Ever since I started keeping track of what I read -back in1999- I have never read this few books in one year. I didn’t even read a book every two weeks in 2017. I read 23 books. In the last week of the year I usually read a couple more, if so, I will add them, but even then, I’ve never read this little.

I can tell a lot about a year just looking at the books I read during that year. 2017 was simply hectic and busy. I can’t even remember doing anything with my wife that wasn’t somehow related to work, except for watching episodes of Friends at night. It was a rich year, with many hard, but important lessons. I can”t say it was a very unhappy year,  but it wasn’t a fun one either. That’s why there was no space to read novels unfortunately. This year I read only two… They both had a dreamy quality and I remember they made the very bleak winter months of 2017 a little lighter.

It’s clear that my interests are more and more focussed. The American Civil War and Psychology stand out. I read quite a few books on seduction this year, but I won’t continue to read about this topic. First of all, because by now I’ve read pretty much any serious seduction book on the market, and second of all, because they all say the same things. The only one that truly offered something new is the one on Rapid Esalation, by Liam McRae.

Looking at my book shelfs I do intend to read more on economics. The reason I didn’t this year, is because it makes me very angry to see how wealth is divided and how wealth always flows to the top, unless society makes a collective effort to counter that trend. Something lots of folks don’t care about, don’t intend to try and do anything about. All that makes me angry, so I prefer to steer clear from that topic, at least for the time being. I’m sure to return to it later as it’s a virus I can’t get rid of. And me reading about it, doesn’t change anything anyway.

I read so little, because I took the time to build The Dutch House. In the first half of the year I was a teacher at a secondary school in Slovakia, and here in Slovakia this takes up a lot more time than in Belgium. I was combining three jobs to be able to afford an apartment. Yeah, we bought an apartment, so we also moved, which also took quite some time. As for the American Civil War I read a lot of articles online. Politics and economics I followed through rt.com. As for psychology I listened to a lot of lectures on YouTube. I listened to YouTube lectures almost non-stop, even in the shower. I should probably write about my YouTube history, that would tell you more than this list.

An other reason why I read so little is staring you in the face right now. This website took quite some time to launch. On average I posted one new blog post a day this year. That’s 365 posts.

The self-development books were not good, except for Your One Word, which made me think I love to see something grow. That’s why I picked ‘thrive’ as my one word. And I was surprised when people around me started using the word as well.

So here are the titles. I won’t go into details about the American Civil War, as it’s a passion of mine most readers of PEP talk do not share.

The best book in each category is listed in red. 

On Psychology

In an unspoken voice, how the body releases trauma and restores goodness, Peter A. Levine, PhD

Rethinking narcissism, dr Craig Malkin

Manhood, Steve Biddulph

Couch fiction, a graphic tale of psychotherapy, story, Philippa Perry, art Junko Graat

Between therapist and client, the new relationship, Michael Kahn

The body keeps the score, Bessel Van Der Kolk

On the American Civil War

The collapse of the Confederacy, edited by Mark Grimsley and Brooks D. Simpson

Their last full measure, the final days of the civil war, Joseph Wheelan

Bloody spring, forty days that sealed the Confederacy’s fate, Joseph Wheelan

What caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History, Edward L. Ayers

On the economy and politics

No is not enough, resisting the new shock politics and winning the world we need, Naomi Klein

Unspeakable, Chris Hedges on the most taboo topics in America, with David Talbo

The new human rights movement, Peter Joseph

On seduction

How to succeed with women, Ron Louis and David Copeland

The natural, how to effortlessly attract the women you want, Richard La Ruina

Pritazlivost, Michal Kopecký

The noble art of seducing women, Kezia Noble

Get the guy, Matthew Hussey

Rapid escalation, Liam Mcrae


Your one word, Evan Carmichael

The subtle art of not giving a f*ck, Mark Manson

Mindset, Carol Dweck


Swimming to Elba, Silvia Avallone

Moonlight in Odessa, Janet Skeslien Charles