Living in the Netherlands

The Undutchables by Colin White & Laurie Boucke
A funny and clever book, this tome dissects every habit and trait of Dutch life for the internationals, from beer to bicycles to 'strippencops' (the long-winded art of debate) and much more.

My Dam Life by Sean Condon
Don't mistake this personal account of an Australian man's life in Amsterdam for another travel book that explains the ins and outs of this beautiful city. Instead, it's one man's fish-out-of-water tale as he tries, for better or worse, to make a new life for himself abroad.

Xenophobe Guide to the Dutch by Rodney Bolt
The Dutch edition in the Xenophobe's Guide series offers an interesting tongue-in-cheek explanation of the quirks and traits of those born and raised in the Netherlands. It will brace first-time visitors to the country and reaffirm the beliefs of those in the know, but still celebrates the local culture.

Here's Holland by Sheila Gazaleh Weevers
Part One of Here's Holland serves as a guide book to the Netherlands while the second half focuses on living in the country, with advice and information on culture, sports, yearly events and other things internationals need to know.

Holland Handbook
Written by over 20 contributors – all professionals in their field –  the Holland Handbook acts as a helpful guide for all internationals and newcomers to the Netherlands and is updated annually.

History of Amsterdam

Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City by Geert Mak
Amsterdammer Geert Mak charts the history of Amsterdam through its people, following its rise from the marsh to its role as a global trading powerhouse and transformation into a European leader. Peppered with unexpected details, it's an enthralling read.

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto
The acclaimed American author – who lived here for a number of years – tells the story of Amsterdam and its liberal evolution. There are highs and lows along the way, weaving a rich tale about the city.


Look What Came from the Netherlands by Kevin Davis
Davis explains to children what makes this country so special, touching on icons like tulips and windmills as well as tasty donuts without holes, wooden shoes and much more. Adults will love it, too.

Melanie Martin Goes Dutch by Carol Weston
The full title is a mouthful – Melanie Martin Goes Dutch: The Private Diary of My Almost Bummer Summer with Cecily, Matt the Brat, and Vincent Van Go Go Go – but this book is a charmer. New York ten-year-old Melanie Martin, accompanied by her mum, brother and best friend, fly to Amsterdam to discover everything from museums to topless beaches as she learns about Anne Frank. There are also some important life lessons about friendships and growing up.

The House of Windjammer by VA Richardson
Set in the Netherlands' Golden Age during the 17th century, this story centres on 15-year-old Adam, who must save his family's doomed ship-building business after the death of his father. He embarks on a quest to find a rare tulip, but encounters many enemies, including a wicked preacher and an evil banker, who threaten to thwart his plans.

Third Culture Kids by David Pollock & Ruth E van Reken
Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds examines both the psychological challenges and benefits of a child's upbringing without a definable homeland to call their own. Issues of identity, adaptability, cross cultural enrichment and more can weigh heavily on a child's development, but of course, there are rewards as well.

First rate fiction

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 
This Pulitzer prize-winning novel centres on a famous Dutch painting that ends up in the hands of an American boy after a tragic event, and begins and ends in Amsterdam. If you like Dickens, you’ll adore this sprawling story that meditates on love, loss and beauty.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Set in the 17th century, this bestseller is about a young girl sent to marry a wealthy Amsterdam merchant who lives in the old city centre – which wasn’t very old at the time. She finds settling into her new life difficult, but everything changes when her husband gives her a miniature replica of their home and things take a turn for the mysterious.

Rembrandt's Mirror by Kim Devereux
This stunning debut novel explores Rembrandt and the three women who influenced his life. Seen through the eyes of his love, muse and housemaid Hendrickje, it tells the story of a man driven by art, fuelled by passion and tormented by his inner demons.

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