During our years abroad, and as preparation for our travels, we read a lot. Or better, we find a lot of books about the countries we visit, many of which we read, too. The reading lists for the various countries and areas below are by no means complete, but hopefully serve as a useful starter for anybody wanting to learn more.  Note that some of the lists will be dated to the last time we took an interest in the specific country, and may not contain the most recent publications. They do contain my favourites, to help you choose. The views about the individual books are entirely personal, of course.

Reading Lists:

Haiti: a brief list initially put together for collegues in 2010, from books before 2000, to which I later added a bit.

Argentina: a short list put together in 2013 (but I will be adding, I hope)

Caucasus: a couple of books on Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, from 2019 and 2022.

Chile and Peru: another short list, from our 2019 trip

Indonesia: a very long list, the result of my 2007 library, combined with what I found for our 2013 journey

Indochina: a varied list of books that helped me enjoy our 2011 travels here

Lebanon: a list dating from 2011, with a few books on this small country, and the wider context

Horn of Africa: a list, mostly covering Ethiopia, which I put together after our 2012 journey there

Romania and Bulgaria: a selection of fiction and non-fiction, mostly for Romania, created in 2014

Central Asia: the books I read for and during our Stans trip, mostly on Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, spring 2015

Iran: history, current affairs and travel books, this list is from autumn 2016


There are also several individual books that I found interesting enough to describe in more detail, see the ones below:

Pelgrim (2017)
Fascinating biography of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, in Dutch, by Philip Droge
Ver van mijn Bed (2011)
by Antoinette Vlieger, PhD, about her experiences in Dubai and Saoedi Arabia (in Dutch)
My House in Damascus (2014, 2016)
written by Diana Darke, as what she calles it herself, "an inside view of the Syrian crisis"
Het Gedroomde Land (2012)
by Vera Keur en Theo van Stegeren, about present-day Argentina (in Dutch)
Duizend Dagen Extreem Leven (2013)
by Dutch journalist Nathalie Righton, about three years reporting from Afghanistan (in Dutch)
Athene Palace (1942)
by German-American journalist R.G.Waldeck (alias of Rosa Goldschmidt), in Bucharest at the beginning of WWII
Midnight in Sicily (1996)
written by Peter Robb, on the history of Sicily, with special emphasis on the Mafia