Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars19
4.1 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 4 January 2013
"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.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 January 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.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 March 2013
I stumbled across this book in Waterstones and immediately purchased, having recently had gastric surgery myself.

From the first page I related to every word the author wrote, from her experiences as a fat child dreading the swimming lessons and having to wear a costume, to still hating yourself even after losing 6 stone.

This book is heartfelt, funny, emotional and relatable from start to finish.

if you've ever been overweight this book is a must read.

If you've had surgery yourself then click "Add to basket" this very second, you won't regret it.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 February 2013
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 her body appears won't necessarily change the way she feels about it.

It was very thought provoking, and echoed many women's obsessive critique of their own bodies. It was a very personal insight, so I expect will go down well with today's voyeuristic/reality tv society.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 March 2013
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.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 November 2014
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 January 2013
'Navel Gazing' is one of those books which I picked up and had finished within 24 hours. Anne's story pulls you in right from the start, with scenes from her childhood, such as the awkward horror of getting changed in the girls changing rooms at school (even more so for an obese teenager), to unusually going through surgery at the same time as her father, and her hilarious and sometimes cringey exploits at university and beyond with various men post surgery. I could relate to a lot of Anne's experiences which are universal in some respects, but what makes this book such an enjoyable read is Anne's strikingly unique voice and her ability to capture her journey from childhood into adulthood with humour, poignancy and honesty - sometimes to the point of gasping! A very talented writer in the making, I loved it.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 February 2013
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 size normal. Bravo to Anne for her commitment in writing this book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 January 2013
I'm finding it difficult to categorize this book; it is not just one thing. In one moment it is a moving tale of a young woman trying to find and define herself in relation to, and in spite of, her body. It is also a love story, about a girl falling for several Daniel Cleavers before she meets her Mark Darcy. But more than anything it is a heart wrenchingly honest journey into the author's mind. She reveals her deepest secrets and insecurities without apology. She describes her world with unique metaphors and impressive detail; it's almost possible to experience her thoughts and worries right alongside her as she travels across the world, always stuck in her own head. I loved this book. I hope you read it and love it too.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 January 2013
This hooked me and before I knew it I was halfway through. It's a brutally honest read, and one that unexpectedly hits hard through the self-deprecating asides and humorous deflections. I could identify with a lot of what she writes about - we all could - but this memoir doesn't only capture the tormented spirit of a woman struggling with a lifetime's worth of anguish, it also captures a unique source of inspiration to accept who and what we are. Well-written and fascinating, heartily recommended.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)