Start reading Navel Gazing: One Woman's Quest for a Size Normal on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Navel Gazing: One Woman's Quest for a Size Normal

Navel Gazing: One Woman's Quest for a Size Normal [Kindle Edition]

Anne H. Putnam
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £2.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £7.00 (70%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £2.99 after you buy the Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £2.99  
Paperback £9.21  
Audio Download, Unabridged £13.10 or Free with 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Product Description


'It is a book anyone, male or female, young or old, who has ever looked in the mirror and disliked what they see, will identify with ... The writing is vivid and superb, the detail both unflinching and fascinating ... Don t go on some miserable diet this January; read this instead. It will get you through the insanity of the new year, new you frenzy; more importantly, it might help you stop loathing your body.' Sarah Vine, The Times

'This is a funny, intimate account of one woman's turbulent battle with her weight, which examines the relationship between body and mind and challenges our concept of what constitutes a 'normal' body.' Psychologies

'This is a gutsy, brave memoir that, amid the slurry of new year diet books, deserves to be devoured and savoured ... Her self-deprecating nature, sharp eye for detail and troubled personal obsession mean that this memoir is almost pitch-perfect.' Helen Davies, Sunday Times

'A brave, very readable memoir.' Viv Groskop, Observer

'Meticulous and humble memoir ... conveys the lived experience.' --Talitha Stevenson, Financial Times

Book Description

Navel Gazing by Anne Putnam is a frank, funny and intelligent memoir about body image, weight-loss and a question every woman has pondered: what is normal?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 947 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571284442
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non Fiction (23 Dec 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009QS0HF0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,588 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay. 25 Jan 2013
I enjoyed understanding the controversy surrounding 'fatness' from a large person's point of view. I'm a naturally thin person and I was interested in the reasons behind why people choose gastric bypasses over basic exercise and limiting food intake. I was surprised by how desperate Anne was to jump down the surgery route and that really opened my eyes to how labelled an overweight person is just on how much they weigh.

I felt that the majority of the book was repetitive and if I didn't already know she hated her fat from the first page, I definately knew about it by page 300. The only thing I thought was frustrating was that Anne seemed so blinded by her own body, that she didn't realise that every single person in the world has something they hate/dislike about themselves. I related to her body image issues, as a thin person, as a teenager, as a young woman. The fat just seems to be an excuse as to why she felt that way, instead of opening her own eyes to the rest of the world (which she has so extensively travelled).

Having said that, towards the end, when she finds her lovely boyfriend and her eyes do seem to start opening and her internal voice that deems her unattractive starts getting beaten down by other people's love of her for who she is, it's a really great part of the book. I loved reading that her self loathing was beginning to turn into self doubt about her stubborn attitude towards herself. And I hope that anyone who reads this and is in the same mental situation as Anne at any part of a GB process can use this and feel like they're not alone and people are all different shapes and sizes and it doesn't really matter because there's always someone out there who will love you for who you are whatever you look like.

In a nutshell, it's a bit hard to wade through the all the body hate, but the overall effect of the book is inspiring and eye opening.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Navel Gazing" makes you realize that all women-- whether "overweight", "normal", or "thin"-- have the same experiences. We all poke and prod our fat (and acne and frizzy hair and all external "flaws") and fantasize about waking up to find that it has miraculously disappeared. We all compare ourselves to other individuals and assume that strangers on the street are judging us based on self-imposed flaws, external or internal.

The honesty and bravery with which Putnam relays her story encourages readers to reflect upon their barriers with the same honesty (and the less brave readers to consider reflection before postponing, because they realize that they've been so engrossed in the book that it is now 3AM and they have to go to bed).

I would recommend this book to all my female friends. Even if you don't personally have issues with weight, the themes of self-consciousness/hatred, the cycles of strength and defeat, and the search for love and acceptance are universal.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hard to reconcile 18 Mar 2013
I find it hard to reconcile the sweet face of the author in the photograph at the back of the book, to the coarse language and excessive expletives inside. A good writer can make important points just as well without them. What comes through to me most of all is that Anne doesn't seem to like being told what to do. Why else would she constantly eat things that she knows will disagree with her and make her fat, such as desserts and sweets. Why does she reward herself after exercise with something high in calories that just puts back those she has worked hard to lose. Surely this is why her weight stays the same? She said that her parents insisted on her having a year of therapy but no other mention is made of it which leaves the reader wondering.

She says repeatedly that she wants to be 'normal" when to my mind being 'normal' would be to follow your doctor's advice to the letter after such serious, life threatening surgery, not to go through with it and then sneak a piece of carrot into your mouth. This sets the tone of the book.

I do agree with her about the BMI index and find it unbelievable that an overweight person can be refused the pill when getting pregnant would cause more weight gain, put the person and baby at risk, and cost even more expense to the NHS.

I found the book to be a page-turner because I wanted to see what happened but it wasn't a satisfying read, unfortunately, although I am pleased for her that it has been published. I expect if Anne reads this review she might call me a f...... t... or something but I really wish her well and it's great that she is in a happy relationship.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story 9 Mar 2013
By Snue
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book needed more vigorous editing to iron out repetitions and provide more consistency to a rather self-indulgent storyline. The basic premise was an interesting one to a persistent dieter like me and some of the writer's anxieties rang a bell, but by the end of the book I was irritated by her predicament rather than sympathetic to it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
By M.B.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I’ve read Navel Gazing when it first came out in 2012, but as it often happens with very good books, I didn’t bother reviewing it because I thought it was obvious how great it was. Recently some life events made me think about it and I re-read it, and for the second time truly enjoyed it. Navel Gazing is a thought-provoking memoir which investigates a young woman’s quest to overcome obesity and accept her body; to come to terms with its limitations and to begin living in it comfortably. That of course isn’t always easy and Anne H. Putnam poignantly captures in her writing the frustrating dissonance most of us experience, between our mental body image, what we see in the mirror, and what ‘the ideal’ image of a woman’s body is out there in the world.
Any woman who ever struggled to overcome some body-issue complex should find Navel Gazing interesting and inspiring. It is a bright, funny, fast paced and touching memoir that will keep you reading until late at night.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This book could be of great interest to anyone contemplating bariatric surgery. I found it an easy read, but lost interest towards the end.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs A
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read
I gobbled this up in one sitting (no pun intended). This story is inspirarional in its honesty and bravery. Fantastic.
Published 9 months ago by S. L. Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave and eye-opening
This book was a real eye-opener for me, having been thin for most of my life. Without compromises, the book takes you into the head of someone with image and weight issues, with... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Malfi
1.0 out of 5 stars boring and badly written - don't buy
truly a navel gazing novel. Didn't add anything to my knowledge, and wasn't well-written. not only a waste of money but also of two hours of my life.
Published 20 months ago by bookworm100
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone whose ever been overweight
I stumbled across this book in Waterstones and immediately purchased, having recently had gastric surgery myself. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Miss H. Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars A very honest read
A very frank book outlining one girl's relationship with her body and food. In an attempt to be 'normal' she undergoes surgery in her teens, only to discover that changing the way... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Tania Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave, honest and funny
I enjoyed this book very much and thought the author very honest and brave in sharing her experiences. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ollymollee
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and Honest Memoir
This book was very compelling to read. I was completely drawn in to Anne's raw, honest and heartfelt thoughts and descriptions of the events in her life and her struggle for a... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sally Suchman
1.0 out of 5 stars Fat but not deep
Navel Gazing gives good insight into gastric banding--the surgery and recovery and the life long eating limitations and restrictions. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ms Noone
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category