Becoming by Michelle Obama
Published by Crown on November 13th, 2018
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir
“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.”
Even though I read this last year, I’m posting this review now because I’m going to see Michelle Obama speak at an event in a couple of days. I’m very excited!
This had to be one of the most anticipated books of last year. The hype around it was unbelievable. People were touting this as the best memoir they’d ever read, they were gushing over it on every major news outlet, and of course, it had Oprah’s stamp of approval. And we all know that Oprah is a religion. As Liz Lemon once said, “I pretty much just do whatever Oprah tells me to.”
To be honest, I don’t know much about the Obamas. I definitely followed American politics closely (and still do because how can you avoid it?) when Obama was the President. But other than that, I didn’t know much about their personal lives or what they went through before being thrust into the political spotlight.
I have to say that the hype is real. Everybody who tells you to read this book — including me — isn’t lying. It’s a stunning memoir that humanizes people that we’ve seen on television or through the lens of a really nice DSLR.
Despite what you may think because of who she is, this book isn’t about politics. Of course, she touches upon the political experiences that her family went through before her husband was elected, during the two terms, and after.
It’s really a shame that people won’t pick up this book because of political differences. But this is truly a memoir about a woman’s life. She goes into great detail about her childhood and what it was like to grow up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago. She discusses her career, her marriage, motherhood, and how it was a struggle to maintain what she knew and loved after being thrown into a crazy and terrifying position.
This book was inspirational. Michelle Obama is a force to be reckoned with.
I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book. She’s been to the top schools in the world, she’s had her own very successful career, and yet she remains the same girl she was growing up. She’s intelligent, but never throws that in your face. She says what she means without flowery language and big words.
Her advice and learnings never come across as preachy. She tells you what happened to her and in so many situations, I wish I had her strength to get through whatever she was dealing with.
This book shows that everybody is human. Even the people who seem to live the most glamorous lives. Becoming really humanized Michelle and her husband. From the get-go, you could see how much compassion and empathy they both have for others. It’s hard not to read the book and compare it to the leadership that’s in power right now.
I also loved learning little tidbits about life in the White House. I had no idea some of the inner workings of what her job entailed as FLOTUS. I especially enjoyed reading exactly what was going through her mind during key events. I won’t get into it, but when she talked about feeling horrified after a TV interview with her family, I felt for her.
And how can you not take away the fact that Michelle and Barack are the dream team? They are a partnership. I thought I loved the two of them before, but I love their relationship even more after learning more about them.
I truly don’t think there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book.