The best Dutch literature

Vote for your favorite Dutch novels! This list is for novels that are originally written in Dutch, with or without English translation.
1

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4.17 avg rating — 12,174 ratings
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2

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3.83 avg rating — 8,630 ratings
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3

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3.87 avg rating — 6,700 ratings
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3.73 avg rating — 11,484 ratings
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5

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3.88 avg rating — 8,876 ratings
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6

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3.52 avg rating — 7,601 ratings
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7

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3.52 avg rating — 6,706 ratings
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8

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3.60 avg rating — 9,823 ratings
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9

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3.95 avg rating — 8,323 ratings
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10

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4.04 avg rating — 1,977 ratings
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11

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3.90 avg rating — 8,180 ratings
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12

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3.24 avg rating — 134,950 ratings
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13

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3.74 avg rating — 2,187 ratings
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14

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3.60 avg rating — 5,725 ratings
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15

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3.78 avg rating — 9,454 ratings
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16

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3.62 avg rating — 4,402 ratings
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17

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3.56 avg rating — 2,172 ratings
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18

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4.05 avg rating — 8,388 ratings
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19

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3.71 avg rating — 10,210 ratings
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20

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3.74 avg rating — 2,748 ratings
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21

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3.22 avg rating — 4,661 ratings
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22

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3.64 avg rating — 1,827 ratings
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23

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3.66 avg rating — 1,980 ratings
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24

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3.51 avg rating — 1,178 ratings
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25

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3.71 avg rating — 1,941 ratings
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26

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3.37 avg rating — 4,646 ratings
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27

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3.72 avg rating — 7,710 ratings
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28

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3.64 avg rating — 2,761 ratings
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29

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3.65 avg rating — 3,754 ratings
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30

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3.36 avg rating — 5,337 ratings
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31

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3.47 avg rating — 1,606 ratings
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32

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3.67 avg rating — 2,181 ratings
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33

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3.68 avg rating — 3,632 ratings
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34

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3.56 avg rating — 3,289 ratings
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35

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3.70 avg rating — 1,651 ratings
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36

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3.66 avg rating — 1,432 ratings
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37

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3.49 avg rating — 2,772 ratings
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38

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3.85 avg rating — 853 ratings
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39

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3.36 avg rating — 1,381 ratings
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40

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3.60 avg rating — 1,253 ratings
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41

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3.58 avg rating — 1,704 ratings
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42

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3.89 avg rating — 1,017 ratings
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43

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3.57 avg rating — 1,987 ratings
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44

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3.54 avg rating — 2,109 ratings
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45

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3.90 avg rating — 4,291 ratings
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46

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3.70 avg rating — 2,671 ratings
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47

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3.18 avg rating — 2,031 ratings
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48

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3.91 avg rating — 1,106 ratings
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49

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3.60 avg rating — 493 ratings
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50

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3.20 avg rating — 1,418 ratings
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51

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3.29 avg rating — 2,280 ratings
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52

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3.20 avg rating — 2,201 ratings
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53

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3.81 avg rating — 1,952 ratings
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54

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3.30 avg rating — 3,612 ratings
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55

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4.07 avg rating — 1,970 ratings
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56

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3.38 avg rating — 1,373 ratings
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57

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3.48 avg rating — 391 ratings
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58

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3.34 avg rating — 1,849 ratings
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59

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3.63 avg rating — 598 ratings
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60

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3.30 avg rating — 997 ratings
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61

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3.83 avg rating — 865 ratings
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62

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3.68 avg rating — 1,588 ratings
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63

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3.38 avg rating — 482 ratings
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64

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3.31 avg rating — 423 ratings
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65

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3.43 avg rating — 21,732 ratings
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66

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4.08 avg rating — 875 ratings
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67

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3.84 avg rating — 488 ratings
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68

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3.73 avg rating — 1,095 ratings
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69

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3.66 avg rating — 1,282 ratings
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70

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3.91 avg rating — 640 ratings
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71

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3.63 avg rating — 1,462 ratings
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72

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3.69 avg rating — 1,696 ratings
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73

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3.42 avg rating — 325 ratings
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74

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3.97 avg rating — 8,960 ratings
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74

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3.90 avg rating — 8,224 ratings
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76

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3.31 avg rating — 461 ratings
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77

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3.52 avg rating — 345 ratings
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78

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3.41 avg rating — 728 ratings
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79

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3.08 avg rating — 200 ratings
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80

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3.73 avg rating — 48 ratings
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81

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3.92 avg rating — 1,474 ratings
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82

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3.86 avg rating — 222 ratings
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83

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3.81 avg rating — 83 ratings
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84

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3.66 avg rating — 468 ratings
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85

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3.70 avg rating — 398 ratings
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85

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3.71 avg rating — 489 ratings
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87

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3.69 avg rating — 1,655 ratings
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88

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4.05 avg rating — 42 ratings
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89

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4.13 avg rating — 285 ratings
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90

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3.36 avg rating — 608 ratings
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91

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2.98 avg rating — 488 ratings
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92

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3.68 avg rating — 1,779 ratings
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93

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3.65 avg rating — 108 ratings
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94

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3.44 avg rating — 1,212 ratings
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94

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3.58 avg rating — 4,823 ratings
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96

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3.76 avg rating — 972 ratings
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96

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4.23 avg rating — 73 ratings
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98

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3.93 avg rating — 3,083 ratings
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99

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3.61 avg rating — 786 ratings
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100

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3.85 avg rating — 1,521 ratings
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371 books · 398 voters · list created April 15th, 2010 by J10 (votes) .
171 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


J10 270 books
4 friends
Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 545 books
512 friends
Chris 188 books
36 friends
Edwin 1314 books
35 friends
Céline 2010 books
62 friends
Suzanne 3513 books
116 friends
Andor 1367 books
70 friends
Meaghan 3721 books
357 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Since when is Anne Frank's diary considered a NOVEL?


message 2: by Booklovinglady (last edited Oct 28, 2015 01:51AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) wrote: "Since when is Anne Frank's diary considered a NOVEL?"

I agree, and as the decription of the list clearly says "Vote for your favorite Dutch novels! This list is for novels that are originally written in Dutch, with or without English translation", I have removed Het Achterhuis (Anne Frank's diary) from this Listopia. Interesting to see though how often this title creeps into lists where it doesn't belong...

Jip en Janneke shouldn't have been on this list either, because lovely as it is, it is not a novel (but a collection of short stories for children)... So I took the liberty of removing it.

And Mei : Een Gedicht is, as the subtitle states, a poem and not a novel (and as such has been removed).


message 3: by Booklovinglady (last edited Oct 28, 2015 01:49AM) (new)

Booklovinglady I haven't read the book, and therefore haven't removed it, but as far as I know Sprakeloos (currently #53) is not a novel either, as it is an autobiography. At least as far as I know, anyway...

I.M. Ischa Meijer - In Margine. In Memoriam (#100) doesn't sound like a novel either. But again, I haven't read it, so I've let it be.

Anyone?


message 4: by Nathalie (new)

Nathalie Vercammen Booklovinglady wrote: "I haven't read the book, and therefore haven't removed it, but as far as I know Sprakeloos (currently #53) is not a novel either, as it is an autobiography. At least as far as I know..."

Sprakeloos is een memoire over zijn moeder.


message 5: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 18, 2015 07:51AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Nathalie wrote: "Sprakeloos is een memoire over zijn moeder. ..."

So not a novel? But a memoir instead?
Which is not the same thing by the way :-)


message 6: by Nathalie (last edited Mar 04, 2016 03:18PM) (new)

Nathalie Vercammen Booklovinglady wrote: "Nathalie wrote: "Sprakeloos is een memoire over zijn moeder. ..."

So not a novel? But a memoir instead?
Which is not the same thing by the way :-)"


Het is waargebeurd. Ik ken de definitie van een novel niet. Maar misschien moet hij dan in een lijst van 'best Dutch books', weet niet of dat al bestaat.


message 7: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 19, 2015 09:56AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Nathalie wrote: "Het is waargebeurd. Ik ken de definitie van een novel niet. Maar pisschien moet hij dan in een lijst van 'best Dutch books', weet niet of dat al bestaat. ..."

'Waargebeurd' klinkt mij sterk in de oren als een (auto)biografie, maar zoals gezegd heb ik het boek niet gelezen.

Het Engelse 'novel' staat min of meer gelijk aan het Nederlandse 'roman'. Een 'novel' is altijd fictie (en derhalve niet waargebeurd).

Er zijn diverse lijsten met de beste Nederlandse literatuur/de beste Vlaamse literatuur. Kijk voor een overzichtje maar eens bij Listopia: Stem op gelezen boeken van de Netherlands & Flanders group, want daar worden diverse Listopia's met dit soort lijsten genoemd.


(A 'true story' about the author's mother sounds to me like an autobiography or a biography, but as I said, I haven't read the book. A 'novel' is fiction and means more or less the same as the Dutch word 'roman'. There are several lists with 'Best Dutch books/Best Flemish books'. To get a bit of an idea, have a look at Listopia: Stem op gelezen boeken.)


message 8: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 19, 2015 10:05AM) (new)

Booklovinglady For not meeting the criteria of this Listopia, I've removed Sprakeloos.

Still need someone to tell me about I.M. Ischa Meijer - In Margine. In Memoriam (#107) though...


message 9: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Campbell Is there such a thing, and I know nothing of Dutch literature, of a novel that would be considered common reading in Dutch language secondary schooling? I mean in the same way as, say "To Kill a Mockingbird," or "Catcher in the Rye" would be reasonably common reading for English speaking high school students.


message 10: by Booklovinglady (last edited Oct 28, 2015 02:07AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Jamie wrote: "Is there such a thing, and I know nothing of Dutch literature, of a novel that would be considered common reading in Dutch language secondary schooling? I mean in the same way as, say "To Kill a Mockingbird," or "Catcher in the Rye" would be reasonably common reading for English speaking high school students..."

For English translations of Dutch novels, see English translations of Dutch Literature.

My secondary school days are quite a bit behind me now :-) but there are several books which belong to classic Dutch literature, and as such were read during my secondary school days. We had to read five books originally published before 1800. All other choices were relatively free, although all books on our reading list had to be approved by the teacher first, to prevent students reading Mills & Boon types of books :-)

Books/authors read by just about anyone in my class were The Hidden Force, Max Havelaar, A Posthumous Confession, The Deeps of Deliverance, The Darkroom Of Damocles, The Black Lake, Major Frank, Double Play, The Sorrow of Belgium, Turkish Delight, Cheese and The evenings, all of which are considered classics of Dutch literature.

These are just a few of the books we read, as your question is restricted to Dutch books being translated into English? At least I guess it is (your profile doesn't mention where you are from). Anything by these authors would do, really, and the Listopia I mentioned at the beginning should be very helpful, as there are plenty of important authors who wrote/write in Dutch (Netherlands, Flanders, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles) and have been translated into English, and many of them I never read myself during my secondary school days.


message 11: by Booklovinglady (last edited Dec 08, 2015 09:19PM) (new)

Booklovinglady I've removed Kruimeltje and Pluk van de Petteflet for being children's books instead of novels, and I've also removed Kartonnen dozen (for the same reason as Sprakeloos).

As the description of this Listopia says "Vote for your favorite Dutch novels!", two definitions, one British and one American, of the word novel, as the meaning of the word seems to be unclear to a lot of Dutch voters:
* "Fictitious prose narrative of book length portraying characters and actions credibly representative of real life in continuous plot" (COD)
* "An invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events" (Webster)

In short, no plays, poems, children/YA books, memoires, (auto-)biographies, short stories, and so on. Just novels ;-) A novella (for instance Boekenweekgeschenken) can be considered to be 'book length', I suppose, but short stories definitely are not (and yes, I'm aware the distinction between a 'longer' short story and a novella can sometimes be a grey area).


message 12: by Zack (new)

Zack I'm looking for Dutch audiobooks (read in English). the only one I have found so far is "The Dinner" by Herman Koch. Any other suggestions? Available on Audible for example?


message 13: by Booklovinglady (last edited Feb 29, 2016 01:12AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Wederom een hele lading titels verwijderd omdat het jeugboeken, autobiografieën, dagboeken etc waren. Er was zelfs een woordenboek bij... En ook twee Engelstalige schrijvers. Voeg a.u.b. alleen 'novels' (=romans) toe, en lees zowel de beschrijving van de Listopia als ook bericht 11 voor je besluit toe te voegen...

Removed a whole load of titles again for not being novels (YA books, diaries, biographies, even a dictionary...). Please, read the description of the Listopia as well as message 11 before you decide to add...

When in doubt, please check the KB, as often the category a book belongs to is mentioned here.


message 14: by Hannah (last edited Feb 28, 2016 02:28PM) (new)

Hannah van der Deijl Booklovinglady wrote: "I.M. Ischa Meijer - In Margine. In Memoriam (#100) doesn't sound like a novel either. But again, I haven't read it, so I've let it be.."

>> It is a novel, and it isn't. It is an autobiography, and it isn't.

Part of the theme of the book is: what is reality? what is fiction? How does each influence the other? How do the stories we tell, the selection we make, shape our lives? How does it happen that one's life becomes a fiction even while living it? How can one uncover and dissect the untruths in one's own life? What is true?

In that sense, this book should be on the list. It also should be on this list, because it is different than other Dutch literature, a departure from a tradition. Finally, it's simply a good book. It's raw and it's real, it's a contemplation and a journal-on-the-road, and you want to keep reading until the inevitable ending.


message 15: by Booklovinglady (last edited Feb 29, 2016 12:57AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Ik heb het niet gelezen (en heb het dus op de lijst laten staan), maar volgens mij is Gregoria, of een huwelijk op Elseneur (#261) een autobiografie (en dus geen roman)?

Ook al doet de achternaam van de Belgische auteur misschien vermoeden dat het boek van oorsprong in het Vlaams geschreven werd, Tijl Uilenspiegel (#90) is echter een vertaling uit het Frans.

Geheimen van het Wilde Woud (#42) is, hoe goed ook, een jeugdboek en dus geen roman.

Middeleeuwse verhalen uit de Lage Landen (#220) is geen roman; het bestaat uit, precies zoals de titel overigens al aangeeft, verhalen.

De beschrijving van Jantien voor deze Listopia lijkt mij toch duidelijk: "This list is for novels that are originally written in Dutch."


message 16: by Tamára (last edited May 09, 2016 02:45PM) (new)

Tamára Zouden Erik of het klein insectenboek (want kinderboek) en Het pauperparadijs (non-fictie) verwijderd kunnen worden? Het zijn geen romans.

Edit: maar wel aan te bevelen om te lezen, dat dan weer wel.


message 17: by Booklovinglady (last edited May 15, 2016 09:16AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Tamára wrote: "Zouden Erik of het klein insectenboek (want kinderboek) en Het pauperparadijs (non-fictie) verwijderd kunnen worden? Het zijn geen romans...."

Ik heb Het pauperparadijs (nog) niet gelezen, dus kan daar niet over oordelen en laat het dan ook staan. Misschien kan iemand die het wel gelezen heeft, en het ermee eens is dat het geen fictie is, het weghalen?

Erik of het klein insectenboek heb ik wel gelezen maar zie ik persoonllijk niet zuiver als een kinderboek (en heb ik dan ook laten staan...). Het werd onder andere uitgegeven als 'Nederlands Leest' uitgave en daar worden, bij mijn weten althans, geen kinderboeken in uitgegeven. ("Het boek spreekt zowel kinderen als volwassenen op hun eigen niveau aan. Bij gelegenheid van de jaarlijkse campagne Nederland Leest in november 2013 werd deze roman door de Nederlandse openbare bibliotheken als gratis boek aan hun leden en scholieren uitgereikt." uit Wikipedia)

Sorry... ;-)


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Jamie wrote: "Is there such a thing, and I know nothing of Dutch literature, of a novel that would be considered common reading in Dutch language secondary schooling? I mean in the same way as, say "To Kill a Mo..."

On the website http://www.lezenvoordelijst.nl/ you can see what Dutch teenagers can choose to read for their mandatory reading list.


message 19: by Booklovinglady (last edited May 09, 2017 06:17AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Lisa wrote: "On the website http://www.lezenvoordelijst.nl/ you can see what Dutch teenagers can choose to read for their mandatory reading list. ..."

Is it no longer allowed to read titles which are not on this list?


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