Here is the last of my year-end trifecta (the others being my Australian Women Writers’ Challenge wrap-up and Reading highlights posts). This is my self-indulgent post, as I like to document trends on my blog for my own record – so do ignore it if you like.
Top posts for 2018
I’m intrigued by how little change there is in my top posts. Some have been there for a few years. Almost all are for posts that are over 5 years old.
Here’s my Top Ten, by number of hits in 2018:
- What do you say when you order food at a restaurant (posted November 2014)
- Edith Wharton, “A journey” (posted November 2010)
- Mark Twain, “A presidential candidate” (posted August 2016)
- Red Dog (Movie and Book) (posted August 2011)
- Virginia Woolf, “The mark on the wall” (posted March 2012)
- The importance of tone (posted July 2010)
- Barbara Baynton, “Squeaker’s mate” (posted November 2012)
- Jack London, “War” (posted March 2010)
- Alice Munro, “Dimension” (posted June 2009)
- John Muir, “A wind-storm in the forests” (posted January 2010)
Now the usual analysis. Firstly, only two Australian posts appear in the Top Ten, two fewer than last year, as both Hannah Kent’s Burial rites and Barbara Baynton’s The chosen vessel dropped out. Meanwhile, Red Dog just keeps on keeping on. Unbelievable.
Intriguing that Mark Twain’s “A presidential candidate” suddenly popped into the Top Ten. Anything to do with … you know who, I wonder? And, Alice Munro and Jack London also made their way into the list. So, as last year, short stories and essays (seven of them) dominate my top ten. This must surely be because they are set texts?
Several Australian works appear in the next ten, and they are an eclectic lot: Barbara Baynton’s “The chosen vessel”, Merlinda Bobis’ Fish-hair woman, Bruce Pascoe’s Dark emu, Shaun Tan’s Eric, and Jeanine Leane’s Purple threads.
Unlike last year, my most popular 2018-written post – ranking 23rd – was not for an Australian work, but W Somerset Maugham’s short story “The four Dutchmen”. However, I read it as preparation for my review of an Australian work, Mirandi Riwoe’s The fish girl – and, guess what was the next most popular 2018 post (52nd)? You guessed it, The fish girl. It was closely followed by Claire G. Coleman’s Terra nullius (55th).
For the Monday Musings fans amongst you, my most popular Monday Musings posts were: Novels set in Sydney (posted November 2015); Australian Gothic (19th century) (posted December 2012); and Some new releases in 2018 (posted January 2018). The first two were 1st and 3rd last year.
Random blogging stats
I always share some of the searches that find my blog, so here’s a selection of this year’s:
- last year several searches included the words analysis or reading guide, but this year the word “summary” was very popular. What does this shift say?
- searches such as proper way to order food and “I’ll do” order restaurant linguist!: you know what post they retrieve. Apparently a lot of people say “I’ll do” when ordering food!
- what does the book “the hate race reveal about Australian society”: hmm, sounds like it comes straight from a school assignment question, don’t you think?
- how to reach and take problems: I have no idea what this was looking for, or, indeed, what it found.
- salmon gums bakery: I do hope they found the bakery, wherever it is.
- tara moss tits: oh dear, oh dear…
Other stats. I wrote slightly more posts this year, averaging 14 posts per month, one more than last year’s 13. I think 13-15 posts a month is about right for me.
Australia, the USA, and Britain, in that order, were the top three countries visiting my blog, with Canada regaining its fourth position from India which had edged out Canada last year. The Philippines remains 6th, largely, I think, because of interest in my review of Merlinda Bobis’ Fish-hair woman.
My most active commenters (based on the last 1000 comments, says WordPress) were Lisa (ANZLitLovers), Bill (The Australian Legend), Brian (Babbling Books), Pam (Travellin’ Penguin), Ian Darling, and Buried in Print. As always, a big thanks to them and to all of you who comment. I particularly appreciate the always respectful conversations when we disagree. And thanks the the rest of you too. Whether or not you comment, I love that you visit my blog.
Challenges, memes and other things
I only do one challenge, the AWW Challenge which I wrapped up this week. (Here’s the Sign Up page if you’d like to join us). And I only do one regular Meme, #sixdegreesofseparation run by Kate (booksaremyfavouriteandbest), but I occasionally do others. You can see all the memes I do on my “memes” category link.
My biggest highlight of the year, though, was being asked once again to be the blogging mentor for a program sponsored by the ACT Writers Centre, the National Library of Australia and the Street Theatre. The program was re-titled to New Territory but its aim remains: “to stoke cultural conversations in the ACT”. I enjoyed working with Amy over the second half of the year. If you’re a regular reader here you will have seen our wrap-up posts (Amy’s and mine). Do check out Amy’s blog, The Armchair Critic. Her thoughtfulness about what she reads and sees makes for excellent reading and she’d love to hear your opinions.
And so to 2019 …
To conclude, a big thanks to everyone who read, commented on and/or “liked” my blog last year – and to all the other wonderful bloggers out there, even though I don’t always manage to visit everyone as much as I’d like. Some people find the Internet and Social Media cruel and unwelcoming, but I don’t find that in our litblogging corner of cyberspace where discussions are lively but respectful (in my experience anyhow.)
And so, I wish you all happy reading in 2019, and look forward to discussing books with you here or there!
Finally, as I concluded last year, a very big thanks to the authors who write the books, and to the publishers and booksellers who get the books out there. I hope 2019 will be satisfying for us all.