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Freshly Pressed Fun: Part Deux

This is not a repost. This is not deja vu. This is not Groundhog Day. For the second time in six weeks, 101 Books got Freshly Pressed to the WordPress home page. My post called “Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules of Writing” was the lucky one.

101 Books is the fastest growing blog only because Charlie Sheen doesn't have a blog.

Not only that, but according to the stats in my WordPress dashboard (available to all WordPress bloggers), 101 Books is currently the fastest growing blog on all of WordPress. Wow. For today, at least. Apparently, the blogging gods, or maybe the WordPress editors, have been smiling on this little blog lately. I’m not sure how these things happen.

Anyway, for those of you who stumbled across this blog yesterday: My first freshly pressed feature came back on February 4. That one totally caught me by surprise, generated a lot of traffic, and brought a lot of new subscribers to 101 Books. I wrote this post about that whole experience.

But yesterday totally shattered the numbers from that first feature. I’ve never talked about traffic on my blog. That’s probably a blogging etiquette no-no. But I will just say this: It’s humbling to see this little idea that I had in my head back in the summer turn into something that, by March, generated 5 digit traffic in one day. I’m a little stunned by the whole thing.

Award show moment: Thanks to all of you guys for stopping by. I’m still trying to get through all the comments and pingbacks.  Special thanks to all of the new subscribers. There are a lot of you. Thanks to the WordPress editors for noticing me again. And, of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without Jonathan Franzen and his somewhat controversial 10 Rules of Writing. Thanks Jonathan. I loved The Corrections. Really loved it.

So that’s about it. I’m just a normal 34-year-0ld guy…wait a minute, I turn 35 today…with a beautiful wife and a cute little 9-month-0ld. This whole project started as a way to reignite my passion for reading fiction, something I’d lost since graduating from college a decade (or so) ago.

I’m passionate about this whole project–reading all of Time Magazine‘s 100 Best Novels (plus Ulysses)–so I’d still be plugging along even if I had never sniffed the WordPress home page. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t nice to know there are people out there who think this blog is worth a daily visit. Thanks for making that happen.

Back to Book #13, Mrs. Dalloway, and our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

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28 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi! This if my first comment on your blog, and congratulations with all of your new traffic and the connection you are obviously making with a lot of people. Thank you for posting the list and everything you think about it as you go.
    Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And I hope you can enjoy Mrs. Dalloway’s dinner party as you watch the Tournament this weekend.

    March 16, 2011
    • Welcome Neal! It will be dicey, but I’ll try and balance reading Mrs. Dalloway with the NCAA tourney. We’ll see.

      March 16, 2011
      • Commercials were invented so book readers could get a little reading done during the NCAA Tourney and the World Series, weren’t they?

        March 16, 2011
  2. Excellent. Keep up the good work. Must be alot of wanabe authors out there. lol

    March 16, 2011
  3. I came across your blog thanks to FP yesterday and have subscribed. After working as a lawyer for 7 years, I am on sabbatical now ( and finally have the time to read big fiction books. I started with “Der Zauberberg” (“The Magic Mountain”) by Thomas Mann, a beautiful book.

    Enjoy your experience!

    March 16, 2011
  4. Congrats, Robert . . . and Happy Birthday!

    Hope to see yall in BHM soon

    March 16, 2011
    • Thanks Alex! Tell the wife and baby we said hello.

      March 16, 2011
  5. I’m new to your blog, but do like it. Why did I sign up? It just happened that I’d been watching the film Julie & Julia (blog writer tackles big cook book & gets book deal) so I wanted to see how your blog might shape up. What’s more the 101 list is full of american titles that I haven’t read so I’m looking forward to doing so. But first I want to read the Judy Blume (I adore YA – do you call it that, young adult? – literature, probably because that’s when I had the most time to read). I remember loving it, but can’t remember anything else at all. Nicola

    March 16, 2011
    • Didn’t Julie put off the hardest recipe until the end? I’m saving Ulysses for the very end.

      March 16, 2011
  6. Happy Birthday! And congrats on your blog.

    March 16, 2011
  7. This is very exciting, Robert. Happy birthday, you big-league blogger.

    March 16, 2011
    • Thanks Neil. Congrats on your upcoming book as well. I’ll look forward to reading that in my spare time. That might be the one nonfiction book I read in the next 3 years. Haha.

      March 16, 2011
  8. Congrats on the traffic and the notice! I signed up to your blog because I love books and it seemed like you had picked a great adventure — reading through the “top” books of the past century or so.

    March 16, 2011
  9. Happy Birthday and Congrats!!!! The idea is brilliant! Keep reading….I’m looking forward to all of you’re future posts.

    March 16, 2011
  10. Patti #

    I don’t always check Freshly Pressed, but I did notice Franzen’s face staring out at me yesterday and thought, “what do you know, he made it again.” Congratulations – and I’m really glad to see that a blog about reading books is growing faster than blogs about people like Charlie Sheen.

    March 16, 2011
    • Thanks Patti! Crazy, isn’t it? Charlie Sheen’s got nothing on Harper Lee.

      March 16, 2011
  11. Congrats on being freshly pressed. I remember st0pping by here last time and have been around a bit since, but I don’t think I’ve left a comment before. It’s pretty awesome to see a book blog getting all this attention, and I’m gonna enjoy reading more of your posts – especially when you get to “Ulysses” which…god knows if i’ll ever read it, but at least I can say I read about you reading it.

    March 16, 2011
    • Heads up…I won’t be reading Ulysses until the very end. Saving it for Book 101. But hopefully you’ll hang around until then. Thanks for visiting.

      March 16, 2011
  12. Congratulations on once again being freshly pressed! 35 years old today and you’re officially pressed (are you wrinkle free?) Happy birthday!

    I enjoy reading your blog. I’m a book addict – have at least 4 books going at all times, and have read all but 13 of the books on the Time Magazine list. I just might read those last 13 after I read your posts on them (you haven’t gotten to them yet). I liked “Corrections” because of the dialogue, but there were times it did drag…and drag…and drag. At least it’s not a Grisham novel with yet another crappy ending. I’m dying to read your thoughts on “Mrs. Dalloway”. Have fun!

    March 16, 2011
  13. I started following your blog when it was featured last time! Congratulations on the second FP and I look forward to reading more of your reviews! Yay reading!

    March 16, 2011
    • Thanks for staying with me!

      March 16, 2011
  14. Hi! Happy Birthday! And congrats on all the traffic. I’m a newbie to your blog as of yesterday (in fact I’m a newbie to blogging in general) and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future. Enjoy your day!

    March 16, 2011
  15. Dannielle #

    Hi Robert!

    I came across your blog yesterday when I was looking up a list of writing tips for my high school students. It really inspired me, and I decided that doing something similar might be a great way to motivate myself to read all of the books I’ve had on my list for quite some time (I started it in college, and since I finally finished college last year–no more excuse!). My list is not yours, I have a jumble of different genres and different reading levels. But I just wanted to thank you for the inspiration and I look forward to reading more about what you are doing!



    P.S. Happy Birthday!

    March 16, 2011
    • Thank you much! Good luck with your reading as well.

      March 16, 2011
  16. That’s really exciting! I’m so happy for you! Haha, it’s actually how I’d noticed your blog–a bit like getting the New York Times spot on WordPress, no?

    I just saw your list that you’d read so far (and realized you’d already read GWTW, which I’d recommended to you in my previous comment :P), and I think it’s intriguing that you’ve put “To Kill A Mockingbird” at the top of the list so far. That’s one of those books that I absolutely have to reread again; I also loved 1984.

    Props to you for trying “Ulysses” in the future, too! I’m a HUGE fan of Irish literature, but I haven’t delved into Joyce yet. I’m more on a Yeats and Irish fairy tale kick right now (besides devouring anything on the Potato Famine), but I feel like Joyce is one of those momentous bridges that I’ll cross when the time’s right. I vaguely remember skimming his book and thinking, “Geez, I’m either going to love or hate that one…” I’m hoping to love it. ^_^

    And, most importantly: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! And (belated) congrats on the baby!!

    March 17, 2011
    • Thank you! Ulysses will be tough. I actually read it in college, so I’ll be rereading it. Will be the last book I read, too.

      March 17, 2011

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