Navel Gazing by Anne H Putnam.


As I have been getting into reading lately in a big way, when I was offered the opportunity to review a book* I thought "brilliant". I had another book to finish first, but once that was completed I got started on Navel Gazing straight away. 

The subject matter really intrigued me, being about weight loss, gastric band surgery and one woman's perspective on size, shape, finding confidence and dealing with body changes. I have never been obese but I was once slightly overweight (in BMI standards anyway) so I expected the book to be something I would enjoy reading and find interesting and maybe useful too.

I knew it would be a different kind of book to the usual "chick lit" I tend to favour, with it being fact as opposed to fiction, but I didn't really prepare myself for disliking parts of the book and struggling to finish it.

What did I like about the book?

I liked the honest and open account of gastric band surgery, why Anne opted to have the surgery at 17 years old and the process she had to go through. I learnt a lot about why someone would choose to go down that route and what is involved with the surgery as well as the aftercare which affects what you eat and the way you eat for the rest of your life.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book when Anne describes growing up and her relationship with food i.e. having a healthy, dieting mother which meant sneaking treats as opposed to being able to enjoy them openly.

What did I dislike about the book?

The book was repetitive, often describing the same experiences over and over again without going into much detail.

The writer was so full of self loathing for her body that it became really frustrating as a reader. It was relentlessness and repetitive throughout the book so it was difficult to connect with the author.

I felt like there was something missing from the book. I wanted to know more about certain times of Anne's life and, as mentioned above, some areas were repeated which meant the book didn't flow.

I thought the book would be more of a "journey" ending with less self hatred and a bit more positivity.

Would I recommend this book?

If you want to know about gastric band surgery or you're interested in the surgery yourself then there are sections of the book which would be useful to you. If you're looking for an inspirational read then I'd leave this one on the shelf.

* this book was sent to me, for free, to review. As you can see my reviews are always 100% honest!


  1. This was a really helpful post because (and I know I shouldn't admit this), but judging this book by it's cover and title, I would have happily picked this up to read! Think I'll give it a miss now...

    - Tabitha at x

    p.s. Love the blog make over!

  2. Would love to see a post of what makeup you are wearing atm your skin looks amazing! so natural

  3. I reviewed this a little while ago ( and I felt exactly the same. I really wanted to enjoy the book, but I felt thankful that I'd reached the end once I'd managed to force myself to get there.


  4. From what you're saying it seems that the gastric band is wound around this author's life as much as it has a strangle-hold on her stomach. Shame really that neither the band nor the book allowed her to really move on ... at least that's how it strikes me ... nope, won't be reading this book either