When I saw Erin from @_everysecondbook post about this reading challenge, I knew I had to participate! One of my goals this year (especially as a plus size woman) is to read and promote more body positive stories (as well as be more body positive myself), so I am SO EXCITED for this week. Erin, Elena (@bookish.procrastinator), Amber (@bookishamberlynn), and Caitlin (@caitlinfullybooked) are so wonderful for putting this together (and even holding a book giveaway and providing a book list)!
Here’s a recap of the prompts for the week:
- Read a book with a fat female main character.
- Read a book with a fat male main character.
- Read a book with a fat person on the cover.
- Read a graphic novel with a fat main character.
- Read a book with intersectional fat representation.
- Read a romance with a fat main character.
- Audiobook & cook: grab those saucepans and stirring spoons and relax with an audiobook with fat representation whilst cooking.
While I know it’s ambitious to try and complete all of these prompts, I’m definitely going to try and challenge myself! Here are my picks for this week, as well as a little bit about them:
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
Prompts: Book with a Fat Female Main Character, Book With a Fat Person on the Cover, Book With Intersectional Fat Representation
Ever since Let’s Talk About Love (aka one of the only books I’ve found with an asexual main character so far), I’ve been a HUGE fan of Claire Kann! I have been wanting to pick up this book since it came out at the beginning of the summer, but between my work required reads and other books, I haven’t had the chance. I’m super excited to dive into this one because not only has it received great reviews, but it has incredible representation within.
High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she’s spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.” Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it’ll go away if they can’t make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn’t want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Prompts: Book with a Fat Male Main Character, Audiobook & Cook
The timing of the Fat-a-Thon was particularly fortuitous, because this book is the next pick for my book club at work! Ever since Darius the Great is Not Okay won the Morris Award last year (which honors a book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature), it’s been on my TBR list. Countless library friends have gushed about it to me (especially the audiobook), so this reading challenge is the motivation I’ve needed to finally read it!
Darius speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.
Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.
Meal by Blue Delliquanti & Soleil Ho
Prompt: Graphic Novel with a Fat Main Character
The timing for the Fat-a-Thon was also fortuitious for this book, as I’ve had it checked out for WEEKS and have been meaning to read it! It caught my eye when I was walking through the graphic novel shelves at work, and I can’t wait to see what illustrations and stories it has in its pages.
Yarrow is a young chef determined to make her mark on the cutting edge of cookery with her insect-based creations. Though her enthusiasm is infectious, it rubs some of her fellow cooks the wrong way, especially Chanda, Yarrow’s personal hero and executive chef of an exciting new restaurant. Her people have been eating bugs for centuries, and she’s deeply suspicious of this newbie’s attempt to turn her traditions into the next foodie trend. While Chanda and her scrappy team of talented devotees struggle to open on time, Yarrow must win over Chanda — and Milani, the neighbor she’s been crushing on for weeks — or lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve her dreams. Co-written with chef and food writer Soleil Ho (Edible Manhattan, Bitch), Blue Delliquanti’s sweet coming-of-age story takes us deep into a world of art, mystery, and memory on the culinary frontier.
On the Plus Side by Alison Bliss
Prompt: Romance with a Fat Main Character
I am CONSTANTLY on the lookout for more adult plus size romances, because honestly there isn’t a lot of good representations of relationships in media featuring plus size men or women that aren’t revolved around weight loss or change…and it’s really damaging to our mental health and self esteem (seriously though, I’m still trying to believe and see myself as a romantic lead in my own freaking life)! I found this book on a list of awesome plus size new releases, so I’m excited to give it a shot.
Thanks to her bangin’ curves, Valerie Carmichael has always turned heads-with the exception of seriously sexy Logan Mathis. Just Valerie’s luck that the object of her lust-filled affection is also best friends with her overprotective brother. But Valerie’s determined to get Logan’s attention . . . even if it means telling a teeny little lie to get a job at his new bar.
Logan can’t remember a time when Valerie didn’t secretly fuel all his hottest fantasies. Now the curvaceous she-devil is working behind his bar, tempting him every damn night. It’s only when he finds Valerie’s naughty things-to-do list that Logan decides to break every rule in the book-by making each red-hot deed a reality. No one warned them that they were going to fall this hard. And no one warned them that sometimes the smallest secrets can have the biggest consequences.
The (Other) F Word: a Celebration of the Fat & Fierce edited by Angie Manfredi
Bonus Book Choice
Okay, I know I mentioned this book in my August TBR post earlier this month, but it fits the theme of the Fat-a-Thon that I couldn’t help but include it as a possible bonus book to finish in the week! I requested this on Netgalley as soon as it was available because I keep repeating
Chubby. Curvy. Fluffy. Plus-size. Thick. Fat. The time has come for fat people to tell their own stories. The (Other) F Word combines personal essays, prose, poetry, fashion tips, and art to create a relatable and attractive guide about body image and body positivity. This anthology is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty. By combining the talents of renowned fat authors, influencers, and creators, The (Other) F Word offers readers and activists of all ages a guide for navigating our world with confidence and courage.
Are you participating in the Fat-a-Thon? If so, I’d love to see what you’re reading! I’ll be updating my Bookstagram throughout the week with my thoughts so if you’d like to follow along, hop on over to @qsreads and give me a follow!
Until next time!