The best books about the Netherlands 📚

Browse the best books on the Netherlands as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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

The Dutch and Their Delta: Living Below Sea Level

By Jacob Vossestein

Why 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…

From the list:

The best books about rivers and the people who leave alongside them

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Book cover of Against the Odds

Against the Odds

By Marjolijn Hof

Why this book?

One of my favourite books of all time! Not only because the author is Dutch (like me!!). The narrator Kiki is a worrier. She worries most of all about her dad who is a doctor who works in dangerous war zones. This book manages to be funny and sad and beautiful at the same time. Read it!

From the list:

The best books for kids dealing with grief, death, and loss

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Book cover of Miffy's Birthday

Miffy's Birthday

By Dick Bruna

Why this book?

As a Dutch co-author, I highly recommend the books of Miffy, the very known rabbit in the Netherlands and worldwide, who shares his experiences in colourful, child friendly and short books. This copy is about celebrating birthdays. I love the good colorful illustrations and the imagination of Miffy. For children, this is the perfect combination, as a child loves birthdays, presents and especially from grandparents.
From the list:

The best children's books to stimulate development

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Book cover of Night Train

Night Train

By A L Snijders, Lydia Davis

Why this book?

Impulse and happenstance set the syllabus of my reading, and so it was that, shortly after reading Lydia Davis’s Madame Bovary, I chanced to see a notice for her rendering into English, from the Dutch, a selection of the very short stories written by the late A. L. Snijders. He wrote plainly, eschewing elegance and complications of form and syntax in favor of simple sentences that laid out, in workmanlike prose, his casual, wry observations of, and on, his fellow Dutchmen, Dutch women, and also Dutch animals, of whom he was fond. Here is no Modernist heroic ambition, no…

From the list:

The best books on the mind at play

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Book cover of The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

By Simon Schama

Why this book?

I first met Simon Schama in 1963, when he joined me as an undergraduate reading History at Christ’s College Cambridge. Both of us decided to undertake research on the Low Countries, but in an international context: in my case, Spain and the Netherlands between 1550 and 1650; in Simon’s case, France and the Netherlands between 1770 and 1815, leading to his brilliant first book, Patriots and Liberators (a study of what the expansion of Revolutionary France meant for an occupied country.) This led him to analyse the social and cultural history of the country before occupation, using visual as well…

From the list:

The best books on the 17th Century

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Book cover of The Real Taiwan and the Dutch: Traveling Notes from the Netherlands Representative

The Real Taiwan and the Dutch: Traveling Notes from the Netherlands Representative

By Menno Goedhart, Cheryl Robbins

Why this book?

An enjoyable read and a practical guide for those looking to explore Taiwan’s aboriginal cultures and the vestiges of Dutch rule on Taiwan in the seventeenth century. It’s a beautifully illustrated book containing hundreds of photographs and useful travel information. The focus is on getting off the beaten path, and the book details fascinating places not covered by other guidebooks, which is a testament to the two authors’ expert knowledge.

From the list:

The best travel books about Taiwan and why you should visit

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