My essentials: Pia Zammit’s cultural picks

104 | Pia Zammit, Actor, effective communication coach, civil society activist and old enough to know better

1. Book

This year’s favourite book is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. It ticks ALL the boxes. Feminist? Check! Great storytelling? Check! Science? Check! It’s such a clear example of the phrase ‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’, whilst also being a cracking read. My all-time favourite books are Philip Larkin’s His Dark Materials, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Love the fantasy worlds in both. My go-to-comfort-reads are anything by Bill Bryson and Agatha Christie – for so many different reasons. Bryson’s dad-humour just hits me in all the right places, and there’s always time in my life for an Agatha dead-body whodunnit and a good mug of tea. The next book I’m going to read is Paul Caruana Galizia’s A Death in Malta – however this will be post-Christmas performance period, as I need a quiet headspace to give it all the attention it deserves.

2. Film

I have so little free time that I’ve sadly neglected a lot of film-watching. I’m a huge film fan – Film Noir being my favourite genre – but this year I think the standouts for me have to be BarbenHeimer for their ‘women should rule the world’ take-away lesson hehe...

My favourite popcorn, fluffy blanket, feet-up-on-a-stool, tumbler of whisky films are any Guillermo del Toro films. And I LOVE a good jump-scare.

3. TV/Internet 

TV Series’ favourites will always be His Dark Materials, Doctor Who, and Buffy.

This year’s favourite (I know I’m 4 years late to the party – but I have lists of catchup films, books, series, etc to work through) is the UK’s Ghosts. They’re brilliant and so much fun.

Much of my online fun-time is… yes, yes, I’m a nerd and wear that crown with pride… Wordle, Connections, Worldle, Quordle etc. Morning bucket o’coffee and kick-start my few brain cells!

4. Music

My background ‘music’ is always a good podcast and I have lots that I follow. All the comedy sketch and game shows on BBC Sounds, Help! I Sexted my Boss, No Such Thing as a Fish – all great for travel-time.

Wind-down-at-home-before-sleep podcasts this year have been by Danny Robbins – and are all about ghosts and hauntings. I’m a HUGE sceptic (as is Danny Robbins incidentally), however I’d love for ghosts to really exist. Check them out on BBC Sounds – lots of fun.

5. Place

My most favourite place in the world EVER is Gozo in the 1970s.

Oh the quiet. Oh, the space. As hectic as my life is, it’s the place I always go to in my head when I want peace.