I am usually very reluctant to stray from the safe, comforting realm of fiction. Fiction is an opportunity to escape, and a way to explore worlds without leaving the familiarity of your beloved armchair.
I surprised myself when, during a late night book swap between me and my Mum, I was offered Spectacles, a memoir by Sue Perkins. Since I am an avid Bakeoff fan and it was a rather attractive looking hardback, I shrugged and added it to my pile. Besides, after the reading disaster that was late June/early July I needed to get back on track with my Goodreads challenge, so the more the merrier really.
I found that, once again, leaving my safety zone isn’t always a bad thing. When you are given books to try you have nothing to lose. A new world is at your fingertips, you’ve been handed an opportunity. If you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted a tenner on something that will gather dust on your shelf until you manage to subtly “gift” it to a friend. Not that I’ve ever done that.
I knew this book was great when I was literally laughing out loud. Normally I can get away with sitting quietly in my claimed armchair while my parents watch tv, but I was sniggering to myself constantly. The way it’s written made it strangely relatable for me, despite being part of a different generation to Sue Perkins herself, and the blunt way in which she writes made me snort with laughter.
It also tugged at the heartstrings too. It just goes to show that life is a story of its own, it’s just real. I have never had a problem with reading stories based on a true story, but when it’s absolutely and positively real, warning lights would flash and I’d rush to the safety bubble that is my beloved fiction. Despite this, Sue Perkins proved me wrong. If memoirs are written well they can spin a tale that is very thought provoking. This book is light hearted but heart breaking. I would look for traits like that regardless of the genre of a novel.
I do feel like memoirs are often riddled with morals and life lessons in a way. You learn based off their experiences, and you question life choices. You get an insight into another person’s thoughts, something which will always intrigue me. A memoir is personal in a way fiction never well be, and you get to relate more because the person is real. The way you get to know a fictional character doesn’t change when you read a memoir.
Long story short: Memoirs are underrated, I’ve broadened my horizons and this book is hilarious, and seems to mirror Perkins’ personality (well, from what I’ve seen on TV anyway)
As usual, your insight is valued and welcomed.