2020: The Stats

Putting together a 2020 review post was something that had me feeling rather churlish. But as the week has progressed, a desire to honour the big blogging change I’ve just made, has crept in. 
Moving from Blogger to WP was, at one level, done very spontaneously and in a fit of frustration. But on another level, it has been something I have been contemplating for many years.
I had used WP for other blogs I was involved in at various times, so I knew what I was getting into and the basics of how to use it. 
The transition has gone smoothly so far, although I will write a more detailed post about my experience in the coming days.
To put together some stats for 2020, I had to return to Brona’s Books. Nostalgia washed over me as I thought about the 11 years of blood, sweat and tears that went into creating it. 
I started Brona’s Books on the 6th July 2009.
I wrote 1596 posts.
As of today, my all-time views come in at 834 168.
My ALL-TIME top 10 posts are:
  1. #HLOTRreadalong 2017 Master Post
  2. AusReading Month 2015 Master Post
  3. AusReading Month 2014 Master Post
  4. Eyrie | Tim Winton (2013) 
  5. Musings of an Idle Reader (2019)
  6. AusReading Month Sign Up Post 2015
  7. The Way We Fall | Megan Crewe (2012)
  8. The Story of a Baby | Ethel Turner (2019)
  9. 6 Degrees January 2019
  10. The Ship Kings #2 The Voyage of the Unquiet Ice | Andrew McGahan (2012)
Anything to do with The Lord of the Rings will always attract attention. There were only a handful of participants for the 2017 readalong, although lots more people must wish to join in one ever since. 
2015 was obviously the peak interest point for AusReading month…or perhaps they’ve just had longer to attract more views than the more recent years.
Tim Winton’s post raced into the top 10 very quickly and sat in the top spot for quite some time. However he hasn’t appeared in a yearly top 10 for a while now.
My musings post was actually in reference to a Don Quixote readalong I was struggling with. I think it might be the title that attracts the attention though.
Megan Crewe’s book was a YA book about a virus. Crewe included a viral image on her blog for us to use on ours to help her book go viral. I’m not sure how the book ended up doing, but my post certainly went viral for a while!
I was thrilled to see one of my AWW titles in the all-time top 10, but I suspect it’s the word ‘baby’ that attracts the attention.
I miss joining in 6 degrees, but somewhere along the line I lost my 6 degrees mojo. 
The Andrew McGahan book was a pleasant surprise in this list. Book one attracted quite a bit of attention too thanks to a Yr 7 teacher reading it with his class. He obviously got his class to check out my reviews at one point.
Now for 2020:  The top 10 posts
  1. AusReadingMonth 2020 Master Post
  2. Austen on Screen (2013)
  3. Now We Shall Be Entirely Free | Andrew Miller (2018)
  4. November Reading Challenge Sign Up Post (2020)
  5. The Return of the King Book V | J R R Tolkien (2017)
  6. #HLOTRreadalong 2017 Master Post
  7. Some People a poem by Wislawa Szymborska (2019)
  8. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse | Charlie Mackesy (2019)
  9. Les Miserables | Victor Hugo (2019)
  10. #Just Saying Stay Calm & Read (2020)

I suspect some of the older posts hit the top 10 thanks to Covid.

I’m thrilled to think that lots of people caught up on their Jane Austen viewing during lockdown. And obviously everyone was dreaming of freedom and feeling miserable! (note to self – when I finished the Andrew Miller book, I was dead keen to read more…I accumulated the books, but have yet to read any of them!) 

The top 10 posts published in 2020, look like this:

  1. AusReadingMonth 2020 Master Post
  2. November Reading Challenge Sign Up Post (2020)
  3. #Just Saying Stay Calm & Read (2020)
  4. AusReading Month 2020
  5. A Personal Bloggiesta 
  6. AusReading Month – Celebration, Anticipation & Promotion
  7. 2021 Here We Come
  8. AusReading Month Wrap Up Post
  9. The Cardboard Crown | Martin Boyd
  10. The Covid Chronicles #9

Weird and wonderful search terms always fascinate me. This year the winners are:

  • maupassant said that life experiences changed people. the person is caught up by the trials and tribulations of life and they don’t have control over their circumstances
  • double consciousness and women’s sexuality in red at the bone by jaqueline woodson

My top locations are:

  • USA
  • Russia
  • Australia
  • India
  • UK closely followed by
  • Kazakhstan (hmmm)

And now for MY top 20 books read during 2020: Fiction

  1. The Parisian
  2. In Love With George Eliot
  3. Moby-Dick
  4. The Dyehouse
  5. The Conquest of the Plassans
  6. The Rain Heron
  7. The Cardboard Crown
  8. Stone Sky Gold Mountain
  9. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
  10. The Thursday Murder Club
  11. The Pull of the Stars
  12. The Vanishing Half
  13. War and Peace
  14. The White Girl
  15. Homeland Elegies
  16. The Dutch House
  17. The Plague
  18. Life After Truth
  19. Fracture
  20. The Dictionary of Lost Words
  1. A Month in Siena
  2. Fathoms
  3. The Fire This Time
  4. Truganini
  5. The Salt Path
  6. How We Live Now
  7. Sand Talk
That’s it.
2020 done and dusted.
Thank you Blogger for all the good memories. Despite the commenting issues that plagued everyone over the years, Blogger was a lovely platform on which to launch my blogging career. I miss the ability to tweak the formatting, and I’m slowly realising that WP is far more controlling in subtle ways than Blogger ever was. To do many of the things I took for granted on Blogger, required me to buy the personal package on WP. But I guess they’re in it to make money. Whereas Blogger is about making you part of the Google family.
For better or worse, here I am.
Happy New Year dear readers!
Let’s see what 2021 throws our way, together.

30 thoughts on “2020: The Stats

  1. I was glad to see The Story of a Baby up there (Gen 2 rocks!), shame if it was just for searches on “baby”. I always assume that people read what they click on when I see them in my stats, but I suppose that’s not true at all. I read your Eyrie review – I walked past the building again last week, and always try and guess Keely’s lounge room window. As it happens, the ending which you could not remember makes me despair for Winton. It’s a car chase entirely disconnected from what has gone before, as though he had no idea how to bring the book to an end.


    1. That’s probably why I don’t remember it! Endings are not Winton’s strong points.

      I always assume that people end on my blog by accident rather than design! I’m still thrilled to know that someone has read one of my posts all the way through – on purpose!


  2. Woo hoo! I am so glad Brona. I will comment way more often now, I expect.

    I would love to know what things you find better about blogger. What did you want to do that required you to buy the personal package? I still run a blogger blog for my reading group – for longer than my Whispering Gums blog – and I see nothing there, really, that I like better, but that maybe because I don’t do a lot there besides post, or oversee other people posting.

    I enjoyed reading your top posts – all time, and this year. I will do an all-time one I think soon. Your top posts are so different to mine, which is not surprising I suppose because a lot of our reading is different even though we overlap a bit too.

    Anyhow, I do hope you don’t regret changing over. I’m really impressed that you decided to do it, leaving all those years of data behind.


    1. Hi Sue, glad you found me in my new home. I thought I needed an all-time stat to farewell the old blog. I’m curious what will come to the top this time next year.

      The main thing I wanted to achieve with the personal package was to remove the ads. I hate how they clutter up a blog. I also couldn’t add the goodreads box with the free wp package. Although I was disappointed when I did get it, as I couldn’t finesse it in anyway (to look like the one I had on blogger) or in any way at all in fact – very prescriptive. There were a couple of other small things early on too that I’ve forgotten right now. And maybe I just need to play behind the scenes more to find where stuff is & what it can do. Although I’ve exhausted the options available in customise theme – not much to see there at all!
      No regrets so far. I just need more time to explore to see what wp can do.


            1. Are you on a Mac or PC. It’s very easy on Macs and Apple devices… And is all done from.the keyboard. Nothing to do with Blogger or WP. So, for example, on an iPhone or iPad you just hold fine the letter eg an “e” and up pops the options è é ê ë ė ę… You just slide to the one you want. On a Mac keyboard you hold down the letter and a number will display with each option, eg è is 1 and you hit the 1. When I’m in a PC keyboard, I usually cheat by googling the word and copy-pasting it in. PS Macs/Apple keyboards have all the common European diacritics but not more obscure ones.

              Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. Yes, I wondered if it were the ads. I’ve paid for that and for my domain name, but I don’t care about things like linking to GoodReads etc so haven’t thought about that, though I see some people do. It’s interesting hearing about different needs and likes, so thanks for answering.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve used both blogger and WP, and definitely find the latter user-friendly – particularly when it comes to comments. Blogger can be a pig for that…

    And interesting stats – I keep thinking I should track my reading a bit more! ;D


  4. it’s remarkable that you kept track of all those stats! i could never be that organized; it would institute some sort of total mental collapse (of course that may have occurred already w/o me knowing it, haha…)


    1. I did very little in the end Mud. The stats section on blogger did all the hard work – all I had to do was adjust the filter for the year, then for all-time 🙂


  5. I’m so pleased to see In Love With George Eliot right up there, it was such a wonderful book!
    I’m intrigued by what you say about WP: I don’t mess about with my blog much, so I’m not an expert, but the only things I pay for is to be ad-free and for my domain name.
    So I’m wondering if the Block Editor (which I don’t use) has something to do with it? In my unenthusiastic efforts to use it, I found it very inflexible.
    If there’s something you want to do, and you can’t do it, try using the Classic editor instead. (For example, I can only edit my images to resize them or add a border in Classic editor.)
    My other suggestion is to visit Karen’s blog at https://bookertalk.com/. She has done a whole series of posts about the Block Editor, and if that’s what is causing problems for you, she may be able to help with a solution.
    And congratulations on your impressive stats!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t spent enough time playing with block or classic, but I do find it hard to switch btwn the 2. I keep ‘losing’ the button. Everything is hidden behind drop down tabs & unfamiliar icons.
      I was aware of Karen’s fabulous blogging tips, so will hunt down the block editor one. Thanks


      1. What I’ve done, is to open the three elements I use most (dashboard, posts, and add new post using the classic editor, and then add them to my favourites bar on my browser. That way I can just click on them to open them.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. WP does sting you for getting rid of ads which is annoying. But I hate ads coming up on other people’s blogs, so … I keep meaning to go self-hosted but can never make that leap! I came from LiveJournal and that was quite easy, I migrated Heaven-Ali’s blog, too!


    1. Liz you can just pay an annual amount to get rid of ads without self-hosting. I think it’s about USD25 pa but don’t quote me! I think it’s fair enough. Google gets money from bloggers in mire subtle ways I think, like by the info about us they track. I’m happy to pay WP a bit for the service bur I don’t want the bother of self/hosting as I don’t have complex customisation needs.


  7. Congrats on your great reading year and your move to WP. I still grapple with it … many years in. I will have to check out The Parisian … thx


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