Friday, June 5, 2009

Stats Update - Woot!

An Update on Statistics: The First 1000 Books

Apologies for the delay on reporting any stats....May was an interesting Month for me, lots of time sinks, hardly and reading at all, and culminating in what I *thought* might have been a broken foot...but (thankfully) is not. (Still hurts like the dickens, though!)

I have been working on stats, but there's an incredible amount of data and it needs a lot of cleaning up: some folks didn't put authors on their list and I'm having to track down the ones for books I don't know. Some folks listed author names as First then Last, others the opposite...and to do any meaningful sort of the data, I've got to make sure that each entry is entered the same. The same type of thing is occurring for book titles: Some folks put titles with "The" in them with the "The" at the beginning, others dropped the "The."[Also: there's an incredible number of incorrect book titles on the list!]

Not complaining, just explaining! :)

So....keeping in mind that these numbers will more than likely change as I clean up the remaining data, here's what I've got for the first 1000 books on our list. This is 1000 unique books...starting with the letter "A" and ending partially in the letter "L."

The original number of entries was 5,137. This included any list entered on the blog up until April 29, 2009.

By sorting out the duplicates in the first 1000 books (in alphabetical order) we've reduced the actual unique entries by over 1040. So, my "total list" is down to about 4,300 items. This number will be further reduced as I match up the author/title records of entries beyond number 1000.

Here's what I have so far:

Entry number 666 is Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (I thought this was funny.)

The number one book "to be read" in the first 1000: Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (14 people want to read it)

Second Place book is a three-way tie: Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), David Copperfield (Charles Dickens) and Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh). 13 people want to read these books.

Third place is shared by eight books: Bleak House (Charles Dickens), Crime And Punishment (Fyodor Dostoeveky), Catch-22 (Joseph Heller), Lady Chatterley’s Lover (D.H. Lawrence), Atonement (Ian McEwan), Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), Beloved (Toni Morrison) and East of Eden (John Steinbeck). 12 people want to read each of these.

There are 746 unique reads on the list for the first 1000.

The author with the most requested books in the first 1000 is Ernest Hemingway (8). William Shakespeare, with 7, comes in a close second. Charles Dickens and Neil Gaiman both have 6 requested books (two of Gaiman's are co-authored.). Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner and Stephen King each have 5 requested books.

There are 35 books on the list with a number in its title. The list doesn't contain any books with "Book 1" or "Volume 2" in the title. Nor does it contain any books with the word "number" in the title, such as: Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers, by Betty Toole. Here is the list:

1984, Orwell, George
2666, Belano, Roberto
10 Short Stories, Pritchett, V.S.
100 Years of Solitude, Marquez, Gabriel Garcia
13 Little Blue Envelopes, Johnson, Maureen
13 stories, Welty, Eudora
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Verne, Jules
2001: A Space Odyssey, Clarke, Arthur C.
28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, Nolen, Stephanie
60 Stories, Barthelme, Donald
700 Sundays, Crystal, Billy
84, Charing Cross Road, Hanff, Helene
A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters Barnes, Julian
A Million Little Pieces, Frey, James
A Tale of Two Cities Dickens, Charles
A Thousand Acres Smiley, Jane
A Thousand Splendid Suns Hosseini, Khalad
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers Li, Yiyun
A Widow for One Year, Irving, John
Around the World in Eighty Days, Verne, Jules
Across Five Aprils, Hunt, Irene
At Swim-Two-Birds, O'Brien, Flann
Attack of the Two-Headed Poetry Monster, McLaughlin, Mark & McCarty, Michael
Bat 6,Wolff, Virginia
Butterfield 8, O'Hara, John
Catch-22, Heller, Joseph
Child 44, Smith, Tom Rob
Die 13 1/2 Leben des Kapt'n Blaubar, Moers, Walter
Fahrenheit 451,Bradbury, Ray
Fever, 1793, Anderson, Laurie Halse
Fifteen Legs, Silva, Bonnie
Four Past Midnight, King, Stephen
Henry V, Shakespeare, William
Henvry VIII,S hakespeare, William
La Storia ; Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience, Mangione, Jerre & Morreale, Ben

As for ourselves...

Goedi has the most unique list, with 43 books on it no one else wants to read. Krista has the second most unique with 35. Leslie comes in third with 30.

Edit: Adding a written "wink, wink" here as I didn't mean to offend anyone by implying that no one else anywhere (!) wants to read their choices.

The most "paired up" lists are Me (Kelly) and Moonrat who share 7 books (I'm not surprised there, because I did start-off using Moonie's list to begin with. The second-most paired are Becky and Melissa with 3 books. There are scads of books which two people share. (Note, Kelly and Moonrat, as well as Becky and Melissa share more than this number between them...this is just the number of unique pairings.)

There are no groups of three or more people who share more than 1 book between them.

Is there anything else anyone wants to know? I personally am dying to see how many Hugo Winners are on the well as Pulitzers, Newberrys, etc. That portion will have to come with a little help from y'all...

Once I get the list sanitized, I'll post it on line so that we can add winning prizes and such (If the people who *know* add that info, it will save the rest of us a lot of time looking it up.) I'd also like to add a column in the DB for "Who's Read this Book?" to see how many we've actually read collectively.

Anything else?


Linda said...


You are a whiz!

And what a lot of books... Peace, Linda

moonrat said...

this is freakin' AWESOME. you REALLY have a way of putting your thumb on titilating trivia!

so what are our 7 unique matches? we should try to coordinate on them.

moonrat said...

i want to read LA STORIA, too. i've had a copy for the LONGEST. i missed that on whoever's list is was on.

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Moonrat: our unique matches are: A Model World (Chabon), Farming the Bones (Danticat), Hounds of Baskerville (Doyle), A Fable (Faulkner), Charming Billy (McDermott), Bless the Beasts and the Children (Swathout) and Digging to America (Tyler).

We should invite Steven to join us on Kokoro (Soseki), Susan to join us on In America (Sontag), Leslie, Michelle - 3M and Shelley to join us on A Thousand Acres (Smiley) and Lesley to join us on Bad Behavior (Gaitskill) ... as those are a few other folk we share a book or two with.

... there will probably be some more match ups as I complete the 2nd 1000....

moonrat said...

oh my, that is SO exciting!

want to schedule a reading for any of those? they're all nice and short. i can do with a short book after MIDDLEMARCH and before GRAVITY'S RAINBOW!

Goedi said...

Hey, that's some serious spin: "Goedi has the most unique list, with 43 books on it no one else wants to read."
Just cuz they're not on other lists doesn't mean "no one else wants to read" them.
And how did "A Tale of Love and Darkness by Oz, Amos" make it onto your numbered books list, did you type your Oz as Zero-z?
Cool compilation.

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Hi Goedi

Sorry! I shoulda put a little wink next to those does sound kind of bad, doesn't it? Apologies!

(And that number will no doubt become smaller as I get to the rest of the books...)

As for "A Tale..." pure mistake on my part. I'll go edit that out.

Thanks for calling me out on this. :)


Goedi said...

No worries. My comment was supposed to sound more lighthearted than grumpy, but, uh, failed in that regard.
My list is still morphing, though. (Dumb library and all those silly interesting books.)
Great Job!

Alyce said...

LibraryThing is a good resource for finding out which awards books have won. I know that's how I check. If you look a title up on LibraryThing, the awards are listed under the Common Knowledge section. (Not that you'll have time to look up thousands of books there, but just in case anyone is interested.)

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Moonrat: I sent email to your gmail account re scheduling! Looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing!