Marcus Berkmann


Pub quizzes

7 January 2017 9:00 am

For more than 20 years now, I have been trudging up the hill to the Prince of Wales in Highgate…


Christmas stocking fillers

19 November 2016 9:00 am

The gift books come in all shapes and sizes this year: big, little, tiny, huge, long, short, fat and thin,…


Too much glam

29 September 2016 1:00 pm

This mighty volume begs a question, although it doesn’t ask it, let alone answer it. Does anyone in the known…

El Sid

11 June 2016 8:00 am

Was there life before darts? I am old enough, just about, to remember such a time. One minute, in or…



14 January 2016 3:00 pm

The DJ and sage Mark Radcliffe once said that he didn’t think he could ever like anyone who didn’t love…

Carly Simon

Going for a song

10 September 2015 1:00 pm

This column does like a bargain. Indeed, it not only esteems and relishes a bargain, it has also worked long…


Music to write books by

6 August 2015 1:00 pm

I have been writing a book this summer, in the usual mad tearing hurry. (Much as I admire those who…


The beat goes on

9 July 2015 1:00 pm

It’s rare that I see a piece about music that makes me want to cheer from the rafters and shake…


A choice of humorous books

20 November 2014 3:00 pm

Nancy Mitford would not call them ‘toilet books’, that’s for certain. Loo books? Lavatory books? One or two people I…


Roll out the barrel

14 August 2014 1:00 pm

‘He was a wise man who invented beer,’ said Plato, although I imagine he had changed his mind by the…


I, spy

10 July 2014 1:00 pm

There can’t have been this many books about the first world war since — just after the first world war.…


On your marks…

24 October 2013 2:00 pm

One day there simply won’t be any strange byways of the English language left to write quirky little books about.…


Grace under pressure

17 October 2013 2:00 pm

Ask any England cricket fan in his fifties to name his favourite batsman and chances are he will say David…


Helpful hints for Holloway

12 September 2013 1:00 pm

For some reason you don’t expect people to be fans of the Mitford sisters, as others are fans of Doctor…


Notes from a big country

18 July 2013 1:00 pm

The esteemed literary critic, serial academic and one-time Marxist firebrand Terry Eagleton is, at 70, still producing books at an…


All our Yesterdays

23 May 2013 1:00 pm

Too many Beatles books? In my house there’s always room for one more, and this week’s addition is All Together…


Blue-sky dreaming

21 March 2013 2:00 pm

We don’t have an extreme climate, says Richard Mabey in Turned Out Nice Again (Profile, £8.99). We don’t have tsunamis,…