A Book Lover's Guide to Amsterdam, Flickr: pumicehead

Anne Frank Loved the Canals!

You should never judge a book by its cover and the same can easily be said about a city. So many travelers may have stereotypes about a city, but these can be defied once you get to know it, just like a book. The beauty of a story is the way a writer portrays a city you may or may not know. Book lovers who’ve been to Amsterdam or would love an introduction to this city will love the variety of stories, fiction and non-fiction to get a glimpse into this Dutch capital city.
 
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
 
Perhaps one of the most famous books of the 20th century is Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl. This heartbreaking memoir is a collection of the writings of young Anne Frank, of a Jewish family who tried to escape Nazi Germany. She spent most of her life living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where she keeps diary logs of her life in hiding. One of the most poignant moments in her story is when she describes how beautiful the canals outside look, since she hardly gets to look outside to see how beautiful the city is.  Her story is legendary to understanding the Holocaust and Nazi occupation in The Netherlands. The annex where she hid is now a memorable museum dedicated to her tragic, but moving life story.
 
Rembrandt's Whore by Sylvie Matton
 
One of the most famous Dutch masters to emerge from the 17th Century was world renowned artist Rembrandt. Some of his most recognized works include Tulp and The Night Watch. It's a story that takes us back to a time we know little about only through his paintings, but comes to life through the eyes of his lover. In the backdrop of Amsterdam at its finest hour of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt’s Whore creates an engaging story of culture, history and personal drama. It is the personal struggle of a legend between society and the woman he loves.
 
The Art of Murder, Clara y la Penumbra By José Carlos Somoza
 
Amsterdam is often nicknamed the "Sin City of Europe" for its liberal policies amongst the backdrop of Old Europe. It makes the perfect place for The Art of Murder, where art meets crime. What was meant to be modern art becomes a modern mystery when a female model is murdered. This dark and electrifying novel is a great thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you want to explore Amsterdam just like a detective. It’s a book set in the alternate present, giving readers a glimpse into what Amsterdam would be in his eyes.
 
The Geography of Bliss Eric Weiner
 
Technically, The Geography of Bliss takes place in many places around the world. It is the search for happiness by the author Eric Weiner all around the world. His first stop is Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the second biggest city after Amsterdam. This stop is significant because it is the location of the World Database of Happiness. His unique trip to The Netherlands gives us a glimpse as to why The Dutch are happy and why The Netherlands is truly a nice place to visit.
 
Dammed by L. G. Rivera


Take the story of a man's journey into self-destruction and place him in a beautiful city like Amsterdam and you'll have one hell of a story. Damned is the story of a travel writer who gets sent to Amsterdam and indulges in life's pleasures. It's a psychological mind-warping story that brings out the dark side of this traveler. The story tells us that there is beauty and darkness and vice-versa, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. It makes the reader wonder: Does traveling in Amsterdam make the main character act like this or was this truly inside of him all along?


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photo: pumicehead

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