Spectacles, a Memoir by Sue Perkins

On your marks, get set, bake read! The wonderful Sue Perkins kicks off my 2016 book reviews with Spectacles.

After sharing what I received for Christmas on my blog I was inundated with requests for a review of one present in particular. Sue Perkins’ autobiography, Spectacles, seemed to intrigue so many of you that I’d feel a bit mean if I didn’t review it and, unsurprisingly, I’m giving it a very warm reception!

Sue Perkins is simply the most wonderful woman. Whether you’re familiar with her from Bake Off or any of the panel shows she has appeared on you will have experienced the warmth of her humour and been left with a sense of mourning that you’re not lucky enough to be one of her friends. I expected Spectacles to be an extension of this jolly persona that I could immerse myself in whilst picking up some trivia about her life.

It is quite evident that Sue didn’t use a ghost writer as Spectacles lacks the linear nature most ‘autobiographies’ seem to stick to. What you get from this book is an insight into Sue’s mind – easily diverted, light hearted and slightly erratic – which makes reading it all the more entertaining. If you’re used to reading the autobiographies of comedians you may pick up on the differences but, as long as you aren’t picky, this makes it all the more enjoyable!

Spectacles has a much greater focus on Sue’s adult life than that when she was a child or student but if you were expecting a detailed account of her formative years please don’t be disappointed. I trust that she’s reflected on the points in her life that have made her the woman she is today and I image the parts of her childhood she HAS included are the selected highlights!

Most interesting for me was the account of years following her graduation from Cambridge when she was slumming it in London and working as a copywriter. Sue basically has the career I’m aiming for and, given that her circumstances at my age were reasonably similar, it fills me with hope for the future! I both laughed and cried at Spectacles as Sue’s sincerity pulls you into her story; there was one point in particular that I just bawled my eyes out at, but don’t let that put you off!

If you are a Sue Perkins fan then Spectacles is a must read. The focus on Bake Off is surprisingly minimal and you’re given a much greater look into the aspects of her life and career you may not be familiar with. What a wonderful book to see in 2016!
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