Last month a blog reader named Scott made the following comment, on my Top Ten Authors I’ve Read the Most By post:
“Data is fascinating of course. Another thing you could look at … over the five years you have been blogging, how many books in total have you read and of those, how many books have you scored above 4?
For all the GAD bloggers who score their reviews (e.g., you, Laurie, JJ, Dead Yesterday blog, etc.), I would move to see a filtered list of the highest rated books that each had read.”
Despite the envisaged lengthy time it would take to compile that information, I was intrigued. Now I must point out I have not gathered data for other blogs, as that really would take a lot of time for one person to do, (and you know I would like to have time for reading, sleeping, chicken falconry…) Fellow bloggers are more than welcome to share their own rating statistics so we can compare, (and naturally see who is the harshest in their ratings lol)
Inspired by Scott’s comment this post will be giving a breakdown for the ratings I have issued over 855 reviews, (discounting two guest posts and posts which only review a single short story). The 855 reviews are comprised of:
- 758 Novels
- 31 Short Story Collections
- 1 Comic Book
- 17 Films and TV Series
- 3 Plays
- 43 Non-fiction books about Crime Fiction
- 2 True Crime Books
For the sake of simplicity I am just recording the date in a table. Graphs whilst aesthetically pleasing are not the easiest of things to read accurately with such fiddley numbers.
So as you can see the majority of my reviews are 3/5 or higher and those highlighted in blue are the five most frequent ratings to be given. I was quite surprised by how few really poor reads I have had. I know some people think I am quite a generous reviewer when it comes to ratings, but I think one of the reasons I have the fewer really low ratings is that blogging has helped me to identify more accurately the sort of mysteries and authors I am most likely to enjoy. Equally once I have found an author whose works I really like I then have the tendency to seek out their remaining works, which again will contribute to the greater number of 4+ ratings. Delano Ames and Conyth Little are two such examples and I have reviewed 10+ books by each of them.
But to answer one of Scott’s questions 63.16% of my reviews are 4/5 or higher, though I do have ratings in between 4 and 5, which needs to be taken into consideration. Again, I know some people think it mad to have a 4.25 or a 3.5 but looking at the titles which gained a 3.75/5 and those which obtained a 4.25/5 there is actually a significant difference in quality and how much I would recommend it. In retrospect a 1-10 rating system may have been more sensible, but the decimalised ratings are here to stay, for better or worse.
I can’t decide if I am surprised or not by my number of 5 star ratings, as I know I don’t tend to hand those out like sweets, (not that I go around randomly offering people sweets either, I must add). However, I thought it might be nice to share with you the titles that gained this highest accolade and who knows it may lead you to your next great read! It would have been pleasing if this total had been 50, so it could have been a Top 50, but we’ll just have to make do with a Top 39!
Having now put the list together I realise how contentious a list this is. It might be my most divisive yet!
To conclude on a less controversial note, (and to give me time to make my getaway into the nearby helicopter,) for my final bit of counting I decided to find out the number of authors I have read for each letter of the alphabet, (based on their surnames). To make my life easier I am just going to look at the novels I have reviewed. It was pleasing that I had nearly a full alphabet apart from X and Z.
The high number of “S” authors seemed quite likely, but I was not expecting quite so many “B” and “C” authors, or so few authors with a surname beginning with “T”.
Phew! That is all my counting done now. It just goes to show that you never know what an innocent blog comment may lead to!