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Reading in Bed

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  343 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Opening at the Hay Festival, and ending with the prospect of a spring wedding, Sue Gee's novel is a lively story of tangled relationships and the sustaining powers of good books, loyal friends and conversation.

Friends since university, with busy working lives behind them, Dido and Georgia have long been looking forward to carefree days of books and conversation, when each
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Headline Review
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  343 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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May 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: self-obsessed interior designers and their married boyfriends. they deserve it.
Sue Gee could probably not have shoe horned in any more references to books or to Radio 4 if she had tried. Her main characters were called Georgia and Dido, they mixed in circles of academics, fashion photographers, doctors and writers. They had been friends ' for an absolute age, since they first went up to Oxford' (this spoken, i imagine, in accents upon which the Queen could dine)and one was newly widowed after her husband's sudden death and one newly worried after her husband's weird text m ...more
Marte Patel
Feb 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, chicklit
I wouldn't say I'm in two minds about this book, exactly - I didn't like it. There were some good bits, but the flaws of the writing just makes it a bad read overall. To start with, it was a little dull, being about two sixty-something women. Furthermore, when trying to write from the point of view of a thirty-one year old daughter, Sue Gee makes her sound like a spoilt fourteen-year old, "like, totally, like all the time". It was awful. The worst thing about the book, however, was the way the a ...more
Alison Smith
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I needed something undemanding, while I recovered from bronchitis, but I nearly abandoned this one - it got off to a slow start - nothing happened - everyone loved their dogs/cats & gardens more than their spouses; it was a very middle-class English novel. Eventually things got under way with all sorts of complications : widowhood, bereavement, sexual obssession, closet lesbian, senile dementia but despite all this excitement the tone of the book was very restrained. I might try another of h ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Although the book was enjoyable enough, I found that the writing style of the author was sometimes difficult to get my head around on first glance. Her sentence structure is sometimes convoluted and unnatural sounding. Also, I was puzzled as to her use of punctuation, regarding speech especially. Why not just use speech marks?

On a brief side note, the name Dido was massively off-putting to me, but that's not really a valid criticism, I suppose.

The story was nice enough, nonetheless, but it's not
Beth Bonini
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked up this book (from a charity shop) because (1) I liked the title, and (2) I was going to hear this author speak at a literary luncheon and I was unfamiliar with her work. That this literary luncheon was sponsored by The Lady magazine will tell you everything that you need to know. Warning: Do not go anywhere near this book if you are not acquainted with, and indeed a passionate lover of, all things upper-middle-class British. For example: books of the literary sort, high-minded conversa ...more
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The cover of this book is totally lame and makes it look like a boring chicklit novel. HOWEVER, in this case it is truly unfair to judge the book by the cover (please shoot the designer) because the story is fabulous and heartwarming.

The book is British, takes place in England, and centers around the lives of Dido & hubby Jeffrey, recently widdowed Georgia & daughter Chloe, and a crazy character named Maud who has a nice surprising conclusion in spite of her madness.

All of these charact
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not the best book I have ever read! I found it a little hard going to begin with, couldn't identify with all the characters. But it got easier as I got into it. I particularly liked Maud! I am not sure if this author has written more books, but I don't think I would actually hunt them out.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: unputdownable
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve lovell
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
As one enters the post-60 stage of life delusions can be had about this age in effect being the new middle age. In reality death, one way or another, starts to be a constant in life. How much time have I left to do all that I want to do as a preoccupation, whilst maybe not at the forefront of thinking, nonetheless lurks increasingly in the background. What in earlier decades may have been minor aches and pains now take on potentially more sinister connotations - sometimes borne out as in the cas ...more
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: summer-reading
So it was only with the intent of returning some books that I went to the library last week. As usual I linger and look at the books. I usually have an idea of the book that I am looking for but this day it was pretty much free for all. At times like this I have a look see what the librarian is recommending me today, after all who doesn't enjoy discovering new authors. I could not tell you what attracted me to 'Reading in Bed' by Sue Gee. It appeared to slot perfectly into that category I like t ...more
I just didn't know what to make of this book.
I took a while getting used to the fact the author doesn't use speechmarks.
Whilst I warmed to the two 60 somethings, the rest of the characters were unlikeable.
I felt story lines were brought to abrupt endings, for example a marriage that appeared out of no where.
The most offencive part of this book, was the authors rather out of place beliefs of what "really" happened on 9/11, pushed on us under the disguise of a theatre production one of the charac
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
It took me a while to get into this book, I found the style of writing a bit awkward, it doesn't flow, very stop start and you have to reread a lot of it because you are not always sure who is saying what and when they are speaking aloud or thinking but once I got into it and got to know the characters I really enjoyed it and wanted to know what was ahead of everyone, a few things were unexpected but it was all quite neatly tidied up at the end and gives the reader some food for thought.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A really good book, enjoyable - beleivable characters, down to earth, their relationships/friendships, their ups and downs all covered with a great story. Well written, secondary characters introduced and their story intertwined through the eyes of the two main characters Dido and Georgia.

Great reading
Jul 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I found this book quite difficult to get into, but it was interesting enough. It felt as if dragged a lot and then it was as if someone pushed the 'fast forward' button. I did not enjoy the way speech was presented
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm loving this book - quiet, steady-paced, but powerfully insightful when it comes to the lives of women and their families as they get older. It reminds me of Howard's End.

Update: Finished it - lovely. This is one book i was sad to put down when it was done...
Gilly G
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stuff of life laid out in the most beautiful prose. I became so invested in the characters, couldn’t stop reading to find out what happened to them all and cried buckets over the lyrics from the indefatigable Maud. Intelligent and warm.
Janet Camilleri
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I found the unusual punctuation of the characters' speech a bit off putting at first, but soon adjusted. A little slow but still an enjoyable read.
Sharyn Swanepoel
Jul 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF. Have been forcing myself to read but 3/4 through and still nothing happening.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1.6 stars.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this novel which really draws the reader into the lives of the characters. Enjoyed the authorial voice!
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Although I’m well aware that I probably fit a reading-market segment very neatly (retired, university-educated, politically progressive, book-grouper, ABC watcher) I don’t like reading books that feel as if they have been written precisely to fit a market niche. Unfortunately, this is just how Reading in Bed felt to me, and the ‘Daily Mail Book Club Summer Selection’ was the probably final kiss of death in my approach to the book.
It’s like living someone else’s life vicariously, sprinkled wit
Feb 09, 2016 added it
I picked this book up because of the title – reading in bed is what I do and thought it would be fun to read about characters who share my passion.

Alas, this was not to be. Although the main characters are both book lovers, with the story starting at a literary festival, this was all the exposure we had to literature apart from constant references to the pile of books on the bedside table.

The story follows two life-long best friends as they struggle with parenting, finding their way after retir
I’ve just scan read some of the other reviews for this book and I’ve been rather surprised to find out it’s one of those marmite reads- either loved or hated – depending on the tastes of the reader.
Unashamedly, I loved it, finding quite unlike any other of the many books I have previously read. Despite the chintzy and rather chick-lit light cover this book has hidden depths and transports the reader into making moral choices and accepting the harsh realities of life.
Within a few pages of the nov
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I will admit I was going to give up on this book until I was told to keep on going because it gets better. Well I got through it and the second half was better than the first. I feel I didn’t connect with any of the characters so that’s why I didn’t really enjoy it, and that was probably only because of the style of writing. I have read another book or two in this style and I just cannot connect with it. I did like the storyline though. I will randomly pick a page as an example for you, and if y ...more
Cherry Radford
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ignore the cover, this is NOT a cute book. It's a thought provoking look at what happens after marital happily-ever-after. The sixty-year-old friends have to deal with a full range of uncomfortable issues: bereavement (not since Penelope Lively's 'Perfect Happiness' have I read such heart-rendingly beautiful treatment), serious illness, betrayal, an ageing relative, worrying adult offspring and the emptiness of retirement. At times, it's pretty bleak - making me wish there were a handbrake I cou ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
I found this to be a rather slow-paced novel about a couple of families in England....husband and wife Jeffrey and Dido, their grown children Kate and Nick; friend Georgia, a recent widow whose daughter Chloe gets involved with the wrong man...there is also an old aunt suffering with dementia. Even though the pace is slow, first thing I knew I had read 100 pages without realizing it....and I enjoyed the little tidbits slipped into these pages that had no conversation in quotes. Sometimes I wasn' ...more
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Georgia and Dido have been friends since university, and are now in their sixties. Instead of having the idyllic retirement they have hoped for, Georgia has lost her husband and Dido discovers that her beloved, apparently loving husband has made sexual advances to one of his students and is on a sexual harrassment charge. I loved all the references to books and reading which have always been so important to the two main characters.
Janet Leigh
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
In may ways I liked this book. Sue Gee is able to observe very sensitively, and I could empathise with some of the situations. i imagine that it could be a painful read for people facing the same issues as those of some of her characters: bereavement, marriage under strain, relationships going nowhere. I can see why some readers haven't enjoyed it, and it's easy to feel impatient with this closeted middle class world.
Sharon Albanese
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you just want to read a book that is fairly formulaic, a book that doesn't demand much from you, where the characters are all appealing and nice to each other (well mostly), and everything turns out fine in the end. Its like comfort food. This book is like that. I probably won't remember what it was about in a few months time -it's not the type of book to leave a lasting impression. However, I really enjoyed it.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, library
it took me 1/3 of the book to get into it - i was on the verge of abandoning it several times because its not well written. it got better...eventually.its a touching story but not well executed.
it made me think about when im old - and im not sure i want to do that. right now i want to enjoy life and not think about what happens when my boyfriend dies.
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Sue Gee was born in India, where her father was an Army officer. She had a her elder brother, Robert, now a retired radiographer living in Spain. She grew up on a Devon farm, and in a village in Leicestershire, before instaled in Surrey in 1960. She lived in north London for 27 years with the journalist Marek Mayer, they had a son, Jamie. She married Mayer in November 2003, less of two years befor ...more
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