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.
I’m so thrilled to add Becoming to my list! A powerful, surprising and moving book as well as refreshingly candid that I think will be deeply inspirational to many.
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.
Audiobook read by Michelle Obama
For the past three days - all I wanted to do was listen to Michelle Obama..... I cried - or was teary-eyed so many times - I lost count.
THIS BOOK must be ‘especially’ special to her immediate family and closest friends ....but it’s also a great gift to the rest of us.
Nobody else but Michelle could have written this book - it’s so MICHELLE’S STORY!
She is gifted in her ability to express her own emotions- write with tremendous insight and sensitivity and from beginning to end it’s artistically rendered with meticulous attention to details.
Michelle questioned herself ....was a very hard worker - determined to achieve her goals academically. She wanted to do well. No matter how great she was doing she still had insecurities - doubted herself. She questioned, “am I good enough?”
MICHELLE IS GOOD ENOUGH! We are blessed to have her —- simply sharing HERSELF - BEING HERSELF - SHARING ABOUT HER LIFE - HER PARENTS - HER THOUGHTS - FEELINGS - PROJECTS THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO HER....HER MARRIAGE - HER DAUGHTERS - HER FAMILY FRIENDS - BEING A WOMAN - BEING BLACK - LESSONS SHE HAS LEARNED AND IS STILL WORKING OUT - HER WARMTH -HER HUMOR- HER HONESTY & HUMANITY -
etc. etc. etc. MICHELLE IS A NATURAL LEADER - A PRESENCE WE ARE DRAWN TO - CAN WE LOVE A PUBLIC FIGURE MUCH MORE? Perhaps.... but it’s very easy to love Michelle Obama .....
It would be fun just to sit with my friends over drinks and yummy treats for a few hours and all pick this book apart —- sharing our favorite parts - AS THERE ARE MANY ***FAVORITE*** parts!!!! I’m happy to host a gathering at my house anytime!!! 😊
Michelle has made it clear - she is never running for office. If you listened to this audiobook for 19 hours - every word - such as I did - I guarantee you won’t doubt her ‘never running’ announcement. She will contribute her way! Politics is nasty and mean and it’s not the place for her.... she doesn’t hold back in expressing how she feels about it either. I can’t blame her. At the same time it was quite beautiful how she totally understands her husbands brilliant mind and vision - how Barack was the perfect candidate at the perfect time. Oh she would’ve rather had Obama a regular family man, but he was the type of man she herself would have wanted for President. She grew into becoming comfortable with his running.
They did well overall....as husband and wife and as parents while also being in the life of politics --living in the white house with security guards everywhere they went.
Michelle raised two daughters in the White House as normal as she could.
A frightening story about wild sedated animals will having you saying .....
“What the f#@k”? But have no fear .....the story ends well. :)
Many memories came flooding back around Barack’s campaign and Election Day.
I was teary eye during much of this part. Parts I remembered well - other personal circumstances that Michelle had to share about the campaign, I knew nothing about. Much made me sad and angry - Election Day had my nerves stirred all over again ... only this time I was more intimately with the Obama family.
The beginning of this Audiobook.....we find Michelle at home....home alone. Not at the White House. She was no longer the First Lady. Simply a night alone in her own house.
None of us readers have lived in the White House - but she shares a story that most readers will connect with. It’s priceless, moving, and powerful. I suggest taking a moment to reflect on your ‘own’ similar experience. I’m sure a memory will surface! Enjoy it. A moment of solitude. If you like cheese toast - this might be a time to have a slice.
Michelle spends a long time telling us about her early childhood. I questioned ‘parts’ of this for awhile - I wasn’t sure why I needed to know sooooo many details.
But - during a break from listening to the audiobook is when I did some serious reflecting. My feelings changed from feeling a little impatient - as in “how much more do I need about the family games you played in the evening, or details about kids in the neighborhood- and every description of your house - your aunt Robbie’s personality, your grandpas carpentry skills, etc. ...how much more of this Michelle?”
But then.....during my break ....( my first cry).... I understood my own and impatience . The light went off for me of why this portion of the book was valuable to me and also triggering. Michelle taught me things in this book about being black —- really being black — not just a woman and black — but what she went through all her life as a very hard working BLACK women WHO ALWAYS HAD TO KEEP REACHING - achievement oriented- her goals were important to her. Being one of the few blacks within mostly a white environment for soooo many years was a constant pressure. Her years at Princeton really shows what she went through.
I learned something else from Michelle too .....
Things about her ‘family’ - her parents - the tight knit ways they all were with one another - her incredible love for he older brother ..... and even though Michelle was black and lived on the south side of Chicago ..... she had things that I never had my childhood. She had two parents who were deeply dedicated to her and her brother Craig. Her parents gave up so much of their own lives to provide everything for their children.
I literally fell apart with gushing tears during my break - I didn’t have a childhood anything close to hers.
When I returned to listening to the Audiobook— Michelle was still talking about how wonderful her mom was and dad were, their family car - the Buick - family time *together*.....SO MUCH FAMILY TIME - HAPPY MEMORIES.....
something shifted in me. I didn’t want rush her childhood any longer. I wanted to try to imagine the type SHE HAD. Once I stopped fighting my uncomfortableness - I was transforming through ‘her’ family.
When Michelle hit her teenage years, I was a little envious. I wanted to be girlfriends with her. I liked her. Hanging out at her house after school - meeting her mom and those gracious sandwiches her mom prepared for Michelle and her girlfriends was just cozy wonderful. I was reminded how much I loved my close friends - Renee, Lisi, and Barbara. Great girlfriends during the teen years makes life so much more tolerable and ‘fun’.
I wanted to be friends with Michelle.....feel safe in her home......cherished her mom and dad too.
It was impossible not to fall in love with not only Michelle - but her parents - brother Craig - Susan ( Michelle’s best friend in college), and her daughters, Malia and Sasha,
My affinity was also warm for people who supported their family in the White House. Also for Michelle’s female colleagues from her work at City Hall in Chicago ....and of course Barack Obama.
Barack gets ‘guy-of-the-year’ award - the night he asked Michelle to marry her. GREAT STORY!
Let’s face it ..... Barack & Michelle are adorable!! Bright - have dignity - are gracious!
They undeniably love each another.
They had challenges..... but as a committed couple they practiced, learn, and got better over time figuring out what empowered their relationship - and what didn’t. They were not too proud to attend therapy for support ( and Michelle was not too proud to share with the world to read). They looked for solutions - rather than attacked - found fault and blamed.
Barack and Michelle are grounded in love - willing to support each individually as whole separate beings. They are also emotionally connected in matters of the heart. They may have had a challenging relationship - logistics alone - but a healthy love relationship based on respect and trust.
Yep.... they are a couple much like Paul and I. ❤️
Michelle and Barack’s wedding with their ‘wedding song’ by Stevie Wonder ....
“You and I Can Conquer The World”.....was such a beautiful part of this story....
MY GOD....at one point I said to myself, “they really are a fairy tale couple”.....lol
I usually ever even ‘think’ like that. .....but their wedding did feel beautiful.....surrounded by many people who loved them both.
The only thing that would have made the wedding scene better would have been ......
If on the Audiobook....they played Stevie Wonder singing the song. It’s soooo beautiful!!!
Sing 🎤 along ....”You and I Can Conquer The World”.
Who knows what “Willy Worm” is? Michelle mentioned she was rushing off to Willy Worm class with Sasha when she was a toddler....and I said, “what the heck is that?”... look it up....it’s cute. Might drive adults nuts, though. 🐛
I loved hearing about Michelle’s high school AND college years.....
Yet I felt angry ‘with’ her that years later during the Barack Obama campaign, somebody dug up an old paper that Michelle wrote when she was at Princeton as a young college student and wrote nasty things saying she was a black radical.
So much UGLY news of pure crappy political lies were being spread about her during the campaign.
Fox News talked about her militant anger - and she was accused of calling white people whities. Total lies - outlandish hurtful lies that exhaustive Michelle. And who could blame? All the while Michelle was trying to be positive and supportive.
Michelle has contributed to other potential first ladies by writing this book. Michelle was more active than many spouses of candidates in campaigning for their husbands… But in the future we will see more of this. For over a year Michelle had zero support from the Obama campaign team. Nobody supported her. She wasn’t getting any speech writing experts.
Apparently, while Michelle was campaigning - traveling from state to state - not with Obama - everything was going great until all of a sudden it wasn’t. Things turned ugly and hurtful fast.
This part of the book gives useful information that others can learn from.
Any future wife of a candidate running for President in the future could get an awful lot of value out of reading this portion of the shelves memoir. I’m sorry Michelle paid a painful price ....but she paved the way of possibilities to help ‘both sides’ of wives of running candidates in the future.
It’s hard to finish this book without any tears. I totally love both Michelle and Barack.
So many of us are heartbroken with where our country is now .....
This book comes at a good time. It’s a great holiday gift!
A cute moment...
Michelle learned early in childhood that she could discuss things with her parents. Her parents would listen to her ideas...Even debating was allowed.
She was little. She asked her mother one day, “why do we eat eggs in the morning?”
That led to a discussion about the value of protein. So Michelle thought about it and did a little research and realize that peanut butter had protein. She likes Peanut butter, but she didn’t like eggs. So she was able to negotiate. For the next nine years she had a thick peanut butter sandwich every morning for breakfast and never ate an egg again.
Years later a college counselor was the opposite of listening to Michelle. The woman didn’t value who she was ( a MERIT SCHOLAR - top 10% of her graduating class),.....
she told Michelle she wouldn’t be “ Princeton material”. Michelle will slowly getting stronger and believing in herself.... but was definitely vulnerable and sensitive to a feeling inside of not being good enough. But that day she decided she was going to at least apply to Princeton..... she went and got her recommendation letter from a great neighbor who also worked at the school. She never talk to that counselor again....
In other words she wasn’t the woman she celebrated with when she was accepted.
Michelle Robinson Obama - is helping breakdown those prejudices just by speaking out - her voice is powerful - she’s more than good enough! She’s A GIFT TO OUR COUNTRY.....a woman who continues to be true to herself - making a difference being who she is .....just keep her sharing!
MICHELLE MY HEART
this is going to be good
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.
I just finished this PHENOMENAL book–seriously, probably THE best autobiography I’ve ever laid my hands on! It’s now in vogue–the coolest new trend–for people to write a book about their lives, and I respect that trend for allowing us to read more TRUE, REAL stories about REAL people. BUT, Becoming is the first autobiography I’ve ever felt I’ve truly connected with, learned from and became a better person for having read it. Within these pages, I both saw myself and re-found myself within Michelle Obama’s narrative; I saw myself in her story and have truly learned a few life changing lessons from this 421-page journey she’s shared with us. It is a rare thing, indeed, for me to be able to say that about any book—that I identified with the words, felt the words in a heartfelt way and came away changed because of those series of words on a page that had been so thoughtfully and candidly laid out.
I had the honor of going to see Michelle Obama on her book tour at her Washington D.C. stop the Sunday after Thanksgiving. (In an ironic full circle of events in my experience with this book, I went to see her speak with a friend I met here on Goodreads who has become a very close friend of mine.) Michelle Obama was…everything. She was witty and frankly hilarious; she was open and forthright; she was graceful and dignified, a true orator and inspiration.
The tickets to this event sold out within hours--a completely filled arena, pictured above as it is starting to fill.
Both in her book and in her talks, she speaks openly about what it was like to be a young black girl from the South Side of Chicago—during the time when whites were fleeing the area and poverty seemed to be creeping its way in—to becoming a young woman at Princeton, unsure of her footing in the new social climate but still clinging to her rigidly drawn-up plan and schedule for her life (of which becoming First Lady was never a part).
I’d constructed my existence carefully, tucking and folding every loose and disorderly bit of it…I had labored over its creation. I was proud of how it looked. But it was delicate. If one corner came untucked, I might discover that I was restless. If another popped loose, it might reveal I was uncertain about the professional path I’d so deliberately put myself on, about all the things I told myself I wanted.
She walks us through graduating from college and enduring the loss of one of her best friends to an aggressive cancer at the young age of 26 years old and how this changed her outlook on the world and her path through it. Within these pages you’ll learn how she first met Barack Obama, a man who would change her world and ours in so many ways—how he arrived at work late that first day she was to mentor him, wet from the rainy day outside but still sure of himself and confident in a way that spoke of humility. From IVF to being a senator’s wife to the horrible shock of how dirty and personal politics can turn, Michelle Obama gives us an insightful glimpse into her journey into and out of the White House, her personal trek into becoming the icon she is today—a label she still humbly finds bewildering but that she has learned to hone for the betterment of our nation and the society-focused programs she has championed.
Throughout it all, Michelle Obama’s outlook is optimistic, her voice clear, witty, candid and insightful. How did she feel the first time she experienced life inside of the presidential motorcade? What fears did she have of exposing her daughters to the “maw” of public life? And how did she accommodate her outlook on politics –
I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that. I continue to be put off by the nastiness—the tribal segregation of red and blue, this idea that we’re supposed to choose one side and stick to it, unable to listen and compromise, or sometimes even to be civil.
–and her negative experience within the whirlwind of it—
A Fox news chyron referred to me as “Obama’s Baby Mama,” conjuring cliched notions of black-ghetto America, implying an otherness that put me outside even my own marriage. I was getting worn out, not physically, but emotionally. The punches hurt, even if I understood that they had little to do with who I really was as a person. It was as if there were some cartoon version of me out there wreaking havoc, a woman I kept hearing about but didn’t know—a too-tall, too-forceful, ready-to-emasculate Godzilla of a political wife named Michelle Obama.
–to achieve what she has, and with such grace, for our nation, the Democratic party, for children and for people (girls and women especially) of color?
Just as the discerning look at the viciousness of American politics will enrage you and make you question the leaders we’ve elected to power, so will Michelle Obama’s experience with the other side of her First Lady journey, the experience with the purity of spirit of genuinely good people—no matter their political affiliations, nationality or socio-economic status—move you.
One day in San Antonio, Texas, I noticed a minor commotion in the hallway of the military hospital I was visiting. Nurses shuffled urgently in and out of the room I was about to enter. “He won’t stay in bed,” I heard someone whisper. Inside, I found a broad-shouldered young man from rural Texas who had multiple injuries and whose body had been severely burned. He was in clear agony, tearing off the bedsheets and trying to slide his feet to the floor. It took us all a minute to understand what he was doing. Despite his pain, he was trying to stand up and salute the wife of his commander in chief.
As I read Becoming, I HAD to read it with a pen and highlighter in hand, hence why it took me so long to complete it. I had to savor every word, go back and re-read passages. Just today, as I was nearing the epilogue, a woman sitting next to me asked, “What are you studying?” I turned the book over and told her, “Michelle Obama’s Becoming.” I hope that gives you an idea of the intensity and connection with which I read this book. To say that I highly recommend this book to any and everyone—especially to American women, women of color and people who have felt persecuted or “othered” by their upbringings or the color of their skin—would be a clear understatement. There is so much truth and integrity and raw emotion to be pointed out in this autobiography, but to do so here would be to write a whole book about the marvels of this book. What I will say is that Becoming earned an easy 5 stars before I’d even finished the preface and continued in its discerning excellence thereafter. There is truly something within these pages for everyone because, as Michelle Obama so elegantly states:
I’m an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey. In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why…It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
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