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18 Brilliant Plus Size Books to Check Out This Summer  by Juliet Poucher

18 Brilliant Plus Size Books to Check Out This Summer by Juliet Poucher

Looking for the perfect book to read in the sunshine this summer? These twelve books feature some glamorously successful plus size women who strive to spread body positivity and inspire others to chase their goals relentlessly.

  1. A Beautiful Work in Progress by Mirna Valerio

This inspiring book is about Mirna Valerio, a plus size woman who had aspired to become a marathon runner and achieved her goal. Valerio discusses the major obstacles and challenges that came with pursuing a hobby in which her weight seemed to interfere such as the intensified difficulty in running and insecurity in her image as a runner. However, she describes the rewarding process of not giving up and the beautiful passion she's developed for running regardless of how long it takes. In this book, we get to enjoy her bright personality, impressive worth ethic, and inspiring story of how she found pride in her identity as a strong woman. Valerio actively advocates within the book and on her Instagram (@themirnavator) the importance of diversity in the marathon community and urges all women to take on challenges to promote growth.

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   2.) On the Plus Side by Tabatha Vargo

On the Plus Side is a fictional story about a plus size millionaire named Lilly, who seems to have everything, yet feels incomplete due to the absence of romance in her life. But soon, she ends up meeting a seemingly perfect, handsome man, Devin, who may have questionable intentions with her. However, once Devin begins to see the incredibly charming side of Lilly, the entire game changes for both of them. This best-selling romance is filled with passion, violence, and addiction and is bound to have you hooked.     

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  3.) Dangerous Curves Ahead by Sugar Jamison

Dangerous Curves Ahead is a feel good romance about a plus size woman who decides to dump her overly criticizing boyfriend, opens up a plus size clothing boutique, and starts a blog to share her journey and raise appreciation for plus size fashion. During her fabulously independent journey, tensions begin to rise with her sister's ex boyfriend who finds her full of life and thriving. Our protagonist begins to wonder if he was meant for her all along or if he's just a distraction from her success. This book is a relaxing read with a gorgeously inspiring activist for plus size fashion that we can all love and sympathize with.

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 4.) Hot and Heavy: Fierce, Fat Girls on Life, Love, and Fashion by Virgie Tovar

Tovar unites a variety of fierce, successful women within the marginalized, plus size community including writers, activists, performers, and poets to inspire others to embrace the beautiful aspects of a fat identity. In this book, we explore multiple areas of life where we can find a deeper pride in our bodies, such as fat go-go dancing, queer dating, and urban gardening. These women discuss the initial anxieties about encountering a new group activity as a marginalized figure, however, they all seem to conclude how life is short and it is 100% worth it to celebrate the body we live in.

Virgie also wrote

You Have the Right to Remain Fat 

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5.) Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller

Kelsey Miller gives us an inspiring autobiography of her identity as a plus size woman whose tried multiple different weight loss methods, yet still struggled with her image in doing so. She discusses her journey in which she learned to listen to what her body needs, not wants and turning her eating habits into a growing experience rather than emotional. This book can help anyone who's ever struggled with their body image and/or irregular eating habits that made them feel bad; Miller addresses the importance of facing the painful truths, finding healthy solutions, and developing self acceptance.  

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6.) The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding

In this feel good "chic lit", seventeen year old Abby Ives identifies as a gay fashionista who has a lot going for herself: she runs a plus size blog, gets an internship working for her favorite boutique, and is motivated to take over the fashion industry. Within her internship, she begins to fall for her competition, Jordi Perez, who, unlike her, loves to be the center of attention. She also begins to help her friend, Jax, in a fun project that involves experimenting with the best burgers in Los Angeles. With an intense focus on both of these relationships, Abby begins to struggle with the question of whether she just serves as a sidekick for others or if she's capable of taking control of her own life this summer. This book enforces themes of individuality, youth, friendship, growth, and inclusivity within the fashion community.  

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 7.) He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan

This inspiring romance is about a marketing executive, Lucy Cunningham, who pitches a brilliant TV show idea about selecting a fat participant to lose weight with dreamy fitness trainer, Theo. When the firm chooses Lucy to be the guinea pig and she has to work with Theo, she primarily finds herself uncomfortable appearing so physically vulnerable to this attractive jock but ends up rising to the challenge with as much confidence as she can. The two inevitably form a beautiful friendship with the suspenseful possibility of it becoming something more. Donovan's novels are famously known to be "witty, sexy, and entertaining" with this book being no exception.   

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8.) Big Gal Yoga: Exercises, Affirmations, and Poses to Help You Find Self Acceptance and Empowerment by Valerie Sagun

Valerie Sagun identifies as a mixed, plus sized, tattooed Instagram influencer (@biggalyoga) who strives to reject the popular notion that yoga is only for skinny, rich white women and to open it up to more of the fat community. In her book, she spreads universally body positive messages and provides loads of easy ways to get started and have fun with it. Sagun stresses the importance of fat women having representation in all aspects of life and urges plus size women to live their best lives regardless of what restrictions they think they might hold.

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9.) Running With a Police Escort: Tales From the Back of the Pack by Jill Grunenwald

Jill Grunenwald is an ordinary, plus size women who's weighed over 300 pounds pretty much her whole life. In this book, she shares her story of how she fell in love with running and includes her traumatic, first experience of having police reopening the streets right behind her, blatantly marking her dead last in the race. However, she strives to stress the importance of how the real competition is with yourself. She's now lost over 100 pounds from running yet still remains in the back of every race, still finishing each and every one though. Through this book, she wants to inspire other fat people afraid of running to give it a try and to embrace being last, and in the race to begin with.   


10.) To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

After Savannah's mother makes an appearance on an extreme weight loss show, she starts to channel an overwhelming influence over her household, causing Savannah to become even more self conscious about her image. When she meets a new kid at her school, George, who has his own overbearing insecurities, the pair help each other become more comfortable in their identities. Together, they go through their journey of self acceptance and love while also trying to survive their everyday challenges socially and at home.


11.) Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass by Jes Baker

Jes Baker had initially gained her fame from mocking Abercrombie and Fitch's lack of representation and inclusion within their ads. She writes this memoir on her experience of growing up fat and how it's affected her life, especially in the dating world. Within this book, she not only strives to promote feminism and inclusivity for fat people, but she also provides a reflection of how today's culture still frowns upon fatness in many ways and how we must work to change that.  

Jes also wrote…

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living


12.) They Don't Make Plus Size Spacesuits by Ali Thompson

In this sci-fi short story collection, Ali Thompson, a plus size activist, acknowledges the way technology can be fatphobic and how this manifests in ways we don't regularly notice. This work is an incredibly short read of only 24 pages but it succeeds in opening our eyes to regions of life where we subconsciously haven't made exclusive to everyone. Thompson passionately explains how society only praises the "visually acceptable bodies" and how we must progress to the point where everyone is equally welcome into everything, including the world of technology and science.


13 ) Body Positive Power: Because Life Is Already Happening and You Don't Need Flat Abs to Live It Megan Jayne Crabbe

In this inspiring debut book, Megan Jayne Crabbe, a gorgeous Instagram influencer with fans from all around the world, shares her own struggles with tiresome weight loss methods and self acceptance. Her goal is to cancel the toxic standard that in order to live your best life, you need to be a size 2. Crabbe offers a strong message to quit forcing diets upon ourselves and to live our best lives instead, proven by her own contagious happiness and overall glo-up in life.

Megan also wrote

Body Positive Power: How to stop dieting, make peace with your body and live


14 ) The Not So Subtle Art of Being A Fat Girl: Loving the Skin You're In by Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday, plus size supermodel and body activist, shares her own personal story of the importance of falling in love with yourself and the body you live in. Holliday is often credited for transforming the fashion industry with her progressive principles of opening up the platform to more plus size women. She not only shares her own struggles and the way she overcame them, but she also offers helpful tips and inspiration for other women to find self love.


15 ) The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor

Body activist and poet, Sonya Renee Taylor, enhances on the corrupt systems within society that enforce body shame and passionately conveys the power we gain from deciding to love our bodies for what they are. Taylor inspires the plus size community to present the radical type of self love we deserve that can transform the world we live in forever.


16 ) Shrill by Lindy West

In this humorous New York Times Bestseller, Lindy West describes the rough yet sometimes comical journey of how she overcame the opinions of body critics throughout her life and how she found acceptance through open discussion. She stresses the importance of self awareness as a necessity for self acceptance and also shares some of her tear jerking experiences as a woman. Shrill portrays her provocative transformation from wanting to blend in to proudly claiming her identity in a spotlight.  


17 ) Dietland by Sarai Walker

Dietland is about a plus size protagonist, Plum Kettle, who primarily has trouble blending in due to her consciously fat identity. However, at some point, she encounters an underground community of women who live life by their own standards, forcing Plum to face her own insecurities and changing her outlook on them by committing a series of challenges. Dietland consists of a humorous group of characters that eventually come across a sinister situation, overall enforcing the necessity of self confidence.

Dietland went on to become a TV series on AMC TV starring Volup2 model, Joy Nash as Plum Kettle. You can catch our interview with Joy here and see her gorgeous Paris editorial here.


18 ) Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

In this very personal memoir, Roxane Gay shares her violent past with her relationship with herself and food, relating to the insecurities and anxieties of many people regardless of size. She discusses the hardships of emotional eating and her journey to recovery and self love.

Slam Poetry as a Platform for Body Positivity by Giorgia Cristiani

Slam Poetry as a Platform for Body Positivity by Giorgia Cristiani

Pretty in Plus Size Pastels!  by Juliet Poucher

Pretty in Plus Size Pastels! by Juliet Poucher

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