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LITERATURE

Reviews of books, articles, and poetry written by or about ssbbw/bbw

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It's easy to get overwhelmed by bestseller lists, because there just isn't enough time to read all the books you'll like to read. Every week, there's a new book to add to the growing list, and less time to actually read. When you do have reading time, it can be a pain trying to settle on which book to read, and which one to leave till later.

To help you, and all book lovers out there, I've put together the list below. It's focused on a genuine appreciation for books with women protagonists: women who stand their ground, know and love themselves fiercely, and teach others to do the same. I hope these books transport you from real life to a world where you're as strong as the heroines in these stories:

1. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones was something like 140 pounds (albeit quite short). She compulsively took to the scale every morning and was rampantly insecure. In other words, she was just like you and me and far too many others. But as the novel progressed and she underwent some amazing character development, her quirks and insecurities added to her charm. She loved, laughed, had two wonderful suitors, gained confidence in every aspect of her life - from work to fashion to sex - and was a great voice for girl power.

2 Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion-for each other and for their homeland.

3 All About Vee by C.Leigh Purtill

C. Leigh Purtill (author of the Fat Girls in LA series) brings an air of fantastical dreaming to the body pos scene. It takes a small town girl from Arizona, filled with dreams of acting on the big screen, and put her straight into Hollywood. It's not necessarily a unique narrative, but that Vee is a plus-size woman throwing herself into the unchartered waters of California adds a special element. It's one that ultimately makes us think we should all dream big, too.

4 How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti

"A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium-a compulsive read that's like 'spending a day with your new best friend.'" - Bookforum

5 Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

"In sharing the gritty, heartbreaking details of her own experiences and unrealized desires - in showing us how, exactly, she is a 'bad feminist' - Gay reminds us what feminism can and should be: A space where women can realize their difference and their nuances." - The Huffington Post

6 Jude's Law by Lori Foster

If you're a plus-size woman, you have probably at some point been told you are only worthy of (and should thus only seek) a partner who is larger and subsequently makes you look smaller. Lori Foster's Jude's Law taps into the beauty of love at every size through characters Jude and May, and the reality that no matter our size or physical traits, each person deserves romance.

7 Look At Me by Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan's story about Charlotte, a fashion model who suffers a car accident that leaves her in need of severe plastic surgery, may sound a bit obvious. But it is raw and vulnerable and taps into some of our scariest fears about beauty, self-love, and identity. Charlotte's beauty framed her life, and when it's gone she has to explore, for the first time, who she actually is. It's a notion we all struggle with at times, but one made approachable and introspection-inducing in this novel.

8 Wild by Cheryl Strayed

"A vivid, touching, and ultimately inspiring account of a life unraveling, and of the journey that put it back together." - Wall Street Journal

9 The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister

Katie MacAlister's novel is a seemingly silly, light read about Tessa, a woman who agrees to star on a reality television show called "A Month in the Life of a Victorian Duke" (for which she has to constantly wear a corset). But, really, the novel analyzes changing notions of beauty and femininity and the struggle to love yourself when the world and the people you know seem to constantly criticize.

10 She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb's best-seller isn't necessarily a feel-good kind of novel, it taps into a lot of the realities of the world in which we live. Protagonist Dolores Price's body image issues don't disappear. She doesn't discover that people are kinder after high school, or the world a more accepting place once you're an adult. Through the obstacles she overcomes, though, Dolores realizes life can be beautiful, regardless of its imperfections.

Submitted by: Kelechi


"Showers and sunshine bring,
Slowly, the deepening verdure o'er the earth;
To put their foliage out, the woods are slack,
And one by one the singing-birds come back."
~William Cullen Bryant
"Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed."
~Mark Twain

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