Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spectacles” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.03  ·  Rating details ·  7,761 ratings  ·  769 reviews
When I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn't kept some of it. She had kept all of it - every bus ticket, postcard, school report - from the moment I was born to the moment I finally had the confidence to turn round and say 'Why is our house full of this shit?'

Sadly, a recycling 'incident' destroyed
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by Michael Joseph
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,761 ratings  ·  769 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Spectacles
Joey Woolfardis
Sue Perkins is best known as being one-half of the comedic double act Mel and Sue, and most notably as the ex-presenter of The Great British Bake-Off and Light/Late Lunch. She's also done a host of other lovely television stuff, like being in and writing for French and Saunders. However, unlike a lot of other comedians-double-acts or otherwise-her career never catapulted her fame quite as far as some.

What's the difference between a memoir and an autobiography? There are some small differences, b
Bethan Watson
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. This is one of my best reads of 2016 and I'm not ashamed to say it. I've always loved Sue Perkins, but this book makes me love her even more.

My heart strings haven't just been pulled, they have wrenched and torn apart. She has made me laugh out loud and cry like a baby.

With other biographies I've read, such as "Cheryl" - even though they (as in the Celebrities) have supposedly written it, you still feel as if you are getting an outsiders perspective. Not with this book. This
~ A rather bookish
Sue Perkins is a favourite person of mine. She comes across as intelligent, funny, down to earth, and she seems honest, which is always important. As far as celebrity memoirs go, I usually avoid them like the plague, but as it is Sue Perkins, I thought I'd make an exception.

Reading her stories of the highs and lows of her life, made it feel like I was sitting in a cafe, eating Victoria sponge and drinking coffee with an old friend. Some parts in this had me laughing out loud, some had me cringin
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This was one of the most enjoyable audiobooks I've ever listened to. I'm a big fan of Sue Perkins, having watched her on The Supersizers Go... and The Supersizers Eat..., as well as of course my beloved The Great British Bake-Off. So of course I had to pick up her own autobiograhy on audiobook, as it was narrated by her!

I really enjoyed listening to Sue's family life, the lessons she learned growing up, her relationship with Mel Giedroyc, the hard times (break ups, pet deaths), and her own roman
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Sue Perkins is one of my favourite celebrities. She comes across as intelligent, funny, kind and like someone who has endless fascinating stories to share. I’m not usually interested in celebrity memoirs or autobiographies but was sold on the audiobook version of this with it being narrated by Sue Perkins herself.

Sue’s narration brings this audiobook to life. Listening to her stories is like going to the pub with an old friend for a catch up. I listened to this audiobook whilst doing chores and
Emer (A Little Haze)
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of British comedians/humour
I have always enjoyed the humour and wit of the U.K. comedy duo Mel and Sue. I'm also a big fan of 'The Great British Bake Off', the BBC tv show that these two co-present. Since hearing about how they are leaving that show behind I felt a need to bookend this chapter of my TV viewing life with this memoir written by Sue. I have always loved Sue!! She's warm, witty, self-deprecating and just generally lovely! And this memoir proved that I was right in thinking all of those things as it was filled ...more
One of the funniest books I've read in ages, this is an absolute pleasure that made my workmates check on me on my lunch break, I was guffawing so hard. Sue is hilarious, sharp, insightful and never met a cake she could refuse...if you enjoy watching her tremendously enjoyable partnership with Mel Giedroyc on the Great British Bake Off, you need this book like Mary Berry needs a G&T at the end of a long day's feeling of soggy bottoms... ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Spectacles was kind of fun to read in bits, but it felt like it lost direction and momentum rather. The bits where Perkins discusses her father are very touching; there are some pithy quotes about looking back on the past and why we like to romanticise it; there’s some funny bits… but ultimately, I felt rather underwhelmed. I feel like it might’ve been more fun if delivered by Sue Perkins aloud, with her own intonation and style and sense of timing flavouring the words. As it is, it begins to fe ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sue in her own voice.

Its really good friends, in the way that well written and thought out memoirs can be. I don’t know if its very Sue-ness would come across to the uninitiated, but if you are a Sue fan and are looking for more stories of her growing up in Croydon, or attending Cambridge, or breaking into the comedy/television presenter world then this is your book. She’s insightful and honest about her own strengths and weaknesses and you will absolutely fall in love with her parents. She uses
This was fantastic. I cried, I laughed, I cried again. Loved it.
Emilie Andersen
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favorites
When you study comparative literature like I do you get through a lot of reading, like a LOT, and though you discover some awesome books along the way then it's still reading for school which is why it's really nice to sit down and read a book that you don't have to finish within a certain date or write about for some exam. This book was exactly that: something I read when I felt like it, something I read when I needed a good giggle or when I wanted to have imaginary tea with Sue Perkins (yes I ...more
Paul Sánchez Keighley
May 22, 2020 marked it as to-read
Can't wait for the sequels: Testicles, Wallet and Watch.
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Spectacles is Sue Perkins’ memoir covering her life so far from the day she popped out (her mum made notes during labour) through to her time filming shows such as The World’s Most Dangerous Roads (she was told it was Interesting Roads when she agreed) and some baking show called The Great British Bake Off.

Sue on paper is pretty much the same as Sue on TV and she comes across as a genuinely lovely, if self-deprecating, person. I’m pretty sure Bake Off wouldn’t have been such a hit without her a
Miranda Saville
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
I never laugh out loud when reading...until now - at several points I literally had tears rolling down my cheeks whilst in fits of giggles. This is never going to achieve heights of literary greatness but what a fabulous, cheer yourself up, chase away the January blues, pile of bliss this book is! Thanks Sue, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Best not read in bed with a cup of tea as you will snort it out your nose on to the bedding...hilarious, you have been warned.
If you already love Sue Perkins, this will reaffirm/increase your love for her (it did for me). She talks about her dogs a LOT, but dogs are ace, so that's okay. And she's super funny and lovely. Enjoyed it very much, and not just the Bake Off chapter (although that was one of the best).
Chlöe Rogers
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times reading it, and had to hold in laughter many more times since I do most of my reading on public transport... I love Sue Perkins :')
Claire Huston
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Little did I know, when I picked Sue Perkins’ memoir up in a charity shop a month ago, just how topical it would be to feature this book now! 4 stars.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

For those of you who don’t live in the UK or haven’t come across shows like The Great British Bake Off, Sue Perkins is a TV presenter and one half of a comedy double act with her best friend Melanie Giedroyc. Their style of comedy is witty, whimsical and sometimes a little offbeat. And if you know w
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
3.5 Stars

I really like Sue Perkins, she makes me laugh. Her and Mel with their double entendres on Bake Off is just pure childish class.

Sues biography is an entertaining read, from early childhood (being born!) to her present Bake Off fame, this book gives a thorough insight into Sues life, loves and crazy shenanigans. She's a feisty one I'd say! There's a few sad moments, with a good scattering of lol's along the way, I read this in a day as it was easy to read and very enjoyable.

However, lik
Nick Davies
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, 2017
I wouldn't describe myself as a particularly huge fan of Sue Perkins, of Bake Off, or of much of her other work (I do remember 'Light Lunch' when I was a student, and some of the eating and travel stuff she has done has been excellent) but had read some good reviews of this from fellow readers, so picked it up when I saw it in a charity shop.

I was pleasantly very surprised - Perkins has written a very funny, very interesting and varied, very readable, autobiography here. The criticism of most co
Rachel Stroud
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this - easy to read and funny, but it felt a bit guarded. I was hoping to find out more about Sue Perkins herself and didn't feel unlearned that much about her life beyond the TV shows she's been in.
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Started off a bit clunky but the anecdotes got funnier and I really enjoyed it by the end. I'm still laughing whenever the thought of Esther Rantzen in her Mercedes comes back into my head.
Jennifer Joyce
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I adore Mel and Sue, right back from watching Light Lunch in the school holidays when I was a teenager, so when Sue Perkins released her memoir I had to read it. Sue never fails to make me laugh whenever I see her on TV and her book was just the same. The book is jam-packed with fun snippets from Sue's life, told in her unique style that had me giggling to myself at some points, cringing at others and full-on laughing out loud at the hilarious anecdotes.

But the book isn't just a funny look at S
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off it has to be said that I love Sue Perkins and I am obsessed with Bake Off, its one of the few shows me and my Mum have to watch together and we always end up talking to my aunty and everyone we can about it. When I heard that Sue was writing a memoir I knew I would have to listen to this one on Audio Book, I'm so glad I did because to hear Sue tell the stories, well there were more than a few moments of snorting listening.

There are many great moments in the book, it is a great mix of d
Monica Mac
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I started reading this because of a recommendation from a fellow THE Book Club member, Dave Hardy, and boy, am I glad that I did!

I have to admit that I don't read a lot of biographies, some of the ones I have read in the past, have been less than interesting - I certainly couldn't say that about this one though. I have always liked and admired Sue Perkins, she is someone I think it would be lovely to have lunch with. The combination of a quick wit, oodles of intelligence and a wicked sense of hu
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I could have really benefited from someone who had read the book, warning me about a chapter focusing on Sue putting her beloved pet to sleep. The letter she wrote to said pet felt like my heart was being ripped out and I sat at 3am crying for 20 minutes. I likely would have left this read for another time, had I known.
That being said, the rest was a really enjoyable read. A good mix of funny and poignant, just like I enjoy my comedic memoirs. Love Sue Perkins even more now.
Joy Finlayson
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first ever audiobook and it was perfect! With Sue giving voices to the numerous characters who have appeared in her life thus far, it brought her humour to the book, which brought it to life. If there's ever a book to listen to, this is it! It's moving, hilarious and great company.
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful read! Sue's tone of voice and turn of phrase is so distinctive I felt she was sitting next to me reading aloud. Funny, charming and touching - I would highly recommend.
Claire Dobson
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Laugh out loud in many places, and tears too. A very good read.
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body
  • Between the Stops: The View of My Life from the Top of the Number 12 Bus
  • Dear Fatty
  • How to be Champion
  • My Animals and Other Family
  • Bonkers: My Life in Laughs
  • How Not To Be a Boy
  • Cheer Up, Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate
  • This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
  • Back Story
  • The Life and Loves of a He Devil
  • Is It Just Me?
  • A Beginner's Guide to Acting English
  • Peas & Queues: The Minefield of Modern Manners
  • Son of a Silverback
  • Who Am I, Again?
  • Sunny Side Up: a story of kindness and joy
  • Recipe for Life
See similar books…
Susan Elizabeth Perkins (born 22 September 1969) is a British comedian and broadcaster, born in East Dulwich, London, England.

News & Interviews

In most historical romances, love and marriage go together like...well, a horse and carriage. But what if the girl part of the girl-meets-boy...
23 likes · 12 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Sometimes we don't want to be tethered to yesterday. It's nicer to forget. Maybe the gaps in our memory are there for a reason, evolutionary perhaps, to give us the space to grow, to get away from childishness or childish things. Or maybe it's so we have the chance to invent, or at least include, some magic in our yesterdays, surely the consolation of getting older, of moving away from youth, is that we can shape our past to our fantasies. So, even if the present isn't going the way we want it, we can stand and remember our earlier selves as exciting and funny and daring” 3 likes
“I’ve never really responded to peer pressure. What I do respond to, however, is someone categorically telling me I can’t do something. I trill at the sound of a gauntlet going down. It feels like a dare. And I’ve never been able to resist a dare.” 1 likes
More quotes…