more than a decade, and which I wrote my first book about – have not just managed to survive below sea level, in a land riddled with rivers and canals, but managed to turn their boggy environment to their advantage, becoming grandmasters at building dikes, draining land and constructing water-pumping windmills. The book isn’t a heavy read – the emphasis is on photos, maps, and interesting factoids – but it’s full of insights into everything from how Amsterdam was built to why the Dutch aren’t too worried about climate change. Perfect reading when I’m sitting in my garden in the Dutch countryside, with water on both sides.

By Jacob Vossestein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dutch and Their Delta as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All over the world, people learn in school that the Netherlands is a country that lies below sea-level. Dikes, polders, windmills and wooden shoes are well-known icons of this unusual nation, while its sturdy dams and storm surge barriers also enjoy world fame. But how does it all work? How can a country exist under such circumstances and even be prosperous? One would expect the Dutch to panic about climate change but they don’t seem to be; how come? This book will tell you all about it, both in words and photos, striking a balance between developments in the past,…


Book cover of Midnight Blue

Rebecca D'Harlingue Author Of The Map Colorist

From my list on 17th-century women.

Who am I?

I find the seventeenth century fascinating, and both of my novels are set in that period. The century was a time of great flux, and I am especially interested in exploring the kinds of things that women might have done, even though their accomplishments weren’t recorded. There is a wonderful article by novelist Rachel Kadish called “Writing the Lives of Forgotten Women,” in which she refers to Hilary Mantel’s comments that people whose lives are not recorded fall through the sieve of history. Kadish says that, “Lives have run through the sieve, but we can catch them with our hands.” These novels all attempt to do that.

Rebecca's book list on 17th-century women

Rebecca D'Harlingue Why did Rebecca love this book?

In seventeenth-century Holland, Catrin is an artist who is instrumental in the founding of Delft pottery.

Rembrandt appears as someone who recognizes Catrin’s artistic talent, and Vermeer is also a minor character, though he is usually just referred to as Johannes. It was a lot of fun when I first realized who this Johannes was!

Through Catrin’s challenges, Van der Vlugt also explores the challenges that women faced at the time, including domestic violence and the difficulty of entering the art world. 

By Simone Van Der Vlugt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Midnight Blue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Simone Van Der Vlugt comes her European bestselling novel of a young woman's rise as a painter in Holland's Golden Age—perfect for readers of The Miniaturist, Tulip Fever, and Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Amsterdam 1654: against the backdrop of Holland's Golden Age, a dangerous secret threatens to destroy a young widow's new life.

Following the sudden death of her husband, twenty-five-year old Catrin leaves her small village and takes a job as a housekeeper to the successful Van Nulandt merchant family. Amsterdam is a city at the peak of its powers: science and art are flourishing in the…


Book cover of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Johanna van Zanten Author Of The Imposter

From my list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families.

Who am I?

As a child with older sisters, I read their books beyond my age level under the blankets with a flashlight in bed at night. I became a reading addict. Raised in The Netherlands with the Second World War casting its large shadow on our lives, I only became interested, after my parents were gone, in how people survived and had to find their courage under impossible circumstances. They would never talk about those occupation years. My search into history led me to find the answers.

Johanna's book list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families

Johanna van Zanten Why did Johanna love this book?

I loved this non-fiction book, and reading it, I often broke down in tears, realizing this personal and innocent true teenage story was all leading up to the tremendous death of millions of innocent people.

This is the only Anne Frank book that I recommend to everybody from a young age. It is THE introduction to the real events of World War 2.

By Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart (translator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Anne Frank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

With 30 per cent more material than previous editions, this new contemporary and fully anglicized translation gives the reader a deeper insight into Anne's world. Publication of the unabridged Definitive Edition on Penguin Audiobook, read by Helena Bonham-Carter, coincides.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Netherlands, muses, and Amsterdam?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Netherlands, muses, and Amsterdam.

The Netherlands Explore 75 books about the Netherlands
Muses Explore 9 books about muses
Amsterdam Explore 31 books about Amsterdam