Millions Meta-Data 2008

January 2, 2009 | 5 books mentioned 1 2 min read

Before we get too far into 2009, let’s take a look at what was keeping readers interested on The Millions in 2008. This year, I’ll divide the most popular posts on The Millions into two categories, and we’ll start with the “evergreens,” posts that went up before 2008 but continued to interest readers over the last year:

  1. Hard to Pronounce Literary Names Redux: the Definitive Edition: Our “definitive” literary pronunciation guide continues to bring people to The Millions. I guess people really do want to know how to pronounce Goethe.
  2. Hard to Pronounce Literary Names: Underscoring the interest in pronunciation, even our first, aborted attempt at the pronunciation post remains popular.
  3. Food Fight: Anthony Bourdain Slams Rachael Ray: For whatever reason, there remains an abiding interest in the bad blood between these two food (and publishing) celebrities.
  4. A Year in Reading 2007: 2007’s series stayed popular in 2008.
  5. The World’s Longest Novel: Ben’s profile of this work of record-breaking performance art continues to fascinate.
  6. Why Bolaño Matters: 2008 was the Year of Bolaño, but Garth’s 2007 piece helped set the stage.
  7. The Reading Queue Revisited: My goofy way of picking books to read.
  8. Reading List: World War 2 Fiction: There are a few books still on my wish list as a result of this post.
  9. A Year in Reading: New Yorker Fiction 2005: My ridiculous attempt to catalog all the New Yorker fiction in 2005. Will I ever do it again? Maybe.
  10. A Rare Treat for Murakami Fans: Pinball, 1973: Ben dug up a link to a “lost” Murakami novel, and the post has remained a constant draw for his fans.

And now for the top posts written in 2008:

  1. A Year in Reading 2008: It was a big hit this year.
  2. The Best Sports Journalism Ever (According to Bill Simmons): This fruitful list of sports writing links hooked a lot of fans.
  3. Big in Japan: A Cellphone Novel For You, the Reader: Lots of big-name outlets covered the cell phone novel story in 2008, but only The Millions had a translated excerpt.
  4. Haruki Murakami in Berkeley: A rare American appearance by Murakami generated many memorable quotes.
  5. David Foster Wallace 1962-2008: Few did a better job of trying to make sense of the literary world’s great tragedy in 2008 than Garth did with his compassionate piece.
  6. The Most Anticipated Books of 2008: Books we all looked forward to.
  7. On Our Shelves: 45 Favorite Short Story Collections: Short story fans can get lost in this one.
  8. The Most Anticipated Books of the Rest of 2008: More books we all looked forward to.
  9. Obama and the Faulkner Quote: In the most memorable election year in a generation, politics crept in everywhere. Even at The Millions.
  10. Google Settlement Could Change the Literary Landscape: Google continued to roil the publishing world in 2008.

Where did all these readers come from? Google sent quite a few of course, but many Millions readers come from other sites too. These were the top 10 sites to send us traffic in 2008:

  1. Conversational Reading
  3. The Elegant Variation
  4. mimi smartypants
  5. The Morning News
  6. The Complete Review
  7. Marginal Revolution
  8. Maud Newton
  9. The New York Times Lede Blog
  10. Nathan Bransford

Finally, we can look at our Amazon stats to see what books Millions readers were buying in 2008. Here are the top-10 books bought by Millions readers over the last year.

  1. 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
  2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  3. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  4. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
  5. The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty
  6. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
  7. Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
  8. Lush Life by Richard Price
  9. The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis
  10. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.