Top threes into 2019

The last post was a little odd to be honest. So, moving on, a potentially more interesting list of top threes in the four areas of media I’m about to consume going forward. Plus some phone apps/laptop software, for the record.


  • The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (already started – and already a five star recommendation.)
  • Save The Cat by Blake Snyder (the book that Erik Bork keeps referring to, so…)
  • The Typewriter Revolution by Richard Polt (the beginning of a new hobby?)


  • A Christmas Railway Mystery by Edward Marston
  • Crying With Laughter by Bob Monkhouse
  • A Pocket Full of Holes and Dreams by Jeff Pearce

(Plus the complete works of Shakespeare Dick Francis – my perennial indulgence.)


  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Blowing The Bloody Doors Off by Michael Caine
  • The History of Ancient Egypt by Bob Brier

(A special shout out to Uncle Dysfunctional by AA Gill, read to perfection by Alexander Armstrong – okay, that’s 2018 but so good it’ll be a repeat staple through 2019.)


  • 99% Invisible
  • The Boring Talks
  • How I Built This with Gary Raz

(Also with a special shout out – anything and everything from – an amazing, free source of some very special audio.)

Phone Apps

  • Fade In (the phone version of the incomparable screenwriting software program.)
  • Play Magnus (just about the best Chess app I’ve found.)
  • One Football (a weakness perfectly exploited.)

(Pocket Casts would have made the top three. It’s my podcaster of choice but to be honest the native iPhone app is good enough. I could have saved a fiver but not complaining.)

Laptop software

  • Fade In (the incomparable etc.)
  • Scrivener/Contour (both for different purposes with the same goal in mind.)
  • BT Sport/Now TV (both similar with goals in mind.)

Top three favourite pairs of shoes

A prayer to self over Christmas

I can’t find any words

To describe how fed up

I am with myself

For a writing year

That disappeared

Quite frankly

Into mist

And yet there is hope


2019 doesn’t know what 2018 did

2019 is open for invention and enterprise.

It’s a year that can be

Easily wrangled

Into shape.

With ambition.

So, two very fat fingers to 2018

And a special embrace

To an, as yet, uncocked-up New Year

Full force, full on

For the best I can possibly do…and be…