My Fiction-Blog Stats in a Stranger-Than-Fiction Year

Thanks so much, everyone, for reading my literature blog and posting thousands of interesting comments in 2020! πŸ™‚ As the devastating months of COVID hopefully start to fade in the rearview mirror, I thought I’d do a statistical look-back today before returning to my usual fare next Sunday.

Last year, this 2014-launched blog had 28,825 views, 14,124 visitors (the most ever), 4,530 comments, and 3,401 likes. The number of followers reached 4,930.

The top-15 places where views came from were 1) the United States (15,845), 2) the United Kingdom (4,008), 3) India (1,661), 4) Australia (1,436), 5) Canada (912), 6) Spain (361), 7) Germany (348), 8) Kuwait (297), 9) China (270), 10) the Philippines (268), 11) France (227), 12) Finland (199), 13) Nigeria (153), 14) Italy (151), and 15) Pakistan (127). Plus 125 other countries, thanks in large part to the worldwide reach of the WordPress blog platform.

Surprisingly, the most-read post in 2020 was from 2018 — “Strong Female Characters in 19th-Century Fiction.” Or maybe not so surprising, given the endless fascination with novels by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Louisa May Alcott, Wilkie Collins, and others who created women protagonists who overtly or subtly defied the patriarchal norms of the 1800s.

Four of my five most-read 2020 posts had a sociopolitical bent: “Writers Who’ve Rightly Criticized the Far-Right Trump,” “When Novelists Display Intolerance,” “Wishing Trump’s Assault on the Post Office Were Fictional,” and “Racist Characters Bring the Hate to Some Literature.” Even though the majority of my lit posts are not sociopolitical.

The most-read 2020 piece that wasn’t sociopolitical? “The ’60s Live On. The 1860s, That Is” — which looked at the amazing group of novels published during that long-ago decade. War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, Great Expectations, and various other classics.

Lastly, even though this week’s piece is not my usual thematic post, I did want to mention that I just read and enjoyed Swedish author Jonas Jonasson’s The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared — recommended by two regular commenters here (Susan and Martina Ramsauer) and three people I know from outside this blog (Allia Zobel Nolan, LJ Anderson, and Larry Esteves). It’s an offbeat novel with a lots of humor and suspense, and it was eye-opening to see which real-life famous leaders centenarian protagonist Allan Karlsson encountered while in various countries during his younger years.

My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the 2003-started/award-winning β€œMontclairvoyant” topical-humor column for The latest piece — a 2020 year-in-review — is here.

76 thoughts on “My Fiction-Blog Stats in a Stranger-Than-Fiction Year

  1. Dear Dave,
    we love Jonas Jonasson’s novels. We are in a privileged situation that we can read his texts in Swedish. They are so funny and we hope that this doesn’t get lost in the translation.
    We always do a statistic of our blog at the end of the year. In 2020 the number of likes and comments stayed like in the year before, well, a little increase of 3.5%. But we didn’t visit other blogs that regularly as before. It seems to us that the number of visits to our blog is highly correlated with us visiting other blogs. This is the do-ut-des-principle of all social media. We could keep our traffic by getting new visitors regularly (partly due to Dina’s pictures published in many papers and interviews, radio programmes and podcasts I did last year). Our visitors are 50% European and 50% for the rest of the world (5% USAmerican). Most of them are retired and well educated therefore philosophical or kind of educational posts got most of the traffic. An unexpected observation we made: When we started to publish less, meaning fortnightly and sometimes only monthly, we got more traffic.
    Wishing you all the best
    Klausbernd πŸ™‚
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Klausbernd! Nice to hear that you’re a fan of Jonas Jonasson’s novels! While I don’t know Swedish, the English translation of “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” flowed nicely, so I imagine the translator did an excellent job. Yes, such a funny book, while also poignant and very human.

      Thanks, also, for the paragraph about your blog statistics! Sounds like you have a very appealing and interesting audience, and your words and Dina’s pictures are certainly a huge attraction! I hear you that visiting other blogs often leads to those other bloggers reciprocating. A wonderfully nice thing, and online friendships are built. πŸ™‚ As for blog frequency, I’m sort of hard-wired to write about literature once a week for some reason. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dave finally finished John Grisham`s ” A Time for mercy “, a good book.
    Now I am going to start Child brothers The Sentinel.
    WH shenanigans was a total distraction .

    Good that you don`t watch TV.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pretty good stats Dave. Everything I’ve read by you has been informative in regards to authors that I haven’t read, but yet I’ve read a few authors coming from your posts I hadn’t known. So I’m reading more fiction these days than I had in the past. I always look forward to your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing numbers of Statistics Dave !
    The whole word is meeting in one place , Dave`s amazing literature blog.
    I feel so fortunate to have found you from another site, whose ? ( totally forgotten, some sleeping beauty )
    Now every time, someone new starts writing in here…way to go Dave !.

    Then some others leave without a trace Dave, missing them and wishing them well.
    Princess, Ella …and so many more.

    Katlit missing you plenty please do come back !

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reading this week’s entry, I was momentarily tempted to move to Tannu Tuva or possible Ifni, so as to broaden the range of your readership into exotic places undreamed of by most, but I realized 1) my new location, whichever I chose, would merely be lumped in with the other 100+ nations you couldn’t be bothered to list, and 2) neither of those places exist anymore.

    Congratulations on the continued success of Dave Astor On Literature!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, jhNY, for the kind words and very funny comment! πŸ™‚

      I guess if you did move you’d have to change your screen name to jhTT or jhIN. πŸ™‚ With perhaps the word “former” in there somewhere.

      I’m impressed with your knowledge in naming Tannu Tuva and Ifni!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was a stamp collector in my young daze, having inherited my grandfather’s triplicates, and met others similarly afflicted. One was a young history professor in my father’s department, who told me that stamps from those dubious locations, produced in all likelihood purely for the delectation and purchase by philatelists, were the object of his boyish desires when he, in the flower of his own youth, began his collection.

        Me, I was partial to the oldest stamps I could latch on to– usually just classical-ish profiles of kings and queens, such as Victoria, Victor Immanuel, Leopold II and Napoleon III, having been warned away from ‘snappy French colonials’ by a veteran collector writing a column aimed at young stamp enthusiasts in Scott’s Postage Stamp Catalogue. Bruno Schulz wrote about stamps like my favorites in his wonderful strange short story “Spring.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can see how stamp collecting could encourage/reflect an interest in various worldwide places, current or former. So nice to have inherited your grandfather’s triplicates, and to have interacted with other serious stamp collectors. I was more a coin collector myself, with a modest accumulation also helped by some generational passing down.


  6. Hi Dave,

    I hope that you enjoyed the story about the old man? I know it’s not the best written book ever, and apparently the sequel is horrible but I quite liked the book with too many words in the title. I found the main character quite charming in his old and fuddled kind of way.

    Thank you so much for continuing to share this blog with us though this stranger-than-fiction year. I think due to Covid I probably watched more TV than usual this year. I also found some comfort in a few guilty re-reads, so I haven’t made the dent in my TBR that I usually would. And I’ve now just started Vanity Fair so although I’m turning some pages over, it’s probably going to be a while before I can tick another book off!

    Am very much looking forward to seeing what interesting topics you write about in 2021!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Susan! I enjoyed Jonas Jonasson’s novel very much, and totally agree that the title character is quite charming in his way. Sorry the sequel was reportedly a dud. Oh well. Will definitely not be on my to-read list.

      It was indeed a strange year, and that can affect a person’s reading and other ways one spends one’s leisure time. Nothing wrong with rereading and watching some TV. For whatever reason, after my “Outlander” binge during the first half of the year, I was in a bit of a reading slump (reading novels more slowly) before picking up the pace a month or so ago.

      I’ll look forward to your comments — including your thoughts on “Vanity Fair” — in 2021!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sarah, for the kind words — and Happy New Year to you, too! I also look forward to reading everyone’s great comments in 2021, and to seeing future posts in your excellent blog. Good luck with that 50 classic books challenge!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you! And you’re really very kind to say that about the blog. Yes, will need lots of support with the challenge…am going off in all different directions already! But maybe all this reading will have the added bonus of being able to contribute some useful comments here!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Elisabeth! Fortunately, there are so many interesting things to write about when it comes to literature. πŸ™‚

      I also look forward to seeing what you write in 2021 about Russian literature in your terrific “A Russian Affair” blog!

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Oh Dave, it was a stranger than fiction year, but you gave us a wonderful place to congregate and share ideas, books, philosophy and humour. Congratulations on a brilliant year of reading that led to life-affirming conversations. I understand that 2021 is your year for Eugene Onegin. I will be taking on War and Peace. Oh, what fun we have going to have in 2021. Happy New Year! The adventures continue….

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks so much, Clanmother! I appreciate the kind words! You and the other commenters here have been such a wonderful/ultra-important part of this blog.

      Yes, I plan to read “Eugene Onegin” in 2021 after seeing the impressive series of blog posts Elisabeth (above) wrote last year about that Pushkin work. πŸ™‚

      Your reading “War and Peace” is quite ambitious given how much you have on your plate (including your stellar podcasts and multiple blogs). But, as you know, that Tolstoy novel may be long but it’s quite readable and engrossing.

      Happy New Year to you, too!

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Marcia and I recently saw the film version of the Swedish book about the 100-year-old man, Dave. Terrific. I found it on our KC Library’s film site — for free. (And aren’t you glad you didn’t have to count all your stats by hand?)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Bill! Great that you and Marcia saw that film, and at a “bargain” cost. πŸ™‚ I haven’t seen it, but I imagine it was delightful. Based on a very “cinematic” novel.

      And, yes, WordPress has an excellent statistical “backstage” that does the counting for its bloggers. I had my abacus ready, but didn’t need it… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Good evening Dave and many compliments for having given people around the world a cozy place, where they can exchange their various opinions or making proposals concerning literature:)
    I have read the story about “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared ” and very much liked that he- the old man- did what wanted to, namely decide for himself that he didn’t want to stay in the old people’s home. If I remember well, the translater Alan, was much more clever than many others!
    Many thanks and very best regards Martina

    Liked by 4 people

  10. A very interesting round-up for that stranger-than-fiction year! “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” has to be the best title ever! I did see a close second yesterday as the title of a blog post: β€œHe’s Not Going To Move His Lorry Any Time Soon.” Doesn’t that sound like the title of a Raymond Carver story?

    Liked by 5 people

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