A few books to help you discover more about Belgium
As Discovering Belgium is all about Belgium, I thought I would mention some books on Belgium that you might like to consider reading or gifting. I’ll add to this list over time.
The Bright Side of Belgium
by Sigrid Vandensavel and Hadewijch Ceulemans (ISBN 978-9460581137)
A lovely photo book that will make you fall in love (if you haven’t already) with some of Belgium’s most beautiful cities and regions, as well as areas of natural beauty. Updated for 2017, it covers architecture, art, cuisine, fashion and design, plus tips on where to eat and stay.
500 Hidden Secrets of Antwerp
Derek Blyth turns his attention and literary skills on Antwerp, discovering and sharing useful, informative, strange or simply bizarre best-kept (until now) secrets of Antwerp. Essential if you want to avoid the usual tourist sights of this fascinating city.
Belgium Et Cetera
by The Cartoonist and Gilles Dal (ISBN 978-9461315014)
Subtitled “1830-2030 in press cartoons”, it’s an irreverent look at a multitude of aspects of Belgian life through cartoons on politics, royalty, art, culture, sport etc., but also contains a wealth of more serious information on Belgium’s history.
King Leopold’s Ghost
by Adam Hochshild (978-1447211358)
An eye-opening account of the atrocities committed in the Congo in search of rubber: what Joseph Conrad described as “the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience.” Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Belgium. Here’s a brief review of King Leopold’s Ghost.
by Bart Heirweg (978-9401409582)
Beautiful, evocative and moving photographs of the landscape of the part of Flanders that was most affected by the First World War. I especially love his early morning and late evening shots.
Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble
by Antony Beevor (978-0241975152)
I haven’t read this, but I thought the author’s “Stalingrad” and “Berlin” were excellent so it’s about time I did! It covers Hitler’s Ardennes offensive, which involved more than a million men, and turned into one of the key battles of the Second World War. (P.S. Beevor’s books don’t work well as eBooks as the many maps are not clearly visible).
If you have suggestions yourself, please add them to the comments below.