My essentials: James Vella Bardon’s cultural picks

No 30 | James Vella Bardon, 41, Author

James Vella Bardon
James Vella Bardon

1. Book

I recently heard that kids will read books if they grow up seeing their dad also reading them. I was instantly overcome by guilt and decided to start buying second hand novels so that the kids could see me reading physical paperbacks. I bought ‘Of Mice And Men’ to give John Steinbeck’s writing a try. It was a curious novella because each chapter in it was different, with one concerning a violent stand-off and each of the others either haunting, comedic, sad or hopeful.

2. Film

I enjoyed watching The Forgotten Battle on Netflix, a Dutch movie about the crucial Battle of the Scheldt. There weren’t many famous actors in it which I thought made it more immersive. I didn’t know much about the Canadians’ involvement following the Normandy Landings, which made it particularly interesting.

3. Internet/TV

I watch a lot of Bill Maher’s clips on Facebook, I love the way in which he calls out the excesses and absurdities on both the left and right of politics. I also listen to a shedload of podcasts, including Intelligence Matters, The Foreign Desk, and Hardtalk. Of late I’m very much enjoying John Sweeney’s Taking On Putin which I also helped crowdfund.

4. Music

I recently discovered the band Imagine Dragons, thanks to my son who’s a huge fan. We often sing their songs together in the car during school drop-off. The other day he told me that I’m a good singer, which meant a lot to me since my missus assures me that my singing voice would curdle milk.

5. Place

What I wouldn’t give to play a few rounds of billiards at Blue Bar with my old futsal team mates Flatini, il-Bubu, ix-Shangy and il-Bobby, then grab one of those divine sandwiches down the road from Duke’s Snack Bar. You can tell I’m a man of lofty aspirations.