Quora and the Oddity of Popularity

Sometimes I answer questions on Quora. I'm not sure why. From what I can tell most people don't know why they interact with Quora, although they could always make up a reason. It's a unique site. Anyone can ask a question, and anyone can answer a question.


None of my answers have been very popular. One accumulated over 6 thousand views over 3 years. On Quora that's not much. But over the last week I had one answer accumulate over 12 thousand views. Popular posts are still ten times that number on Quora, but 12 thousand is still quite a decent number of people. What surprises me is what the post is. It's a simple little book recommendation post. I will put the link and then the whole post here.

https://www.quora.com/Which-are-the-5-best-fiction-novels-one-must-read/answer/Jeffrey-Alexander-Martin

At present it has 12.7 thousand views, 32 upvotes, 6 shares, and 5 comments.

Which are the 5 best fiction novels one must read?

You are asking an impossible question. Alas, I will provide an answer.

Here is a list I’ve made of 10 non-series novels. One of them will blow your mind. Maybe all of them will blow your mind. If none of them blow your mind then you are probably already damaged beyond repair. These are in no particular order, other than the first one being the greatest novel of all time.

Replay by Ken Grimwood

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Candide by Voltaire

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Then, of course, there are the epic fantasy series. The five greatest epic fantasy series of all time are:

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Finally, there are great (and terrible) stories that are not fictional.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Not Fade Away by Peter Barton

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Why is this specific post more popular than others? I don't know. Maybe the question attracts more attention. Maybe it's because I completely ignored the number 5 in the question. Maybe it's because I talked about blowing people's minds so much. How and why do things become popular? It seems to be an odd phenomenon to me.

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I've written two fictional pieces that I like so far.


"The City of Peace" - A future history science fiction utopia/dystopia action adventure in a framed story of a father telling his son a story about the child's grandfather.

http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/08/the-xprize-writing-contest-part-5-of-5.html

"The Birth of Hanniba'al" - A dark, somewhat alternative, historical origin story for the Carthage General Hannibal.

http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/11/write-michigan-short-story-contest-part_30.html


Here are three of my most popular posts.


"The Making of a Great First Line in Fiction"

http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/12/the-making-of-great-first-line-in.html

"A Letter to My Niece in 2034"

http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/12/a-letter-to-my-niece-in-2034.html

"The Most Important Question in Philosophy - Part 4 of 4"

http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/11/the-most-important-question-in.html


You can find more of what I'm doing here: http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

You can support this page at https://www.patreon.com/JeffreyAlexanderMartin

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