The Social Media

As I’m updating this blog a bit more frequently than before, and I’m getting a couple of more views and follows than in a long time, I thought I would spread the word about my Social Media presence.

These are in no particular order:

Instagram – I post pictures about my running, what I’m reading, the films I’m watching and other stuff!

Strava – I use Strava to log my runs, I also use…

Smashrun – Does the same job as Strava but puts the data into nice graphs and such like.

Last.FM – I’ve been Scrobbling, as it used to be called, the music I listen to since 2003. I primarily listen to digital music via Spotify these days. Back when it started I was an iTunes user.

Snapchat – Not a link but if you are a SC user as the Kids call it, find me by searching for – gary_bartram – I use it but don’t expect anything Earth shattering on my story etc

Twitter – I used to be a prolific Twitterer when I was annoying various people within the online film community but I stopped all that when I met Sarah. I occasionally go on a rant but it’s rare these days! Stop by and say hi!

Letterboxd – This is where I log my film watching and see what the remaining members of the film community I like are watching.

So that’s me on Social Media!

Reading Challenge – January update

I read four books in 2014, a paltry amount to some but a mountainous task to others. I set myself a challenge of reading twenty books but never really got off the ground.

Once again I have a target of twenty books and I’m very pleased to say, that my target will be reached.

This month I’ve read five books and finished off another I started last year.

The books I read where:

Odds On by Michael Crichton writing as John Lange
Water Witch by Connie Willis
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich
Tales From The Vicarage edited by Lionel Birnie

Reading those books has given me some more reading challenges to keep me occupied. The books by Chrichton, Willis, Dahl, Marlowe and Rich, are the authors debut novels. Whilst I may not get through all of the books by Crichton & Willis, I’m intending to read all eight novels featuring detective Philip Marlowe written by Chandler by the end of this year, along with the children’s books of Dahl.

I enjoyed reading all the books, and I enjoyed the variety of stories. I primarily like science fiction, however I’ve enjoyed the two crime novels and Simon Rich’s book which was so easy to read and funny, that I went through it in a few days.

I like lists so let’s put these books in order of my enjoyment:

1. Elliot Allagash
2. Odds On
3. The Big Sleep
4. James and the Giant Peach
5. Water Witch
6. Tales From The Vicarage

The book I’m reading now is Doctor Who: Ten Little Aliens by Stephen Cole. I’m never quite sure what I’m going to read next but I bought the latest Ben Elton book in the January sales so it could be that.

Enough Books for a Library

Despite not really being much of a reader, in the past two months I’ve spent nearly £100 on books.

I estimated earlier on both Facebook and Twitter that I had around 50 books. Having just counted them, my estimate was some way off.

Using an iPad means I have a few ways to access e-books; Apple’s own iStore and Amazon’s Kindle. They both have cheap books and at Christmas Amazon normally have a lot of books available at low prices; and even though I’m not really a reader that didn’t stop me buying more and more books.

I have ‘real’ books too, a few shelves of them in fact, mostly recent autobiographies or books about film.

Now that I’ve counted both the e-books and the real ones, I know I have 116 books. That figure counts the complete works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the complete Wizard of Oz series as one each, therefore in reality I have a lot more but I’m happy to stick with 116, as that’s more than enough to think about.

Long time readers or friends will know that I am currently unemployed by choice, a state that will remain constant for some time yet, I had started planning a trip to Scotland for June but it got too big and expensive so I’ve shelved that again.

All of which leaves me with a pretty empty month; I have a walk on Saturday, a trip to Manchester on Sunday and later in the month a theatre visit and a trip to Alton Towers, but that’s it. So I’ve decided that June 2013 will be a month of reading. I shall update the blog as and when I get through a book.

If you are interested this is the list of books I have, in author order as that seemed simplest!

# Title Author(s)
1 Little Women Alcott, Louisa May
2 Band of Brothers (re-read) Ambrose, Stephen
3 Devil’s Garden Atkins, Ace
4 Entirely Up to You, Darling Attenborough, Richard
5 Pride & Prejudice Austen, Jane
6 Going to Sea in a Sieve Baker, Danny
7 No Time Left Baldacci, David
8 Poems for Love Barber, Laura
9 Sense of an Ending Barnes, Julian
10 Complete Wizard of Oz Collection, The Baum, L. Frank
11 King Vidor Baxter, John
12 Beatles Anthology, The Beatles, The
13 Songs of Innocence and Experience Blake, William
14 Absolutist, The Boyne, John
15 Wuthering Heights Bronte, Emily
16 Search for Charlie Chaplin, The Brownlow, Kevin
17 My Autobiography Chaplin, Charles
18 Perks of Being a Wallflower Chobsky, Stephen
19 Alchemist, The Coelho, Paulo
20 Ten Little Aliens Cole, Stephen
21 Pirate Latitudes Crichton, Michael
22 Timeline (re-read) Crichton, Michael
23 Micro Crichton, Michael
24 How to Win TV Quiz Shoes de Mooi, CJ
25 Falling Star Dempsey, Diana
26 Great Expectations Dickens, Charles
27 Oliver Twist Dickens, Charles
28 Tale of Two Cities, A Dickens, Charles
29 Room Donoghue, Emma
30 Complete Works Doyle, Arthur Conan
31 In Search of the Third Man Drazin, Charles
32 Visit From the Goon Squad Egan, Jennifer
33 Eden Prescription, The Evers, Ethan
34 Bossypants Fey, Tina
35 Eyre Affair, The (re-read) Fforde, Jasper
36 Big Over Easy, The Fforde, Jasper
37 One of Our Thursdays Is Missing Fforde, Jasper
38 Well of Lost Plots, The Fforde, Jasper
39 First Among Sequels Fforde, Jasper
40 Last Dragon Slayer Fforde, Jasper
41 Lost in a Good Book (re-read) Fforde, Jasper
42 Something Rotten Fforde, Jasper
43 Time and Again Finney, Jack
44 Live and Let Die Fleming, Ian
45 Moonraker Fleming, Ian
46 Diamonds are Forever Fleming, Ian
47 From Russian with Love Fleming, Ian
48 Dr. No Fleming, Ian
49 Goldfinger Fleming, Ian
50 For Your Eyes Only Fleming, Ian
51 Thunderball Fleming, Ian
52 Spy Who Loved Me, The Fleming, Ian
53 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Fleming, Ian
54 You Only Live Twice Fleming, Ian
55 Man With The Golden Gun, The Fleming, Ian
56 Octopussy Fleming, Ian
57 Casino Royale Fleming, Ian
58 Doomsday Book Francis, Connie
59 Fire Watch (re-read) Francis, Connie
60 To Say Nothing of the Dog (re-read) Francis, Connie
61 Girl Who Came Home, The Gaynor, Hazel
62 Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon Ghiglieri, Michael P. / Myers, Thomas M.
63 Truth About the Titanic Gracie, Archibald
64 Theodor Boone Grisham, John
65 Lost London Guard, Richard
66 Cockney Girl Haber, Gilda Moss
67 Red House, The Haddon, Mark
68 Is It Just Me? Hart, Miranda
69 Day I Died, The Hewitt, LG
70 God is Not Great Hitchens, Christopher
71 Hundred-Year-Old Man, The Jonasson, Jonas
72 The Tent, The Bucket and Me Kennedy, Emma
73 On The Road Kerouc, Jack
74 Jungle Book, The Kipling, Rudyard
75 Letters from the Trenches Lamin, Bill
76 Black Out Lawton, John
77 Film Critic: A Decade Behind the Scenes Legel, Laremy
78 Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett Louvish, Simon
79 Life of Pi (re-read) Martel, Yann
80 Guv’nor, The McLean, Lenny
81 Grey Man, The McNab, Andy
82 Backstory Mitchell, David
83 Cloud Atlas Mitchell, David
84 Redbreast, The Nesbo, Jo
85 Silent Comedy Paul Merton
86 Cool Hand Luke Pearce, Donn
87 127 Hours Ralston, Aron
88 Vanishing Point Ramsay, Danielle
89 Broken Silence Ramsay, Danielle
90 King of the World Remnick, David
91 Life Too Short: The Tradgedy of Robert Enke, A Reng, Ronald
92 Hawthron & Child Ridgway, Keith
93 What the F*** Did I Do Last Night? Rivron, Roland
94 Chaplin: His Life and Art Robinson, David
95 Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective Rondeau, James / Wagstaff, Sheena
96 Rosie’s War: An English Woman’s Escape Say, Rosemary / Holland, Noel
97 Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare, William
98 Frankenstein Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
99 Dig, The Siemsen, Michael
100 Autobiograhy, The Sladen, Elisabeth
101 Henry: Virtuous Prince Starkey, Richard
102 Broadmoor Revealed Stevens, Mark
103 Treasure Island Stevenson, Robert Louis
104 Dracula Stoker, Bram
105 Art of War, The Sun Tzu
106 Gulliver’s Travels Swift, Jonathan
107 Bedsit Disco Queen Thorn, Tracey
108 Voices from the Titanic Tibballs, Geoff
109 Hobbit, The Tolkien, JRR
110 Famous: 1914-1918 Van Emden, Richard / Piuk, Victor
111 Catch Your Death Voss, Louise / Edwards, Mark
112 Camp David Walliams, David
113 My Time Wiggins, Bradley
114 Deadfolk Williams, Charlie
115 Inimitable Jeeves, The Wodehouse, PG
116 Titanic Young, Filson

Books & Short Stories – January 2012

One of my new year’s resolutions is to read more, and I have. I’ve not read a huge amount, but as my previous average was one a year, I think I’ve done well enough.

Someone at work told me I could be reading a book every week to two weeks, which I probably could but they don’t know how much television I watch!

This month I have read the following:

11/22/63 by Stephen King

I think this is only the second King book I’ve read, the other being ‘IT’. Those clued up on his books will know that a lot of King’s stories are set in Maine, this is also the case for part of this book. Our hero meets two characters from ‘IT’ and allusions are made to the events in that book.

I was drawn to this book as it has an element of time travel, a subject that I enjoy reading and watching. As you can see from the date it is also tied into the assassination of JFK. The basic plot is – a man is told of a wormhole located in a diner that will take him back to 1958, and he is asked to go back and stop Lee Harvey Oswald killing JFK. The book follows him through the five years leading up to November 1963. I’m not going to do any kind of review other than to say this I think this is a really well researched book and it held my attention from start to finish. I was a little disappointed by the ending but it does end as it should, I guess I’ve been watching too many American films where everything is tied up in a nice bow.

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

My favourite book as a child/teen. Time travel once again plays a part. I saw this on the Amazon Kindle store and just had to read it again.

That’s Another Story  – Julie Walters (Autobiography)

Bought for me several Christmas’ ago and never touched. A good book that follows her life from childhood to the recent Harry Potter films. I didn’t realise she had done so much work on stage, and once even dated Pete Postlethwaite

The Clock That Went Backward – Edward Page Mitchell / The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams / The Wish – Roald Dahl

Three short stories that I found online, The Velveteen Rabbit was the most interesting.

So that’s not too shabby; three books and three short stories.  On the menu next will be some Sherlock Holmes, I bought the complete Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the Kindle.  Last week I even bought some real books, I went to the Cinema Bookshop in Hay, spent an hour wandering around and bought three; a collection of PG Wodehouse short stories and two about film.

If anyone has any recommendations then please let me know.