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Maigret in Holland (1940) is a short, beautifully atmospheric crime story, set on the coast of The Netherlands. I loved it.

This sounds like huge fun, hope you enjoy your 'holiday'.


What a great idea! Vising a country through books. Good luck on your reading this summer.


This is an exciting as well as delicious post. "Virtual traveling" is a pastime of mine, and you have included vital fare for anyone "voyaging" to the Netherlands.

I'm so grateful for the book titles. Do let us know about your trip!!!


The Storm is one of the most unforgettable books I have read in a long time. Looking forward to other titles on your list.

Joan Kyler

This is the only sort of travel I care to do these days. Your second paragraph describes armchair travel perfectly.

Janet Gutierrez

I love your Blog! I read, constantly, and am always looking for "new" and different books to read, so your blog has become a great source. Love your writing!


With Couperus, Mak, Hillesum, de Moor and Nescio you have already made good choices. As the first three are 'many pages' books, it is probably quite right that you've added some crime authors too. I'm afraid I haven't read any of those and I also am not familiar with the books in a Dutch setting you mention.
I will wait for your complete list before adding more possibilities.


How lovely! I don't think I've read any Dutch literature, or even anything set in the Netherlands. Should be fun to explore. You could always add a cookbook with Dutch recipes to give yourself a taste of the food--if you enjoy cooking, that is!


What fun! And with armchair travel you don;t have to worry about flight delays or jet lag! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

Margaret Powling

Yes, such a fun post! I love armchair travelling, no airports to fret in, no claustrophobia of the channel tunnel, no passports and visas, no currency that I can't make head nor tail of, just a virtual magic carpet to another kingdom. Not heard of any of the titles you mention but might try some in time.


Sounds like a perfect choice--so much so I have ordered a copy! My library owns it but it is checked out until later in the month (just an excuse for me to buy it....). And I have been wanting to read more Simenon on any case-thanks! And I have several books started now and so far am enjoying myself immensely!


Hi Fariba--Thanks. It just sounded appealing when I was thinking how I wanted to take my reading this summer and I think I have chosen well as I am very much into my new reads. Hope you have some good summer reads planned out, too.


Hi Judith--part of the draw of reading in general is the escapism--but escaping to somewhere new and oftentimes exotic. I feel like I have for too long overlooked The Netherlands--am so much enjoying the descriptions of Amsterdam in the Apothecary's House and Eline Vere is set in The Hague! I think I will have even more reading choices to add to my list, too. I will, hopefully, be able to post once a week on my 'progress' so I'll let you know how it goes.


I'm so glad to hear that! I wasn't sure what to expect from it which is why I opted for a library copy. Maybe I'll look for a used copy now, however. Unforgettable sounds like a very promising read indeed. Thanks for letting me know!


I like going to new and distant places but the actual travel part has sort of lost appeal to me. It depends, I guess, on the mode. Train travel sounds really nice for some reason. But I tend towards armchair travel more these days, too.


Hi Janet--thanks so much for the very kind comment--you have no idea how much it made my day! :) I (as you can tell... :)) read constantly as well. I think I tend to have too many books started at once, but I can never help myself as so many books sound so good. I can't wait and read them in an orderly manner. I am really pleased to hear you find some good things to read her and I am always happy to hear what others are reading, too--and often ask for suggestions (it's the chat that makes blogging so enjoyable for me!). I do hope you'll stop by again and let me know what you're reading these days, too.


I am pretty pleased with the stack of books I have already put together I must say (I think three months won't be enough time now...). I am trying to read one more serious book along with something lighter and then hope to add into the mix a little nonfiction (I don't have much in that category to be honest, so any help there would be much appreciated). The Mak books look really good. I only stumbled upon some of the books with Dutch settings--The Apothecary's House is proving to be a very engaging story and all the description is wonderful, though being totally unfamiliar with Amsterdam (where it is set) the author could write anything at all and I would believe it. I might see if I can get my hands on a map or two (maps fascinate me in general). I hope to email you my complete list this weekend--I think a few books will take a while to get here, but I can look up my orders and fill out the list.


I know I have not read much either. The only books that come to mind is a Harry Mulisch novel many years ago, a novel called Kat (I think...) from maybe two years ago and a couple of crime novels--one by Saskia Noort and one by Simone van der Vlugt. So far the books I have started are really gripping--or at least I am finding myself reaching for them more than any other book. I love the idea of a Dutch cookery book--what fun that would be--so I will see if I can get something through the library. If all else fails I can see what Dutch food is like and maybe it would have photos, too!


I'm excited about my literary journey I have to say. It sort of came out of nowhere and then the appeal just grew and grew. Now I have several books started and all sorts of reading ideas. And no worries about fitting my carry-ons into those tiny boxes they use to measure the suitcase to see if it will fit into the overhead compartments! :) I will be posting (hopefully) regularly about my journeys--which will hopefully mean I keep up with my reading.


I think this is indeed going to be a lot of fun. It is more or less a new to me 'reading destination' and I always like learning about new places. I love going new places but the actual getting to them--planes and visas and all the accompanying tasks are not much fun these days. As I am (hopefully) going to be writing about my reading each week, maybe some book I am reading now will appeal to you later, too.

Claire (The Captive Reader)

What fun! Embarrassingly, I think the number of times I visited the Netherlands is higher than the number of books I've read from there. Geert Mak is on my TBR list but that's about it.


Could it be Danielle that you meant a novel by Otto de Kat, I seem to remember you wrote about it a few years ago.


As soon as I have your complete list I can see what would be a nice non fiction addition either to deepen or broaden your reading experience.
And I'm on the look out for a map


Well - that answers my question to your comment on my blog. :)
I'm very tempted to read Dutch books this year as well and like you I have quite a pile but I don't think we have any books in common. That's interesting. Maybe not all have been translated as I've bought them all in German and some in Dutch.
It's a great, great country. I think you'd like it a lot.
I'm trying to make up my mind where to go to this year - in autumn that is. It looks like Greece will be the destination. Or -finally- St Petersburg.


A reading holiday is such a brilliant idea Danielle! I'm looking forward to your reviews, I really ought to be reading more Dutch literature but have been rather lazy about it.

vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

I enjoyed those Janwillem ven de Wetering books a lot. Another slightly off-beat crime series set in that area is by Nicolas Freeling ('Guns Before Butter', etc.). However, two other books that spring to mind are by Alistair MacLean - sort of spy-ish/police-ish/a little romantic-ish retro reads - namely his 'Puppet on a Chain' and 'Floodgate'. MacLean was a great capturer of 'place' I think.


Some more suggestions: Harry Mulish, Hella Haasse, J.J. Voskuil, Gerard Reve. Hope you enjoy your holiday!


Thanks so much Cath--I was going to send the list to you over the weekend but then my internet went down--finally today technicians came out and I think the problem has been solved (fingers crossed). I will email you in the next day or so with my list! :)


Yes, can you tell I was tired and too lazy to look it up. I knew Kat was there somewhere.... It was perhaps two years ago that I read that book--still remember it, too!


I'd take an actual trip to the country itself in a heartbeat over reading a story (though I am greedy and would want both!). Someday I want to travel there. I have Mak's book on Amsterdam--I only wish it was a paperback as I could carry it about with me to work--it sits on my bedside pile at the moment. I should get lots of opportunities this summer to 'travel about' The Netherlands! :)


You'll have to tell me which books you have--though perhaps yours are translated into French or German (or maybe you read Dutch--lucky you if that is the case--so many more books at your fingertips). I was afraid at first that I would have a hard time finding books, but I keep adding to my pile so it's working out okay and I am loving the books I am reading, t--so definitely good timing. I think I would love it there, too. Anywhere where you don't need a car would be perfect for me! :) I would love to see Greece someday, but St Petersburg would be So Cool! I'd try for Russia! You have been to Greece already, haven't you?


I often feel as though I am on a perpetual reading holiday! :) This one will be a little more formal than most, however. I have up until now had a gaping hole in my reading when it comes to Dutch Lit, so I hope to rectify that by the end of the summer.


I am totally enjoying that book of short stories about de Gier and Grijpstra! I am looking forward to the first proper full length mystery, too. I had to order a couple of the books you mentioned.... Seeing as my library didn't have any of the suggested titles. I'm always up for a spy-ish sort of read of course and crime novels are always high on my list. And if an author gives a good sense of place--that is just what I want right now! Thanks, as always, for the great suggestions! You would think Helen MacInnes or Ann Bridge would have set one of their books in Amsterdam, but I am not sure either did?


Thanks Suzanne--I have only read The Assault by Harry Mulisch, but that was so very long ago I can't even remember the story (and wonder where my copy went off to...). I have heard of Hella Haasse--any suggestions for titles? But the latter two are completely new to me so I am off now to look them up. So far my literary adventures have been great fun--will write about them at the end of the week.

vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

MacInnes The Hidden Target starts in Amsterdam but very quickly moves off towards the hippy trail. But, yes, lost opportunity there.

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