My review of The Burning Room was one of the most popular posts here over the past 12 months.Back in the nineteenth century an Italian engineer and economist named Vilfredo Pareto advanced the hypothesis that in any circumstances, about 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This thesis is known as the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule. As a rule of thumb, the theory works, but only in a general sense. For instance, in my work in fundraising, I sometimes found that as much as 95% of the revenue in any given year for one of my nonprofit clients came from fewer than 5% of the donors. So, the general principle of lopsidedness definitely holds. But the numbers 80% and 20% are just representative. They don’t represent an accurate rule.

So, number freak that I am, I wondered whether the Pareto Principle might hold for this blog. However, I soon found that systematically investigating this question would take more time than I cared to invest in the project. After all, at this writing, I have published nearly 1,300 posts here. And over the past twelve months, readers have registered a total of more than 82,000 page-views. So, I decided on a quick-and-dirty approach. Hence, what follows.

First, I’m listing the five most popular posts. Every one of these is what I call a “grouped review,” since it encompasses a number of different reviews. Following that, you’ll find a list of the ten most popular individual reviews.

The five most popular posts

  1. Top 10 mystery and thriller series
  2. Who has written the most books?
  3. 5 top nonfiction books about World War II
  4. 20 outstanding detective series from around the world
  5. More than 20 good nonfiction books about espionage

These five posts account for a total of approximately one-quarter (25%) of all the traffic on this site over the past year. “Top 10 mystery and thriller series” attracted about one-half of this total (13%).

Top 10 individual reviews

  1. Michael Connelly’s best Harry Bosch novel?
  2. Donna Leon’s best detective novel in the Commissario Brunetti series
  3. A brilliant analysis of racism today
  4. Why is the Global North so much richer than the South?
  5. Is John Sandford’s latest novel the start of a new bestselling series?
  6. Michael Lewis explores how government protects us
  7. An eye-opening detective novel about Nazis in Argentina
  8. John Sandford’s best Virgil Flowers novel?
  9. In the new Inspector Lynley novel, female characters take center stage
  10. John Grisham’s excellent WWII novel centers on the Bataan Death March

These ten most popular reviews account for only another 4% of the last year’s page-views. In other words, these fifteen posts together account for less than a third (about 29%) of the traffic on this site. Apparently, then, this blog’s readers have reading habits that are just as wide-ranging as mine.

Keep in mind that you can always find all the latest books I’ve read and reviewed, as well as my most popular posts, on the Home Page.