Rating: it was amazing
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.
Rating: really liked it
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.
Rating: really liked it
MICHELLE MY HEART
this is going to be good
Rating: it was amazing
I didn’t think I could admire and respect former First Lady Michelle Obama any more than I already did. For eight years she graced our country with her presence, her intellect, her caring. We never had to ask because it is obvious in everything she says and does that she does care. Without a doubt, she cares more than anything about her family, but also cares deeply about this country. Then I read this book, an eloquent memoir, strikingly honest and as inspiring as I suspected it would be. I felt even more admiration and respect for her.
She recounts her time growing up on the South Side of Chicago as she shares the joys of her childhood as well as some of the tough things. She was a feisty child, driven to do well in school. Her story begins : “I spent much of my childhood listening to the sound of striving.” She speaks lovingly of her roots in this working class family - her parents and her brother and grandparents and how their values shaped the adult she would become. We witness the grief she experienced over the loss of her father and her continuing admiration and love for her mother who was tenacious in seeking a good education for her children. In this memoir, she is so open and honest and it feels so intimate. Michelle shares her love for her husband and daughters. She speaks about the discrimination against the men in her family, about being black at Princeton, about the attacks on her husband’s citizenship, a conspiracy theory primary pushed by the person who unfortunately followed him after his second term. We discover who she is in the times she is undergoing a self discovery, as she questions her aspirations, as she juggles work and motherhood as Barack’s involvement and aspirations in politics grow. It felt so intimate as she shares some personal struggles that they faced, ones that I don’t think she ever divulged publicly previous to this.
The things she chose to focus on as First Lady - children and their health, assisting military families, developing a program for mentoring young women reflect the things that are important to her and the kind of person she is. With an intellect such as hers, she easily could have taken on larger policy issues, but instead focused on children and families bringing people into the White House who would not have had the opportunity to be there if not for her. This book is over 400 pages and it never felt long. The writing is good and I just kept turning page after page always interested in what she would say next. A remarkable story of a remarkable woman.
Rating: it was amazing
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!
Rating: really liked it
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.
Rating: it was amazing
"I was humbled and excited to be First Lady, but not for one second did I think I'd be sliding into some glamorous, easy role. Nobody who has the words 'first' and 'black' attached to them ever would. I stood at the foot of the mountain, knowing I'd need to climb my way into favor."
God, do I miss the Obamas.
Since I've had the right to vote, two presidents have energized and excited me—Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. That's not to say that I agreed with everything they did, or that there weren't times when they disappointed me. But in both cases, their candidacy and then their campaigns for re-election motivated me enough to volunteer, excited me enough to be fraught with nerves as election results came in, gave me cause for celebration, and left me sad when their terms ended.
Reading Michelle Obama's new memoir, Becoming , reminded me of those times. It also reminded me just what a fan I've been of hers since watching her and her daughters when President Obama declared his candidacy for the White House almost 12 years ago, since hearing her speak at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. I was always wowed by the sheer joy she appeared to have for the job of First Lady, despite the overwhelming amount of cruelty she and her family were subjected to throughout her husband's two terms as President.
With Becoming , she gives you a glimpse into her childhood and her relationship with her parents, which definitely impacted the way she carried herself throughout her life and how she raised her two daughters. It tells of her ambitions, her desire to help make the world a better place (one clearly shared by her husband), the challenges of marriage and motherhood, and how she dealt with her husband's political ambitions. She talks of her desire to make an impact as First Lady while at the same time ensuring her daughters' lives were as "normal" as they could possibly be, and the successes, frustrations, and disappointments she experienced.
I love the matter-of-fact way she shares her feelings and experiences, revealing emotions and fears and moments of anger, as well as the moments of sheer joy, as mother, as wife, as daughter, and as First Lady. While she certainly reveals instances when she felt she wasn't treated fairly by the media or by those unhappy with her husband (or her), this isn't a tell-all book. She is critical of those that deserve her scorn, but even when she didn't see eye to eye with people, she didn't tear them to pieces.
For the most part, the Michelle Obama you've seen at public appearances, on television shows, and in photos, is the Michelle Obama you get in Becoming . And that feels just right. This is a woman who loves her life, loves her country, and most importantly, loves her husband, her children, and her family. She doesn't overinflate her importance or her contributions as First Lady but she realizes she held a position few women have through history, and to be the first black woman to be First Lady made her a role model in the eyes of so many. It may have been a position she wasn't always comfortable with, but it is a role in which she absolutely shone.
"For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end. I became a mother, but I still have a lot to learn from and give to my children. I became a wife, but I continue to adapt to and be humbled by what it means to truly love and make a life with another person. I have become, by certain measures, a person of power, and yet there are moments when I still feel insecure or unheard. It's all a process, steps along a path. Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there's more growing to be done."
There was much to enjoy about this book, much to think about, and much to savor. And, at least for me, much to reminisce about.
See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Rating: really liked it
I honestly can't wait to read this one! Already preordered the audiobook. A full memoir about her life in her own words? Take all my money Michelle!
Release Date: Nov. 13 2018
Rating: really liked it
The audiobook is wonderful. Hearing Michelle tell her own story is better than reading her words in a book. She speaks clearly, with emotional feeling and at a perfect speed. I have given the narration performance five stars.
The writing is heartfelt, clear and well formulated.
We start at Michelle’s youth and learn about her family. The telling moves forward chronologically, concluding in 2017 when Michelle and Barack left the White House. Each chapter flows smoothly into the next, in this way making it clear to the reader why and how one decision led to the next. What you need to know to understand each decision taken is made clearly evident. There is no overload of unnecessary details, which is to say the book is properly edited. Amusing incidents are included. What I want said is that one’s attention never wanders. I listened and listened and listened and never needed a break.
This book is about Michelle. It is about what is important to her. It Is what she wants said. It is about how she has experienced being a young woman growing up in the latter half of the 20th century and life today as a woman of the 21st century. She speaks of how she views her relationship with her husband who happened to be the United States president. She brings you in close. What she says is both about being a woman of today and about what it was like being married to the president. In this way you get two different perspectives.
You learn about her reluctance and ambivalence toward Barack’s decision to seek presidency. With that overcome her involvement in his campaign follows. Always, how the family as a whole is affected, is spoken of. On election night in 2007, after the votes had been counted and it was clear Barack would be president, Barack, Michelle and their two girls drove to the celebration party, but Sasha, their youngest child, was worried because there were no other cars on the road. The roads had been cleared by the Secret Service agents, but she did not understand this. “Daddy,” she says, “I don’t think anybody is coming to your party!” I am paraphrasing. What she said was so cute; she was so upset and worried for her father!
Michelle’s eight years in the White House are of course covered too. Her trips and what she endeavored to achieve by setting up a garden on the White House grounds, her work to combat child obesity, efforts toward affordable health care, healthier foods and more physical exercise in school curriculums. You hear of their two dogs and the night when mother and daughter sneak outside to see the White House gloriously lit up in color for Gay Pride festivities. We follow with Michelle as her two children grow into young adults.
Michelle does not see herself as a political person; politics are not her prime interest. If you are looking for a book that in detail reviews Barak’s political accomplishments, you must look elsewhere. I have previously read The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick. I do not regret having read it, even if I only gave it two stars.
There is a difference between reading a biography and an autobiography. One reaps different information; one gets different perspectives, but both have value as long as one keeps in mind whose view is being presented. Michelle presents her views in a polite, thoughtful, balanced and relatively fair manner.
I have come to understand the dynamics of the Obama family, the ups and downs the family has progressed through. Look at the title—Becoming. Becoming is a process; it is a transition from one state to the next. It Is not about reaching a final destination. Becoming looks at Michelle Obama and the process by which she has become who she is. It is an apt title. Every aspect of this book is well thought out.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I hope I have clearly indicated what the book contains and what it gives and doesn’t give.
Rating: it was amazing
Becoming like Michelle Obama herself, is both eloquent and relatable. She talks about becoming her, becoming us, and finally, becoming more.
As most of us know by now, Michelle is from Chicago, grew up with loving and supportive parents, attended Princeton followed by Harvard for law school, then began her position as an associate at the prestigious law firm of Sidley Austin, where she eventually met Barack.
My favorite section of the book was by far, Becoming Us, in which Michelle describes meeting Barack and the evolvement of their relationship.
Michelle does not pretend living in the White House was not a privilege or shy away from the associated perks. She doesn’t pretend it was always amazing and wonderful either. There were plenty of tough days with the various events happening around the world. The pressure and scrutiny of trying to raise 2 daughters with some semblance of normalcy could also be taxing on the family of 4. Through it all, Michelle always remained committed to being the best mom to Sasha and Malia.
The nostalgia and longing for the former Obama reign in the White House, was, as I read this memoir, and is, still real.
The Obamas are admirable not just for their smart talents but also their continued relatability. They are genuine people who want more for their kids, for their country, and just doing their part to contribute to this goal. A tad oversimplified? Maybe, but if it’s not clear yet, I’m a huge fan.
”For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it more as a forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to continuously reach toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end. I became a mother, but I still have a lot to learn from and give to my children. I became a wife, but I continue to adapt to and be humbled by what it means to truly love and make a life with another person. I have become, by certain measures, a person of power, and yet there are still moments when I feel insecure or unheard.
It’s all a process, steps along a path. Becoming requires patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing up to be done.“
Highly recommend Becoming for fans Michelle, Barack, and the Obama administration.
Rating: it was amazing
If you like Michelle Obama, you are going to like this book. Her delightful personality shines through. It's thoughtful, well-written, and willing to go everywhere without betraying her signature line: "When they go low, we go high." This isn't a book full of gossip or meant to tear her enemies down. It's simply an uplifting look at a remarkable woman's remarkable life.
If you don't like Michelle Obama, though, you're going to write a snarky one-star review complaining that she criticizes Donald Trump, conveniently forgetting that he was among the primary architects of the false, racist claim that her husband was lying about his citizenship. She's got every right to criticize him.
Whatever, the Donald Trump stuff is a relatively small piece of this book. He gets just a couple brief mentions, really. And that's just fine. This is the first political memoir I've ever read, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable book.
Rating: it was amazing
Like many people, I eagerly read Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” as soon as it was published this week. It’s important that this book has come out now and there’s many reasons to be excited about it. I’m not only excited about it because she’s a former first lady as well as being an icon in her own right or her historic importance as the first African American First Lady who is the great great granddaughter of a slave. And not just because this book finally gives insight to her own private thoughts on things ranging from her evolving romance with Barack or the painful transition to the current presidency after they left the White House. And I’m not even excited just because I have silly fantasies about what it’d be like to be Michelle’s best friend and closest confidant and listening to the 19 hours and 3 minutes of the audio book meant Michelle was speaking about her private reflections directly into my ear. I’m excited about this book because I need a dose of wisdom and optimism in a period of time when the world seems so bleak and I feel so uncertain and frightened about my own future and the future of our society that I sometimes feel a creeping cynicism overcome me. Having just read the book I’m filled with emotion and admiration and, yes, more hope because of the striking insights and heartfelt openness of Michelle’s story.
Read my full review of Becoming by Michelle Obama on LonesomeReader
Rating: it was amazing
*Dreaming of a world where Trump doesn’t exist and Michelle Obama is President...
This was such a great read. Engrossing from the beginning, it was so interesting to hear her life story; from her childhood and the life she had before she met Barack, to the person she became with him, and to the life they built together with their children and within the Whitehouse. Their love and respect for each other is just so awe inspiring.
Although I already knew it, this book proved she was everything she portrays herself to be - strong, confident, fiercely loyal, kind, intelligent, hardworking, modest, and so down to earth. Her passion for diversity and representation for the poor, females and people of colour is so refreshing and encouraging to read. She is such a brilliant role model and an incredible person, one I hope many women, especially young girls, look up to. I know I do.
This book is definitely one for the favourites shelf!!
Rating: really liked it
I miss you and your husband so much
Rating: it was amazing
I'm not super interested in politics so I was pleased to find that Michelle Obama doesn't really like politics either. Her memoir is more about how she created her life, once she discovered she had followed other people's expectations instead of figuring out what she wanted. She is honest and open, more than I would have expected, and I liked hearing how she reconciled living with someone messy (haha), gave up her work for a while, and how she navigated the frustrating world of "optics." I listened to the audio read by the author, highly recommended.