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
- Top 10 mystery and thriller series
- Who has written the most books?
- 5 top nonfiction books about World War II
- 20 outstanding detective series from around the world
- 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
- Michael Connelly’s best Harry Bosch novel?
- Donna Leon’s best detective novel in the Commissario Brunetti series
- A brilliant analysis of racism today
- Why is the Global North so much richer than the South?
- Is John Sandford’s latest novel the start of a new bestselling series?
- Michael Lewis explores how government protects us
- An eye-opening detective novel about Nazis in Argentina
- John Sandford’s best Virgil Flowers novel?
- In the new Inspector Lynley novel, female characters take center stage
- 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.