Becomingby Michelle Obama Published 13 Nov 2018
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In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments.
Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
MICHELLE MY HEART
this is going to be good
Becoming is a memoir of a famous person, Michelle Obama, the first black First Lady in the United States who lived with her husband, President Barack Obama, and their two daughters, Malia and Sacha in the White House for eight years. During that time, alongside taking care of her family, Michelle Obama managed to accomplish four major initiatives as First Lady to help improve people’s lives and well-being.
The first thing that struck me when I was partway into the book is how her background and her first years resonated so strongly. She is relatable, plain and simple. I could relate to her and her experiences as a woman, yet there is no doubt in my mind that a great deal of her story will also resonate with men. On a personal level, partway through the book I went online and discovered that Michelle Obama’s birthday is 3 days before my Dad’s, and Barack Obama’s birthday is the same day as my Mom’s.
Regardless of color, religion, sex, age, or any of the other ‘discriminators’ that still cling to our so-called advanced societies, each one of us makes our way into the world with a desire to accomplish something. Whether those accomplishments take place on a very small scale or a large scale matters not. Whether those accomplishments are on the dark side, the low road of stepping on top of others to gain lift matters a lot.
It is the attitude of optimism and gratitude for our lives and opportunities that drives us to make a positive impact. We also somehow magnetize the mentors we need to help us along the way. This is the story of a woman who came from very humble beginnings and spent the largest part of her life in the cause of elevating others into a better life because she, too, had positive mentors and people who showed her possible doors and helped her to open them. From my perspective, it was during this process of passing along the good she experienced in her life that her own life became more elevated, too.
I can’t even count the number of times that tears came to my eyes while reading Michelle Obama’s story. Tears of recognition and empathy, but also because her story touched my heart over and over again in incident after incident, and event after event.
At one point, I was reading along as Michelle Obama described their eldest daughter Malia’s 10th Birthday – a July 4th day in the midst of the high-tension campaign that Barak Obama was involved in. Near the end of their long day of campaigning, participating in the town’s July 4th celebrations, talking with people, shaking hands, and making connections with as many people as they could, all they had energy for was a thrown-together private party for their daughter at the end of the day. While reading this, I could feel a tightness in my diaphragm . . . I had a feeling I knew what was coming . . . and then she described the look she and Barak Obama exchanged, a tired and rueful “we really blew it, didn’t we” look. At that moment Malia came over, plopped herself in her daddy’s lap and said, “This is the best birthday ever”! I lost it.
There is so much in this memoir that is inspiring, interesting, fascinating even. I could write an entire short story on everything this book gifted me. Instead, if you haven’t already, I urge you to read it. It is a remarkable story that is uplifting and, despite all odds, all the hurdles, and all that has followed since the Obama family left the White House, it remains hopeful, and it re-kindled hope in my own heart.
You bet your ass I just preordered this. As a female minority, Queen First Lady Michelle Obama has become one of my most go-to role models, and I already know I'm going to be in tears while reading this.
I’d been lucky to have parents, teachers, and mentors who’d fed me with a consistent, simple message: You matter.
As an adult, I wanted to pass those words to a new generation.
Look, I'm not a happy crier. I might cry at songs about leaving and missing someone; I might cry at books where things don't work out; I might cry at movies where someone dies. I've just never really understood why people get all choked up over happy, inspirational things. But Michelle Obama's kindness and empathy changed that. This book had me in tears for all the right reasons.
This is not really a book about politics, though political experiences obviously do come into it. It's a shame that some will dismiss this book because of a difference in political opinion, when it is really about a woman's life. About growing up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and struggling to maintain that marriage; about motherhood; about being thrown into an amazing and terrifying position.
I hate words like "inspirational" because they've become so overdone and cheesy, but I just have to say it-- Michelle Obama is an inspiration. I had the privilege of seeing her speak at The Forum in Inglewood, and she is one of the warmest, funniest, smartest, down-to-earth people I have ever seen in this world.
And yes, I know we present what we want the world to see, but I truly do think it's genuine. I think she is someone who really cares about people - especially kids - and wants to give them better lives and opportunities.
She's obviously intelligent, but she also doesn't gussy up her words. She talks straight, with an openness and honesty rarely seen. She's been one of the most powerful women in the world, she's been a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she's had her own successful career, and yet she has remained throughout that same girl - Michelle Robinson - from a working class family in Chicago.
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book.
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5 Extremely Poignant Stars for “Becoming”
When I think of Michelle Obama, the words that come to mind are: Grace Personified.
She exemplifies all of the qualities I admire most: beauty, elegance, honor, kindness, intelligence and dignity. To say that I miss the Obamas is an understatement.
Going into this read, I knew I would be emotional. Truth be told, that didn’t begin to describe my reaction to hearing Michelle Obama’s words, her thoughts and learning about her, a good portion of which I’m ashamed to admit, I didn’t know. The former first lady’s humble beginnings, her close knit family, her education and her accomplishments, they simply blew me away. Princeton, Harvard, working at and forming Non-Profits (not to mention her accomplishments as the First Lady!): I am awestruck by you Michelle Obama.
The moment Michelle meets Barack Obama when he summers at Sidney Austin, the law firm she is an Associate at, she feels it. That spark. My eyes filled, they glossed over, the tears fell. The two shared an ice cream cone and became an us. (Here, listening to this, I admit to sobbing, heavily). The inflection and enthusiasm in Michelle Obama’s voice, her feelings of love for this man, it is so evident. We saw them every day for 8 years. Such sweet romance, pure pure love and complete respect for each other and their relationship. Oh how I love them. Oh how I miss them.
From life in politics, campaigning, being bullied, becoming the First Lady and raising Malia and Sasha in the White House, Michelle Obama gives an honest portrayal of what life was like for her and Barack Obama. While in the White House, the President always made time for family. Always having dinner with them. Never discussing politics. Family was their bond. Yet his love for this Nation was and is still evident.
There were so many moments while listening to this audiobook that I teared up. Not just teared up, but sobbed uncontrollably. Her words, her voice, her thoughts struck a chord, for a myriad of reasons, some sad, some happy. I tear up just thinking about them.
Michelle Obama memoir is about “Becoming” - her life’s journey, the amazing part of course, is that it never ends. Her final message is one of hope, of letting people in, and helping others. I received it.
Thank you to Michelle Obama for sharing your life with us. I am honored.
Published on Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter on 12.8.18.
Excerpt to be published on Instagram.
I understand the hype!
I didn't know much about Michelle Obama nor her husband. This book absolutely humanized them and show me how much they care about others. The contrast with the actual political situation is blatant.