Today reviewsrevues hits the big 400 (thank you wordpress for letting me know, I wasn’t keeping count!). Since my 300th celebration I’ve moved house and changed jobs but thankfully I’ve still been able to find the time for the reading and reviewing. I am probably increasingly reading more new books, certainly far more than I was when I started the site. Thank you to the publishers that have supported me and please keep those book parcels coming! I like to celebrate these big milestones by having a look at what you have been reading. I did my last retrospective at the end of 2016 and then set the dials back to zero. So, what has been attracting the most attention in the last six months? 400 posts so top 3’s in 4 sections – Books- Recent publications ; Books-Back catalogue; CDs and TV. Here goes … (clink on the titles for the full reviews)
Books- Recent Publications
3. Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult (2016)
Posted in my 100 Essential Books thread at the end of January, I am delighted to see people want to read about this book as it is still going to be one of the strong challengers for my Book Of The Year. I’ve been recommending it like mad at the libraries where I work and the feedback from those who have followed my advice has all been positive, both from Jodi Picoult fans and those, like me, who have chosen to start their Picoult experience with this book. Just yesterday a lady told me it would be a book she would “remember for a long, long time”. Great praise.
2. When We Rise – Cleve Jones (2017)
American gay activist’s account of life in San Francisco in the 1970’s/80’s. I posted this review in March. I was told that Cleve appeared on “Newsnight” this week and had been surprised that his book was attracting a good general readership. The six part TV series made of this book written by Dustin Lance Black has not yet appeared in the UK. (I took out a Netflix subscription thinking it was on there but it isn’t. There are rumours that Channel 4 have bought it). When that is shown sales of this book will continue to soar.
1.A Life Discarded – Alexander Masters (2016)
Posted in April. Masters’ non-fiction work is about a discovery of a large number of diaries found dumped in a skip. Part biography, part detective work, I am going to continue to say nothing about the subject of this book and urge you to read it- a lot of you seem to want to know about it, making it the most read review in the recent publications category.
Books – The Back Catalogue (Older publication dates)
3. The Noel Coward Diaries – Edited by Graham Payn & Sheridan Morley (1982)
I posted this back in May 2015 and yet it is really only this year that it has been attracting this much attention, showing that perhaps Sir Noel is coming back into vogue. This is one of my 100 Essential Reads and if you fancy spending close to thirty years in the company of this fascinating man this is a must-read.
2. Motown: The History – Sharon Davis (1988)
I’d read Sharon Davis’ Motown based column in “Blues and Soul” magazine for years and this book is a thorough study of the label from a British point of view. I posted this back in November 2015 and once again it has been a slow burner which has taken off this year. I have Davis’ biography of disco pioneer Sylvester on my To Be Read list. Seeing the popularity of this makes me think I should get that read.
1.SS-GB- Len Deighton (1978)
Posted in February this year there has been significantly more interest in my review of this, the book, than the BBC 1 Sunday night adaptation. To be honest, I wasn’t totally convinced by either. I think the book has dated rather and doesn’t live up to the premise of an alternative history of London just after the Nazis won the war, but this is my most read review in the older books category.
3. Light Years- Kylie Minogue (2000)
Posted in May this is Kylie’s finest hour, a culmination of the pop princess, the disco queen and consummate entertainer. Rated number 34 in my Essential CD list.
2. Very Best Of Kathy Kirby (1997)
Posted in October 2016 is number 79 in my Essential CDs. I claimed in my review that this was one of my guilty pleasures, but now so many of you have read the review I don’t need to feel guilty about one of the great under-rated artists in 60’s pop.
Since it was posted in October 2015 this has consistently been the most read CD review and things have been no different this year. It just shows how loved this group was around the world. Number 30 in my 100 Essential CD list.
3. Roots – BBC4 (2017)
The high standard was maintained throughout this re-make of the classic TV series. It feels valid to question why it was re-made but if it brought home the issues raised to a new generation then it was very important that it was. It lacked the impact of the original which had everybody talking about it when it was first shown but it had good performances, high production values and was equally compulsive viewing. I posted this review in February.
2. Jamestown – Sky 1 (2017)
I wasn’t sure what to make of the first episode of this (too) glossy historical drama “from the makers of Downton Abbey” when it appeared on Sky 1 in May. The tale of “maids to make wives” in Seventeenth century Virginia wasn’t without promise. Here’s a post-review confession, I only ever watched the first episode. The rest were series-linked in my planner but when it came down to it I didn’t feel the need to watch any more.
1.The Level – ITV1 (2016)
I posted this review in October after the first episode. By the third episode this was my most read review ever, something which has continued ever since. It actually kept me watching the series. This Brighton-based series had finished before the start of 2017 and yet this year it is over 500 reads ahead of its nearest rival. In 2016 it finished 1300 away from the number 2 read. This seems to be the review that is bringing new visitors onto reviewsrevues.com. Long may it last.
Just writing about these 12 most read out of the 400 reviews has got me recognising that you readers out there like a bit of variety. There’s quite a range in these twelve reviews alone. It’s part of the fun that keeps me guessing as I’m never sure when I’m posting what will attract the biggest audiences and the continuing readership of “The Level” from countries around the globe has me a little bewildered as the series did not seem to make that much of an impression when it was on TV- but it’s clearly the reviewsrevues readers’ favourite. Right, it’s heads down now and onwards to the 500.
Many thanks to all of you who take the time to read my ramblings and those of you who feel motivated enough to comment on what you read. That’s a huge thank-you to my Big 5 commenters who have stimulated thought and conversation on here – that’s Kay Carter, Monika, Fiction Fan, Geoffrey Valentine and Cleopatra Loves Books. Keep on reading……………..