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Holland & Belgium in Spring

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXNTH65. Buy these 5 items as a set for $87 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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The Undutchables

The Undutchables

by Colin White

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 308 PAGES

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. (NTH12, $16.00)

A Worldly Art

A Worldly Art

by Mariet Westermann

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

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. (NTH46, $25.00)

Tulipomania

Tulipomania

by Mike Dash

  • HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

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 status as an absurdly desired object in Europe and its key role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland. (NTH30, $13.95)

Eyewitness Guide The Netherlands

Eyewitness Guide The Netherlands

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 472 PAGES

Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book covers Holland, its history, traditions, cultures and sights. With hundreds of color photographs and illustrations. (NTH71, $26.00)

Benelux Map

Benelux Map

by Michelin Travel Publications

  • 2012
  • MAP

Covering the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at a scale of 1:400,000. (NTH03, $12.95)

 
Eyewitness Guide Brussels, Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp

Eyewitness Guide Brussels, Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp


by Rebecca Miles

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 210 PAGES

This superbly illustrated guide features color photos and maps of city neighborhoods, with information on history, culture and sightseeing. (BLG16, $20.00)

Fodor's Amsterdam's 25 Best

Fodor's Amsterdam's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This slim guide to essential highlights includes an excellent map of the city center and can easily be slipped in your pocket. (NTH16, $13.99)

A Bridge Too Far

A Bridge Too Far


by Cornelius Ryan

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 670 PAGES

War historian Cornelius Ryan chronicles in detailed, readable prose the battle of Arnhem, one of the most important -- and bloodiest -- campaigns in World War II. (WAR21, $19.99)

Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City

Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City


by Russell Shorto

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

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. (NTH143, $16.95)

An Island in Time, The Biography of a Village

An Island in Time, The Biography of a Village


by Geert Mak

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

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. (NTH131, $18.95)

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer


by David Winner

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 276 PAGES

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. (NTH56, $15.95)

The Embarrassment of Riches

The Embarrassment of Riches


by Simon Schama

  • HISTORY
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 698 PAGES

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. (NTH04, $26.00)

Dutch Painting 1600-1800

Dutch Painting 1600-1800


by Seymour Slive | Jakob Rosenberg

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 392 PAGES

A generously illustrated, scholarly history of 200 years of Dutch art. (NTH48, $45.00)

Rembrandt, Master of the Portrait

Rembrandt, Master of the Portrait


by Pascal Bonafoux

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 175 PAGES

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. (NTH11, $12.95)

A Tall Man in a Low Land

A Tall Man in a Low Land


by Harry Pearson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 246 PAGES

Pearson, a British travel writer, journalist and comic is an entertaining guide to Belgium and its traditions, culture, beer and chocolate. (BLG19, $16.95)

Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh

Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh


by Irving Stone

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 480 PAGES

This collection of letters from the troubled artist to his brother offers an illuminating gaze into Van Gogh's passion for art while revealing his dramatic personal struggles. (NTH88, $17.00)

In the City of Bikes, The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist

In the City of Bikes, The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist


by Pete Jordan

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

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. (NTH141, $15.99)

Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens

Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens


by Mark Lamster

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 316 PAGES

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. (BLG44, $17.00)

The Diary of a Young Girl, The Definitive Edition

The Diary of a Young Girl, The Definitive Edition


by Anne Frank

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 340 PAGES

The classic story of an adolescent Jewish girl's life and thoughts while in hiding with her family in Nazi-occupied Holland. A new edition with added material. (NTH05, $13.00)

Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Manfred Wolf

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 238 PAGES

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. (NTH33, $13.95)

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Girl in Hyacinth Blue


by Susan Vreeland

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 150 PAGES

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. (NTH23, $15.00)

Girl With a Pearl Earring

Girl With a Pearl Earring


by Tracy Chevalier

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 233 PAGES

Chevalier's richly drawn novel imagines the story behind Vermeer's mysterious portrait of a turbaned girl with a pearl earring. (NTH25, $16.00)

Headlong, A Novel

Headlong, A Novel


by Michael Frayn

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 344 PAGES

A Bruegel canvas claims a central role in Frayn's hilarious tale of an art heist gone awry. Frayn weaves detailed research about the Old Master with a philosopher's foiled plot to appropriate the valuable masterpiece from a boor he feels is unworthy of it. (NTH68, $17.00)

Niccolo Rising

Niccolo Rising


by Dorothy Dunnett

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 470 PAGES

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. (BLG13, $15.95)

The Anatomy Lesson

The Anatomy Lesson


by Nina Siegal

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 271 PAGES

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. (NTH153, $15.95)

The Professor

The Professor


by Charlotte Bronte

  • LITERATURE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 316 PAGES

Bronte's first novel, published posthumously, is based on her experiences with Emily as a language student in Brussels in 1842. (BLG27, $12.00)

Tulip Fever

Tulip Fever


by Deborah Moggach

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 281 PAGES

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. (NTH31, $15.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.