1. Short: Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall At All by John Schwartz
Schwartz’ memoir on his journey toward self-discovery is the perfect balance of factual information and hilarious personal experiences.
2. The Short Book by Zachary Kanin
Who knew that science could be funny? Kanin’s humor and fantastic illustrations make this book on scientific facts about being short a fun read. It doesn’t hurt that he throws in some facts on celebrities and superheroes, either.
3. Almost 5’4” by Isobella Jade
You wanna be on top? So did Isobella Jade. Her memoir takes you into the cutthroat modeling world and raises questions about societal beauty standards. Her determination, disastrous tales, and perseverance in the face of adversity will change the way you view far-fetched dreams.
4. The Height of Your Life by Ralph Keyes
In this conversational book, Ralph Keyes discusses the politics behind being short. From presidential candidates to discrimination in the workplace, Keyes addresses the questions many short people have asked themselves.
5. Measure of a Man by Akash Shukla
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be taller, this book is for you. Akash Shukla recounts his grueling experience undergoing through limb lengthening surgery in order to become just two inches taller. Beautiful and dark, Measure of a Man serves as an important testimony to the lengths humans go to attain “perfection.”
6. Size Matters by Stephen S. Hall
As if adolescence isn’t hard enough, some short guys have to deal with being picked on solely for their height. In his well-researched book, award-winning journalist Stephen Hall examines how height and body image affect people at a young age. By combining evolutionary and psychological data with his own personal experience, Hall masterfully paints a picture of what its like to stand below the rest.
7. Becoming Tom Thumb by Eric D. Lehman
Sometimes the smallest men have the loudest voices. Becoming Tom Thumb is a wonderfully written depiction at the life of 25-inch tall entertainer Charles Stratton, who performed under the moniker “General Tom Thumb” in the late 1800s. Full of adventure and triumph, Eric Lehman’s book is one you will remember for a lifetime.
8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
OK, OK, don’t discount the book just because you’ve been called a Hobbit before. J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel is famous for a reason: It’s brilliant. The story of petite Bilbo Baggins’ quest for treasure is filled with adventure and is much more about self-discovery than about being short.
9. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Owen Meany is convinced God has huge plans for him. So when he hits a foul ball that accidentally kills his friend’s mother, his whole world is turned upside down. This story of one small, and extremely powerful, person could just change your outlook on faith and size.
10. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Bryce Courtenay’s book follows the life of Peekay, a courageous and ambitious boy growing up in South Africa during World War II. As an outcast, Peekay finds comfort in boxing, where he is taught that “small can beat big” if they believe in themselves. A powerful book on maturity and following your dreams, The Power of One also tackles racism, imperialism, and overcoming adversity.
11. Small Man in a Book by Rob Brydon
Who doesn’t love someone who laughs at himself? Comedian and self-proclaimed short guy Rob Brydon hilariously recounts what it’s like to struggle, fail, and finally find success in his witty memoir.
12. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
There’s honestly nothing cooler than a chick who fights for what she believes in. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander is petite, spunky, and totally kick-ass. You may have already seen the film series, but you know what they say: The book is always better than the movie.
13. Beyond Measure by Ellen Frankel
Ellen Frankel, who proudly stands at 4’8”, tackles much more than prejudice in her book. Within the pages of Beyond Measure, Frankel discusses society’s skewed vision of physical perfection and raises questions around government-backed growth hormones given to short people, including children. Her reflection on self-healing and discovery is informative, powerful, and touching.
14. In the Land of Giants by Tyrone “Mugsy” Boguese and David Levine
Muggsy Bogues’ autobiography about his experience being a 5’3” professional basketball player is both heartwarming and inspiring. You don’t have to be tall to ball.
15. I’d Rather Be Short by Becky Murphy
Graphic designer Becky Murphy perfectly combines her graphic skills and humor in this short book about being, well, short. Actress Kristen Bell endorsed it, so that’s got to count for something, right?
16. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Yes, this insanely popular novel turned HBO phenomenon deserves a nod. Tyrion Lannister is stark proof that size doesn’t matter when it comes to being a total badass. Plus, who doesn’t love an action-packed series where all of your favorite characters die?
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