Lewis and Emmy’s Booklist

1. Diary of Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl, the definitive edition) The Anne Frank House (located on the Prinsengracht 276) is one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam with a line for admission as long as a canal. Lewis and Emmy read this amazing  book before visiting which was the way to do it!


the long line at the Anne Frank House
the long line at the Anne Frank House

2. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier  This is a short historical fiction story about the 17th century author, Johannes Vermeer through the eyes of the girl with the pearl earring. Vermeer’s most famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring hangs in the  Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague.

3. The Dutch I Presume? This nonfiction book about the Dutch has lots of great photos and ‘fun to read’ text about the Dutch. Our Seattle friend, Pauline Bach who is 100% Dutch, recommended this fantastic book to us.

4. The Embarrassment of Riches by Simon Schama.  Schama tells the history of the Golden Age of Holland through Dutch culture as depicted in painting, emblem books, and descriptions of daily life.  We learn that the Dutch saw themselves as the new Israelites who escaped the Hapsburgs (“Egyptians”); parted the waters (not of the Red Sea, but of the North Sea–with dikes); enjoyed domesticity; indulged their children, and felt a teensy bit guilty about wealth and the enjoyment of alcohol and food.

5. The History of the Low Countries by Paul Arblaster.  Despite surveying nearly 2000 years, Arblaster does not do “equal coverage”. Despite the admirable brevity,  Arblaster focuses on the most critical times, providing a nuanced view of the evolution of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg from their shared beginnings to becoming very distinct nations. 

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