What You Have Been Reading – The Top Posts of 2018

Firstly a Happy New Year and a big thank you to all of you reading this.  When I started my blog on reviewsrevues back in January 2015 I certainly did not think I would be here four years later.  My original intention was to pool together the reviews I was doing for various sites and publications into one place and to date there have been 570 posts of which 116 appeared in 2018.  I’m delighted to report that my number of visitors and viewings have continued to improve.  This year there has been a rise of 3000 visitors and viewings so thank you very much for this.  It is what keeps me going.

An aspect which always surprises me is the end of year statistics for the most viewed posts.  It’s never what I think it’s going to look like and there have been a good few posts which have been hanging around in the Top 10 since 2016 (2015 in one case) but it’s always fascinating to see what you have been reading this year (even if I didn’t post it this year) so here is a run-down of the Top 10 posts with clickable links to the original, just in case you missed it first time round.

10. Ladder To The Sky – John Boyne– Very respectable viewing figures for John Boyne’s latest five star read published this summer.  This was #4 in my Books Of The Year list so I am very pleased to see this review has helped readers to make decisions about the book (Buy it!)

9. Let’s Groove – The Best Of Earth Wind & Fire– Continues to be the most read of my 100 Essential CD reviews so far.  I originally posted this back in October 2015 and even though the counter goes back to zero each January it continues to make the list.  It just shows how much love there is for this group and how many of us hanker to live in our own “Boogie Wonderland”!

8. Scott And Bailey – The fifth and final series on ITV is another post that has attracted much attention since its first appearance on here in April 2016.  Suranne Jones may have gone on to pick up many awards since as a result as her portrayal of “Dr Foster” but this for me is her career defining role (not including Karen McDonald in “Coronation Street, naturally!)


7. Dynasty – This Netflix reboot of the trashy but compulsive classic US series I discovered back in October 2017.  I haven’t yet caught up with all the episodes but I’m still continuing to watch it and I think it gets better and better as it progresses.  The titans of the original tend to have more of a back seat, the most glorious characters here are Fallon Carrington, played to perfection by Elizabeth Gillies and the gender-swapped Sammy-Jo (recast here as a male character and realising early potential played by Rafael De La Fuente).  The producers did not follow up on my casting suggestions (Catherine Zeta-Jones as Alexis) and instead plumped for ex Knotts Landing and Desperate Housewives stalwart Nicollette Sheridan but I haven’t given up hope for Rupaul to follow in Diahann Carroll’s Jimmy Choos to play Dominique!

6.Make! Craft Britain – This was a BBC4 one off programme aired in June 2016 but a very watchable short series followed this year.  There’s something very compulsive about watching people learn and carry out a new craft.

5. The Diary Of Two Nobodies – Giles Wood & Mary Killen – The most read of my book reviews this year comes from this title I read last January from two of the stars of Channel 4’s “Gogglebox”.  Unlike most TV tie-ins this is a charming little book which tells us much about these two likeable characters.


4. Jamestown – Beginning in May 2017 and now on its second series with a third in the pipeline.  I think I’ve confessed this before and I’ll do so again.  I only ever watched the first episode of this so anyone looking for plot spoilers or real insight about this Sky Atlantic show will do better looking elsewhere!  But I’m very pleased it has attracted so much attention- perhaps I should have stuck with it for a bit longer.

3. The Level – This old juggernaut continues to rumble on.  It has been continually in the Top 3 since pretty soon after the post was originally published in October 2016.  It was a six part Brighton set crime series shown by ITV. I enjoyed it and it seems there is still continual interest in finding out about it.

2. Atlantic Ballroom – Waldeck– The chance to review this album came out of the blue from Waldeck’s record label.  I wasn’t expecting a huge deal but I said I’d listen to it with the possibility of reviewing it on here and yet its brand of Austrian Electro Swing really won me over and had me reviving my somewhat neglected “Music Now” strand and giving Waldeck a five star review.  There has certainly been very healthy traffic going on to this review since its appearance in November 2018 and in under a couple of months this has become my second biggest review on the site.  I think I should follow up these leads more often.


1.Last Laugh In Vegas – This five week documentary series about a set of old troupers very familiar to the television viewers of 30+ years ago looking to relaunch their careers in Las Vegas has stormed home this year a good 600 views ahead of its nearest rivals.  Although the actual premise seemed cruel, putting once-loved performers in a vulnerable position there was a heart to this programme even if it did run out of steam by the end.


In my next post I’m intending to look ahead to what should be coming up in 2019 book-wise and also scouting around the blogosphere to see what some of the other bloggers have really enjoyed in 2018 before we knuckle down to the real reviewing business in 2019!

4 thoughts on “What You Have Been Reading – The Top Posts of 2018

  1. Kay Carter

    Is it really 4 years?
    I have read every single one of your reviews, I don’t always agree with you on the music/singers but that is a minor detail.
    You have inspired me to write down my feelings about the books I read (the ones i finish). How did certain plots feel or work, what about the characters?
    I for one am glad you are continuing with the blog, I look forward to reading it.
    Happy reading, watching and listening.


  2. Monika McKay

    Hi Phil,
    watched Jamestown when we had sky….Scraped it in the end, but I found Jamestown very sanitized. I mean environment….In times like these, the horse piles would be everywhere (if not used for roses as a fertilizer), mud….basicaly it was tooo clean for me to come across as authentic enough.As for the writing, excellent.

    I agree with Kay, keep reading and analyzing…I am nowhere near ready to throw myself in the writing. It is like baking, one has to have “wanting” to do it. so far only festering….


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