Plus+, Bethany Rutter
As an Apples & Pears customer it goes without saying you are savvy, stylish and fashion-forward, so this is the perfect book to kick off our list. Plus+ is a fashion bible, a coffee table statement book and style inspiration all in one: Over 120 images of all shapes, sizes and aesthetics from plus-size bloggers, vloggers, models and creators – street style done the plus-size way. This is a glossy, luxurious book which you can lose yourself in for hours, or flick through in the morning to help you choose your look of the day!
Health at Every Size – The Surprising Truth About Your Weight, Linda Bacon
This is an antidote to every diet book out there. Many of us will know the frustration of being repeatedly told by society and even medical professionals that the only way to look after our health is to lose weight. This book, written by a nutrition professor, turns conventionally held wisdom on its head, explaining scientifically exactly why diets don’t work and encouraging treating one’s body with respect. Frequently described as ‘life-changing’, if you’ve spent years trying every diet fad going, then do yourself the favour of reading this book.
Big Fit Girl – Embrace the Body You Have, Louise Green
The author of this book has pretty much put Health at Every Size’s message into action: Louise Green stopped dieting, got active and now empowers other plus-size women to do the same. As well as practical advice about choosing a sport, buying the right active-wear and how to build yourself a support network, this book describes exactly how the fitness industry has failed and alienated plus-size women, and actively discouraged their journey to health. A must read for anyone who’s looking to get fit without a focus on losing weight.
Happy Fat – Taking Up Space in a World that Wants to Shrink You, Sophie Hagen
Sophie Hagen is a comedian and writer who won Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. Jo Brand has said of her, “As an old-school stand-up of the self-deprecating variety, I found Sophie’s book fascinating and it’s introduced to me a whole new school of thought,” That’s because Sophie’s philosophy is entirely about self-acceptance and anti body-shaming in any form. This is a funny, engaging, raw, sometimes angry read, which will make you want to stand tall and proud and take up all the space you want in a world that still seeks to minimise us.
Body Positive Power, Megan Jayne Crabbe
Inspirational, powerful and joyful, this is a consistent favourite among our customers. Megan Jayne Crabbe is known on social media as BodyPosiPanda, and in this book she distils her message – stop being at war with your body and stop believing the lies society has fed us about health and beauty being intrinsically linked to thinness. After a lifetime of dieting and eating disorders, Megan ‘discovered’ body positivity and now she wants you to too. If you buy just one book on this list, make it this one.
Dumplin’, Julie Murphy
The only fiction book to make our list, this is actually classed as a Young Adult novel, but 43-year-old yours truly devoured it in two sittings! It’s the story of plus-size Willowdean, her pageant-running former beauty-queen mother and all-American beauty of a best friend. I wish there had been books like this when I was a teenager - the central character is kind, clever, vulnerable and self-aware and the storyline, despite being set in small-town America contained plenty of familiar scenarios and characters I could utterly relate to. It’s funny, warm, thought-provoking, empowering and enjoyable. If you have a tween or young teen in your life, you will do them a real favour by giving Dumplin’ as a birthday or Christmas present.