A fun and inspiring way to up your Dutch vocabulary is to read books by Dutch authors. Fortunately, the Dutch literary world is blessed with many different genres and writers which can peak everyone’s interest.
Our mixed cultural landscape can be felt it a lot of great Dutch literary works. The tips written down below are just a small cross section of the rich choices available.
Herman Koch - Het Diner
Herman Koch’s The Dinner is an international best seller. The story of two couples having dinner together, takes a exciting twist when they finally address the real subject of the night: their kids. This is a perfect choice if you like family thrillers.
Multatuli - Max Havelaar
Max Havelaar is the story of a man who revolted against the corrupt government in the Dutch East Indies . The book was published in 1860 and caused a change in Dutch literature and colonial politics. This is great read if you like history based on true events.
Fikry El Azzouzi - De handen van Fatma
El Azzouzi is Flemish writer. His book De handen van Fatma tells the story of a Moroccan women in Antwerp. It’ll give insight and recognition in another part of the Dutch society: immigrant.
Jan Terlouw - Oorlogswinter
Oorlogswinter by Jan Terlouw tells the fictional story of 16 year old Michiel who got involved with the resistance during the Second World War. It is a well written insight in the state of the country during a trying period in time and a great read for somebody who likes history.
Simone van der Vlugt - Blauw Water
Simone van der Vlugt writes for young adults and adults alike. Her thrilling stories will take you by surprise. In Blauw Water the lives of two women become entangled on a disastrous day. An accident complicates the situation even more. This book is suspenseful until the end.
All books mentioned above are written in an easy to follow writing style. Other useful tips for choosing literary works that fit your language level and interest would be to go to your local library. They most of the time have a section with books that are easier to read while maintaining their literary quality. The Dutch language offers a wide variety of interesting Young Adult literature as well that adult enjoy reading too. And maybe it would help if you would choose a book you’ve already read in your own language. Hopefully the above options will inspire you to pick up one of these title or go look for something that fits your taste!