Becoming

Becoming

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
66
35
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States 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.
Publisher: New York : Crown, ©2018
ISBN: 9781524763138
Characteristics: xiii, 426 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations (some colour), portraits (some colour) ;,25 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
k
Kelliroberts
May 18, 2019

Too much like a school book.

t
timewellspent
May 14, 2019

Every paragraph was well written and interesting, Thoroughly enjoyed Michelle Obama’s book. She is also an excellent “voice” for women regarding the struggles we encounter in life and on how to succeed. She shares on her life before and during her years in the Whitehouse.

c
cannotbeheard
May 09, 2019

This book was fantastic. I would definitely recommend it! It was fun being able to have a behind-the-scenes look at what it would be like going through finding out you would be married to a man running for President. It was interesting to be able to hear about her emotions as their family waited to find out the results of the elections. Hearing her talk about how thoughtful and kind Barrack is but also how neither of them are perfect. She gave 8 years of service to our country in the most elegant and wonderful way. I can't describe the joy this family, this woman especially, brings me.

JCLBetM May 09, 2019

Fascinating, honest, and compassionate glimpse behind the curtain of politics, as well as a clearer view of the current state of the US. Started slow for me, but then I realized it was so conversational (audiobook read by author) that if I listened in typical hangout chunks (1-2 hours here and there) I could fully appreciate her stories.

h
Hypatya
May 01, 2019

If you liked fairy tale stories as a child you will love this book.
Everything is perfect about this woman: her looks, her family, her straight A grades, her hubby, her kids, her dog, her homes.

As much as love it that a woman like her made it to the top in her profession and personally, I would have liked a bit of a human element you know, wabi-sabi, imperfection. It is hard to get inspired when there is none of that.

Put it down after page 20. I can't believe how long I waited for a book that left too much to be desired.

p
publicenemy46
May 01, 2019

The book I thought was okay nothing scandalous seem to have happened in life. She a straight by the book person. And there's nothing wrong about that.

m
MikeHanafin
Apr 28, 2019

It’s a long read (425 pages), and there’s a lot for her to say in an accomplished life (before and after Barack). She is careful about how to say it...sometimes too careful, usually just right, to keep her class and dignity intact while many others around her lacked it. Michelle Robinson was going to be an important contributor to society before she met Barack Obama, but likely no-one outside of Chicago would have known it. Instead she got swept into the tornado of politics while trying to raise two small children—she makes it pretty clear she distrusted politics before, and despised politics (and most media) after--especially you-know-who: “I’ll never forgive him” (for all the racist “birther” stuff).
What really struck me in the book was how much of a “team” that family was and is. That was the only way they could survive with their sanity, considering the barriers they had to break, and the abuse they had to take. Lots of lessons from this book.

s
seanreinhart
Apr 21, 2019

Like the woman herself, this memoir is likeable, accessible, smart, insightful, humble and confident in perfect balance. The most interesting facet of the book’s first pages for me was her story of growing up watching her father’s advancing multiple sclerosis. Watch for her subtle yet skillful descriptions of the coping mechanisms employed by each of her family members to adapt to the stark yet slow-motion debilitation of the patriarch’s physical mobility. A landmark memoir about a singular icon for our age. 📖👍

k
klimekk
Apr 15, 2019

from the book:
"Hamilton touched me because it reflected the kind of history I'd lived myself. It told a story about America that allowed diversity in. I thought about this afterwards: So many of us go through life with our stories hidden, feeling ashamed or afraid when our whole truth doesn't liveup to some established ideal. [...] That is, until someone dares to start telling that story differently"
for some reasons I think - if she got it in mind also by writing her book - she failed.
Or maybe she put a message, which I am not quite understand or was unable to catch.
Anyway - I am big fan of Obama, but his message to Americans : in order to get America higher - you have to start work on themselves - unfortunately also failed. It is not his fault, but also you have to understand that this kind of changes has to be clear and precise and has to be implemented for long period. There is maybe why Trump now succeed.
Anyway - good to refresh memory how Obama handled challenges US experience during his presidency, especially that now doesn't look like is handling them at all.

l
lbsk
Apr 13, 2019

I have to start my review by saying I don’t like political books, neither the right or the left. They are too preachy and intolerant of others opinions. But this book was not political. It was marvelous. It was very well written telling the tales of growing up poor in dollars and rich in love, and the difficulty in being judged by what you wear, the color of your nail polish, where you go, and your facial expressions. It’s a tale of love for both her mother, her husband and her children and trying to navigate the very difficult public life into which she was thrown. Thank you Michelle Obama.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote
j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

Many quotes in goodreads already, likely includes many below:

I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most — is it “angry” or “black” or “woman”?
===
Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.
===
Everything that mattered was within a five-block radius — my grandparents and cousins, the church on the corner where we were not quite regulars at Sunday school, the gas station where my mother sometimes sent me to pick up a pack of Newport’s, and the liquor store, which also sold Wonder bread, penny candy, and gallons of milk.
===
Robbie and Terry were older. They grew up in a different era, with different concerns. They’d seen things our parents hadn’t — things that Craig and I, in our raucous childishness, couldn’t begin to guess.
===
He was devoted to his car, a bronze - colored two - door Buick Electra 225, which he referred to with pride as “the Deuce and a Quarter.”

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

If you’d had a head start at home, you were rewarded for it at school, deemed “bright” or “gifted,” which in turn only compounded your confidence. The advantages aggregated quickly.
===
Kids found one another based not on the color of their skin but on who was outside and ready to play.
===
In 1950, fifteen years before my parents moved to South Shore, the neighborhood had been 96 percent white. By the time I’d leave for college in 1981, it would be about 96 percent black.
===
If my mother were somebody different, she might have done the polite thing and said, “Just go and do your best.” But she knew the difference. She knew the difference between whining and actual distress.
===

Their anger over it can manifest itself as unruliness. It’s hardly their fault. They aren’t “bad kids.” They’re just trying to survive bad circumstances

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

For the next nine years, knowing that I’d earned it, I made myself a fat peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast each morning and consumed not a single egg.
===
My grandfather, born in 1912, was the grandson of slaves, the son of a millworker, and the oldest of what would be ten children in his family. A quick-witted and intelligent kid, he’d been nicknamed “the Professor” and set his sights early on the idea of someday going to college. But not only was he black and from a poor family, he also came of age during the Great Depression.
===
If you wanted to work as an electrician (or as a steelworker, carpenter, or plumber, for that matter) on any of the big job sites in Chicago, you needed a union card. And if you were black, the overwhelming odds were that you weren’t going …
===
Speaking a certain way — the “white” way, as some would have it — was perceived as a betrayal, as being uppity, as somehow denying our culture.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.
===
I tore through the lessons, quietly keeping tabs on where I stood among my peers as we charted our progress from long division to pre-algebra, from writing single paragraphs to turning in full research papers. For me, it was like a game. And as with any game, like most any kid, I was happiest when I was ahead.
===
Advice, when she offered it, tended to be of the hard-boiled and pragmatic variety. “You don’t have to like your teacher,” she told me one day after I came home spewing complaints. “But that woman’s got the kind of math in her head that you need in yours. Focus on that and ignore the rest. ”
===
Her goal was to push us out into the world. “I’m not raising babies,” she’d tell us. “I’m raising adults.”
===
We weren’t going to “hang out” or “take a walk.” We were going to make out. And we were both all for it.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

I was caught up in the lonely thrill of being a teenager now, convinced that the adults around me had never been there themselves.
===
Was she picturing herself on a tropical island somewhere? With a different kind of man, or in a different kind of house, or with a corner office instead of kids? I don’t know, and I suppose I could ask my mother, who is now in her eighties, but I don’t think it matters.
===

If you’ve never passed a winter in Chicago, let me describe it: You can live for a hundred straight days beneath an iron-gray sky that claps itself like a lid over the city. Frigid, biting winds blow in off the lake. Snow falls in dozens of ways, in heavy overnight dumps and daytime, sideways squalls, in demoralizing sloppy sleet and fairy-tale billows of fluff. There’s ice, usually, lots of it, that shellacs the sidewalks and windshields that then need to be scrapped.
===
I hadn’t needed to show her anything. I was only showing myself.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

I hoped that someday my feelings for a man would knock me sideways, that I’d get swept into the upending, tsunami-like rush that seemed to power all the best love stories.
===
I’d been raised on the bedrock of football, basketball, and baseball, but it turned out that East Coast prep schoolers did more. Lacrosse was a thing. Field hockey was a thing. Squash, even, was a thing. For a kid from the South Side, it could be a little dizzying. “You row crew?” What does that even mean?
===
It was hardly a straight meritocracy. There were the athletes, for example. There were the legacy kids, whose fathers and grandfathers had been Tigers or whose families had funded the building of a dorm or a library.
===
If in high school I’d felt as if I were representing my neighborhood, now at Princeton I was representing my race.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

In my experience, you put a suit on any half-intelligent black man and white people tended to go bonkers.
===
To me, he was sort of like a unicorn — unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal.
===
Compared with my own lockstep march toward success, the direct arrow shot of my trajectory from Princeton to Harvard to my desk on the forty-seventh floor, Barack’s path was an improvisational zigzag through disparate worlds.
===
He was in law school, he explained, because grassroots organizing had shown him that meaningful societal change required not just the work of the people on the ground but stronger policies and governmental action as well.
===
There was no arguing with the fact that even with his challenged sense of style, Barack was a catch. He was good-looking, poised, and successful. He was athletic, interesting, and kind. What more could anyone want? I sailed into the bar, certain I was doing everyone a favor — him and all the ladies

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

There was a time, he told me, when he’d been looser, more wild. He’d spent the first twenty years of his life going by the nickname Barry. As a teen, he smoked pot in the lush volcanic foothills of Oahu. At Occidental, he rode the waning energy of the 1970s, embracing Hendrix and the Stones. … He was white and black, African and American. He was modest and lived modestly, yet knew the richness of his own mind and the world of privilege that would open up to him as a result.
===

“Why would someone as smart as you do something as dumb as that?” I’d blurted on the very first day we met, watching him cap off our lunch with a smoke.
===
“I think we should go out,” Barack announced one afternoon as we sat finishing a meal. “What, you and me?” I feigned shock that he even considered it a possibility. “I told you, I don’t date. And I’m your adviser. ” He gave a wry laugh. “ Like that counts for anything. You’re not my boss,” he said.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

It took effort, he cautioned. It required mapping strategy and listening to your neighbors and building trust in communities where trust was often lacking. It meant asking people you’d never met to give you a bit of their time or a tiny piece of their paycheck. It involved being told no in a dozen or a hundred different ways before hearing the “yes” that would make all the difference.
===

Who are you to be telling us what to do? But skepticism didn’t bother him, the same way long odds didn’t seem to bother him. Barack was a unicorn, after all — shaped by his unusual name, his odd heritage, his hard-to-pin-down ethnicity, his missing dad, his unique mind. He was used to having to prove himself, pretty much anywhere he went.
===
The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

So many of my friends judged potential mates from the outside in, focusing first on their looks and financial prospects. If it turned out the person they’d chosen wasn’t a good communicator or was uncomfortable with being vulnerable, they seemed to think time or marriage vows would fix the problem. But Barack had arrived in my life a wholly formed person.
===
My mom, who’d just driven an hour to fetch me from the airport, who was letting me live rent-free in the upstairs of her house, and who would have to get herself up at dawn the next morning in order to help my disabled dad get ready for work, was hardly ready to indulge my angst about fulfillment.
===
“If you’re asking me,” she said, “I say make the money first and worry about your happiness later.”

View All Quotes

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Library

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top