Stats Fun

Rebecca posted some data from her blog stats the other day here, and I took a look at mine too. I wasn’t going to post anything, but when I discovered that they are really linked by one particular post/author I couldn’t resist commenting here too.


That post of mine is entitled Return to Wigtownand was my review of the second volume of Shaun Bythell’s diaries, Confessions of a Bookseller. Rebecca and I had quite a conversation in the comments on that post. That post has gone on to be my highest-performing post ever with 3000 views exactly (as of yesterday).

He also tops the search terms with much speculation about his marital and familial status.

  • shaun bythell anna
  • shaun bythell married
  • is shaun bythell married
  • shaun bythell and anna
  • shaun bythell twitter
  • shaun bythell wife
  • shaun bythell baby

The next book review in the list remains one of my top performers since I wrote it back in March 2017. However with a lifetime total of 620 views, it is five times – yes five times! – less popular than Bythell.

Folk Medicine: The Honey and Cider-Vinegar Way to Health by D.C. Jarvis M.D. This book was published back in 1958, I inherited it from my late mum, who was totally fascinated by health matters. Some of these were quackery, some were misuse of statistics, but some – as in the case of honey and cider vinegar are as good as proven.

Indeed, I’m currently taking raw apple cider vinegar tablets (nicer than drinking it; I’m not a fan of salad dressings) – and I can vouch that it does help with your digestive throughput(!), but I haven’t seen the promised reduction in appetite yet which comes after a while of taking them apparently.

Again this book comes high in search terms with many variants on its title and author cropping up.


3rd Place: Disappointingly, my third most viewed book review post is a twofer I wrote entitled ‘Two novels in which the protagonist is NOT ‘completely fine’ and yes, one of those two was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. That’s not to say that OF wasn’t an interesting read, but it’s shame that bestselling fiction gets the most notice.

4th Place: Next comes My Brilliant Friend by Eleanor Ferrante, which I posted in 2011, with views in the mid-300s.


But when we get to fifth place in book review popularity, my heart soars as the first book in The Mirror Visitor quartet A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos comes into play from 2018. This French YA fantasy series translated by Hildegard Searle is just superb, with fab characters and fab world-building, a complex plot, superpowers and a lot of politics.

Volume 2, The Missing of Clairdelune followed in 2019, and the good news is volume three The Memory of Babel is due this autumn – I CAN’T WAIT!

These books also score highly in search terms, with most seeking info on the two main protagonists Ophelia and Thorn – and their marital status (they are affianced in book 1).


The most fun in looking at search terms always comes with the random stuff – and trying to work out which landing page they reached. Here are some of the fun/interesting ones!

  • is jack reacher really the high plains drifter – I did read the first Reacher novel, Killing Floor – see here. And now he’s a Booker judge…
  • brian selznick harry potter full muriel
  • rebecca brooks naughty schoolgirls – Brooks appears to be a US sexy romance author – sample title ‘Make Me Beg‘ – UGH!
  • becky thorn school dinners – My sister-in-law’s first cookbook – see here.
  • child polio bed “children’s novel” – this must be Marianne Dreams (my favourite children’s novel ever) – see here.
  • signs for window dressing for a christian bookshop in january – ?????
  • time tornadoes and tempus fugit – This turns out to be in Jeanette Winterson’s YA fantasy Tanglewreck – see here.
  • shaun the sheep of the dead – love that Shaun the Sheep / Shaun of the Dead combo!
  • laura flanery blog widow – Who?????
  • spanish sex site daphne joy – Of course!

What fun!

14 thoughts on “Stats Fun

  1. Café Society says:

    My most often viewed post is for a bestselling crime novel that I refuse to name because I think it is such a bad book. In fact, I often wonder what people think who come over to the site to read the post. I suspect they are expecting there to be fulsome praise only to find me labelling it one of the worst books I’ve ever read!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      It is so frustrating when that happens – however, hopefully people will go on to look at other posts. 😀

  2. Laura says:

    I love this! Brilliant search terms as well 🙂 Annoyingly all my most popular posts are about the academic job market! I have some good search terms though – might have to write about those.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I love looking at search terms – I really couldn’t work out where ‘signs for window dressing for a christian bookshop in january’ landed though!

  3. Rebecca Foster says:

    Some of the random searches at the end are amazing! We often got asked for books about the use of vinegar in medicine when I volunteered at the free bookshop.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      The apple cider vinegar, which has many other compounds (e.g.malic acid) in other than ethanoic acid (plain vinegar) is reputed to help kidney health, promote fat burning, reduce appetite and many other benefits – most are as yet not clinically proven in humans, but the apocryphal evidence is huge.

  4. kaggsysbookishramblings says:

    I don’t tend to look at stats much, but I think one of my most visited posts is sadly a *very* short one where I use a couple of quotes to demonstrate why I don’t read Russian books translated by a certain pair….. :s

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I can work out who you mean! Just checked the post to add to your stats further. Tee hee!

  5. Calmgrove says:

    Search terms are fun, especially when after a word or two the search engine starts making suggestions! Hmm, might try ‘digestive throughput’ and see where that takes me… 😁

  6. Liz Dexter says:

    I love this! My top review of all time is Iris Murdoch’s The Unicorn (533) followed by a load of her other books. Then it’s Galsworthy’s The White Monkey, which Ali also gets a lot of hits on and neither of us can work out why! This year, Chetan Bhagat’s Two States beats all the Murdochs, again, not sure why though he might be on reading lists.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      It’s endlessly fascinating trying to work out our stats are what they are, isn’t it. 😀

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