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4 reviews56 followers
March 15, 2019
Just to be up front, I voted for Barack in both 2008 and 2012, I’m male, not white, a naturally born citizen who generally vote Democrat. Since this book was written by a somewhat polarizing person I thought being upfront on who I am made sense in todays world of identity politics. Also, I borrowed my friends EPUB and read it on his computer which is why it doesn’t say “verified purchaser” next to my name and the references I have below is from that EPUB.

I generally respect Michelle Obama and her accomplishments but there are a few things that bother me about her and this book.

One, I got the vibe that she has some resentment towards white people, particularly white men. Sometimes she brings up race in a context that makes sense like when she is talking about how one issue effects black people more than white people or talking about history. Other times she’ll mention someone is white for no reason at all. Here are a few examples:

- Pg.1, paragraph 7.2 of the preface “working-class black student in a fancy mostly white college”
- Pg. 17, chapter 2 “I liked my teacher, a diminutive white lady”. Why does her being white matter?
- Pg. 20, chapter 2, “My friends included a girl named Rachel, whose mother was white and had a British accent”. Why did she only describe that friend with a white mother and not the race of the rest?
- Pg.44, chapter 4, “Mr. Martinez and then Mr. Bennet, both gentle and good-humored African American men.” Ok, did it matter that were black in this context?
- Pg. 71, “mostly white students” Context? History? Why did this matter?
- Pg. 74, “one of the few nonwhite”
- Pg. 74, “my two white roommates in Pyne Hall were both perfectly nice…” Again, who cares if they were white?
- Pg. 75, “Cznery was a smart and beautiful black woman”. Why not just say beautiful? Why does black matter? It didn’t matter in her description in any historic or meaningful way.
- Pg. 120, “Now that I was at Sidley and on the other side of the recruiting experience, my goal was to bring in law students who were not just smart and hard-driving but also something other than male and white.” I get it, you want to make the place more diverse. Sure. But the way she said “other than make and white” got a lot under my skin (remember I’m not white).
- Pg. 148, “He was a black, brainy superhero. He clashed regularly and fearlessly with the mostly white old-guard members of the city council and was viewed as something of a walking legend” Ok, those white people again.
- Pg. 148, “In a move many African Americans saw as a swift and demoralizing return to the old white ways of Chicago politics, voters went on to elect Richard M. Daley, the son of a previous mayor, Richard J. Daley, who was broadly considered the godfather of Chicago’s famous cronyism.” The old white guard? You mean just corrupt politicians right?
- Pg. 205, “Our counselor—Dr.Woodchurch, let’s call him—was a soft-spoken white man who’d gone to good school and always wore khakis”. Michelle, what the hell? Who cares if your counselor was white.
- Pg. 208, “The nervousness of white people”. Sigh.
- Pg. 218, “Its whiteness and maleness”. …Sigh.

I get it. She was in the minority most of the time being black and a woman and when she puts things into historical or social context it makes sense pointing these things out as it represents systematic problems in our society when it comes to race. But other times she brings up race for no real reason. Never in her book did she directly talk about an incident where she was the direct receipt of discrimination that I read. In a lot of ways she seemed pretty lucky to not be a victim of some kind of racism in her life. If she did, she never really talked about it in her book so I’m wondering why she brings up race needlessly. Especially in a somewhat resentful way. Technically she is a baby boomer so perhaps she is a product of her time? I’m not black and I was born in the 80’s and not the 60’s so perhaps I never had to see the things she saw. Still, I don’t like her subtle resentment towards white people. I hope I’m wrong about her when it comes to this.

Two, Michelle paints Barack as a super hero. I'm not joking. Every way she describes is literally perfect from being easy going and brainy, to being a huge reader, to memorizing everything to never being angry or upset or taking things seriously. I get it. Barack is cool, smart and an overall good guy. But come on, he must have some flaw (outside him smoking). Something that he did wrong, something that he truly messed up. The only thing I remember her saying about him was that he wasn't always on time and one time he blew a book deal (or missed the deadline or something) because he was busy with something else. I'm pretty sure Michelle and her husband agreed to paint him in the most perfect light ever to protect his presidency which makes me think she is being dishonest about her experience with him. Did Barack have a hand in writing this? Was Michelle censored in a way? Here are some examples of Michelle describing Barack as nothing less than perfect.

- Pg. 96. “What struck me was how assured he seemed of his own direction in life. He was oddly free from doubt,”
- “Instead lived like a sixteenth century mountain hermit, reading lofty works of literature and philosophy” pg. 97
- “Barack was serious without being self-serious. He was breezy in his manner but powerful in his mind. It was a strange, stirring combination.” Pg. 97
- “I found myself admiring Barack for both his self-assuredness and his earnest demeanor. He was refreshing, unconventional, and weirdly elegant.” Pg. 97
- “Barack bore no resemblance to the typical eager-beaver summer associate (as I myself had been two years earlier at Sidley), networking furiously and anxiously wondering whether a golden-ticket job offer was coming. He sauntered around with calm detachment, which seemed only to increase his appeal.” Pg. 99
- “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.” Pg.99
- “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. He took it all seriously, I could tell. He could be lighthearted and jokey, but he never strayed far from a larger sense of obligation. He was on some sort of quest, though he didn’t yet know where it would lead.” Pg. 101
- “Barack had a smile that seemed to stretch the whole width of his face. He was a deadly combination of smooth and reasonable.” Pg. 103
- “He had an easy rapport with everyone at the firm. He addressed all the secretaries by name and got along with everyone—from the older, stuffier lawyers to the ambitious young bucks who were now playing basketball. He’s a good person, I thought to myself, watching him pass the ball to another lawyer.” Pg. 105
- “Having sat through scores of high school and college games, I recognized a good player when I saw one, and Barack quickly passed the test. He played an athletic, artful form of basketball, his lanky body moving quickly, showing power I hadn’t before noticed. He was swift and graceful, even in his Hawaiian footwear. I stood there pretending to listen to what somebody’s perfectly nice wife was saying to me, but my eyes stayed fixed on Barack. I was struck for the first time by the spectacle of him—this strange mix-of-everything man.” Pg. 105
- “Barack intrigued me. He was not like anyone I’d dated before, mainly because he seemed so secure. He was openly affectionate. He told me I was beautiful. He made me feel good. To me, he was sort of like a unicorn—unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal. He never talked about material things, like buying a house or a car or even new shoes. His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind. He read late into the night, often long after I’d fallen asleep, plowing through history and biographies and Toni Morrison, too. He read several newspapers daily, cover to cover. He kept tabs on the latest book reviews, the American League standings, and what the South Side aldermen were up to. He could speak with equal passion about the Polish elections and which movies Roger Ebert had panned and why”. Pg. 111
- “This, I was learning, was how Barack’s mind worked. He got himself fixated on big and abstract issues, fueled by some crazy sense that he might be able to do something about them. It was new to me, I have to say. Until now, I’d hung around with good people who cared about important enough things but who were focused primarily on building their careers and providing for their families. Barack was just different. He was dialed into the day-to-day demands of his life, but at the same time, especially at night, his thoughts seemed to roam a much wider plane.” Pg. 112
- “I was gripped all over again by a sense of how special he was.” Pg.117
- “And now in Hawaii, I could see his character reflected in other small ways. His long-lasting friendships with his high school buddies showed his consistency in relationships. In his devotion to his strong-willed mother, I saw a deep respect for women and their independence. Without needing to discuss it outright, I knew he could handle a partner who had her own passions and voice.” Pg. 123
- “All this inborn confidence was admirable, of course, but honestly, try living with it. For me, coexisting with Barack’s strong sense of purpose—sleeping in the same bed with it, sitting at the breakfast table with it—was something to which I had to adjust, not because he flaunted it, exactly, but because it was so alive. In the presence of his certainty, his notion that he could make some sort of difference in the world, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit lost by comparison. His sense of purpose seemed like an unwitting challenge to my own.” Pg.131
- For better or worse, I’d fallen in love with a man with a vision who was optimistic without being naive, undaunted by conflict, and intrigued by how complicated the world was. He was strangely unintimidated by how much work there was to be done. He was dreading the thought of leaving me and the girls for long stretches, he said, but he also kept reminding me of how secure our love was. “We can handle this, right?” he said, holding my hand one night as we sat in his upstairs study and finally began to really talk about it. “We’re strong and we’re smart, and so are our kids. We’ll be just fine. We can afford this.” Pg.224

I’ll stop quoting the book at this point. There are other examples on pages 115, 123, 152, 153, 180, 184, 192, 261, 265, and 322. There are probably others that I missed. Why does this annoy me you may ask? Because it sounds made up. Insincere. As if I was reading his resume or something his press secretary came up with. Is Barack even human or does he just possess every positive characteristic known to mankind with none of the baggage? Don’t get me wrong, I liked him from the get go since 2004 and his background is impressive (president of the Harvard Law Review specifically). But the way Michelle describes him just seems so made up and one-sided it makes me question the rest of the book.

Here are some highlights about Michelle that I learned from the book (for whoever is interested):
- She told people she wanted to become a pediatrician when she was a kid because she loved being around kids and it was a pleasing answer to adults. She describes this later as always doing the correct thing.
- Her dad had MS (Multiple Sclerosis), a progressive disease that made him disabled and eventually killed him at 55. This hurt Michelle more than anything else to see her dad disabled and defeated.
- She had a very tight family and talked about anything, including her first period at the dinner table. Her brother was smart, cool and protective of her and she looked up to him. Her mom is an overwhelmingly positive force in her life.
- She smoked some pot in high school and was friends with Jessie Jacksons daughter.
- She failed the bar exam the first time around
- She very much dislikes politics
- She had a minor amount of marriage counseling with Barack, nothing serious though from what I could tell.
- She had problems bearing children and had to use intro vivo fertilization with Malia but not Sasha.
- Her kids are her top priority in life, especially when she was in the white house
- She tries to remain hopeful and never cynical though I don’t know if she is always successful.
- She graduated from Princeton then Harvard Law and started her career as a high powered lawyer however she never felt fulfillment from her job as a lawyer despite the money.

Michelle is a pretty hardworking lady (somewhat of an overachiever) with a tight schedule that she sticks too. I remember her mentioning she got up at 5am, worked out, took her kids to school then went to work then picked them up from school (this was before she first lady). Her academic background is very impressive as she graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law. I found her mothers reaction to her not being fulfilled by her work as lawyer despite the money and prestige hilarious. It is almost something a millennial would say, not a baby boomer. First world problems! Growing up lower-middle class, her mother was annoyed. But, you can’t really blame Michelle either. Her work did sound boring and unfulfilling. She wasn’t making the positive impact she wanted too.
Michelle is deeply committed to her children. I’d argue that Malia and Sasha are the most important things to her and is her top priority, especially while she was first lady. She talked about them often in her book. Motherhood suites her well. If I were to describes Michelle’s life in one word is would be “busy” and one word to describe Michelle herself would be “workaholic”. She is obviously a likable person and likes many people in return.

Bottom Line:
To be blunt, I'm not sure why this book is getting 93% 5 stars. I just finished the book and I can't say I was particularly blown away like the ratings suggest. Michelle simply talked about her life, meeting Barack and her perspective of life in the white house which sounded boring from the way she describes it. She met many heads of states, worked hard spreading her message about good nutrition and empowering women but again, nothing interesting or fun. Towards the end of the book I was pretty much skimming through the words since I lost interest in what she was saying. I probably went 20 pages before I realized it and had to go back and reread. I got some insight to who Michelle was but in the end of the day I just thought to myself "who cares?". Shrug, I just didn't see anything particularly special or interesting about this book that would make me really recommend it to anyone. The only reason I even finished the book was simply to say “yeah, I read that book”.

That being said, it isn’t a bad book either. It was well written, easy to follow and very detailed orientated. She mentioned many people’s name that she met over her life and how they influenced her. She remembered specific places, when she went there, details about those places and her experience there. I would recommend this book to anyone who had a special fascination with Michelle or first ladies in general. The book is fine. 3 out of 5 stars.

As a final note, I felt it was important that I wrote this review for two reasons. One, I depend on reviews to be fair, objective and honest. When I see a book get 500 reviews in 2 weeks with a near 95% of reviews being 5 stars on Amazon I knew something wasn’t right. 95% of people saying your book was 5 stars would mean this book should win the Pulitzer award. That means this book is amazing, a breakthrough, something that every person must read or they’ll miss out on a life experience. What if a truly amazing book is written one day? Something that is considered a classic? Something that blows the mind of society? What reviews does that book get? 99% instead of 95%? Seems stupid to me.

Two, I wanted a review that judged more the book than the author. Michelle is a classy lady no doubt, but her book really isn’t that good. I didn’t want Amazon reviews to turn into a popularity contest where men rate this book highly, women another book, liberals another books, conservatives yet another book, democrats this book, republicans that book. Identity politics really annoys me. I hate that I had to preface this review with my “identity” but I had to otherwise I just would’ve been called an angry conservative republican white man. I think we should judge a book on the book alone and not the “identity” of the author. Of course considering the popularity of this author and the fact that this was a memoir it couldn’t be completely avoided. Hopefully my bias is at a minimum.

So anyway like I said, book was fine. Not bad, not great. C+ or perhaps a B depending on how much you are interested in Mrs. Obama. Oh by the way this book has nothing to do with Trump. She rarely mentioned him or his politics outside the whole “grab them by the pussy” remark Trump made a while back. So if anyone thinks this book is some attack on Trump or Republicans I can tell you it isn’t. Any review that says it is is obviously made up.
Profile Image for Angela M .
1,309 reviews2,191 followers
November 20, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
November 17, 2018
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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Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
554 reviews60.5k followers
January 23, 2019
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.

Profile Image for Kat.
270 reviews80k followers
August 15, 2020
i’m so glad that i got the audiobook for this back and finally was able to finish all these months later!

michelle obama sharing her experience and dropping nuggets of wisdom into my ear holes for 19 hours straight was just a delightful experience :)
Profile Image for Sarah Jessica Parker.
19 reviews415k followers
December 8, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 9, 2020

Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.
Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, quickly became one of the most iconic women of the White House.

In this memoir, she reflects on what her life was like as she was raised on the South Side of Chicago and her roots in her working class family.
Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?
We learn about her college life and her career as a lawyer.

Along the way, we experience the grief she felt when she lost her father too soon.
It hurts to live after someone has died. It just does. It can hurt to walk down a hallway or open the fridge...You look at something you’d otherwise find beautiful—a purple sky at sunset or a playground full of kids—and it only somehow deepens the loss. Grief is so lonely this way.
And we get to follow along as she met Barrack Obama, a junior lawyer, and what it was like dating (and eventually marrying) the future president.

And from there, we learn what the White House is like - from the gardens to the galas, Michelle Obama walks through every aspect of juggling work, motherhood and being the First Lady.
Time, as far as my father was concerned, was a gift you gave to other people.
Oh my gosh. People. This was perfect.

This absolutely gorgeous book had me hooked from the very start.

It was beautiful, it was poignant, it made me cry in public - it had everything I could've wanted in a memoir and more.

When she talked about her love for her father, and how painful that loss was, I couldn't stop the flow of tears.. It truly got to me in the best way possible.

Also, learning about the rest of her family - her brother, parents and grandparents - really helped me understand what her childhood was like and how it shaped her into the wonderful woman she is today.

I was surprised about what she all accomplished when in the White House and I'm really shaking my head at how I missed knowing this earlier.

We were so lucky and blessed to have this woman in our White House - I honestly cannot recommend this enough.
At fifty-four, I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.
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Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews623 followers
October 28, 2019
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?”

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 .....

For me.....
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 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. 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 one point I said to myself, “they really are a fairy tale couple”
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’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!
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,315 reviews44.1k followers
January 17, 2023
Michelle Obama won spoken-word Grammy from audiobook. Cannot wait to listen from the beginning of her fantastic life journey!

OMG I couldn’t put it down! I haven’t read so many biographies or memoirs for so long but after starting that one I berated myself for procrastinating for so long to get this book into my hands.

It was fascinatingly riveting, intriguing, inspirational, powerful, moving! It’s so hard to find role models in our modern world because the appearance, faking, imitation, being artificial are the main values to find some place at the upper level. (The system pushes you kiss more ass to become a winner.)

Instead of being honorable first lady, Ms. Obama always attract attention with her fight for social issues even though how controversial, unconventional and challenging they were which made her iconic figure. She is unique. She loves greens, she loves to exercise, she loves to dance. She is different from the other first ladies we’ve been introduced throughout the centuries, isn’t she? I cannot imagine so of them dance with Jimmy Fallon at his late night show or play soccer team of James Corden.

Let’s get a closer look st the book: It is divided into 3 main chapters: “Becoming Me” is about early childhood and family life of Obama at South Side of Chicago. Not a wealthy, easy childhood and at young age she loses her father who suffered from multiple sclerosis. But also we see her ambition, success at her school years and take a close look to her education at Princeton and Harvard Universities. Then she starts to work at Sidley Austin and meets with Mr. Barack Obama.

The second part: “Becoming Us”; my favorite part of the book. Lately I read so many silly, nonsense romance books. Everything about them was extra far- fetched. But when I read something that directly captivates my heart and makes you feel for the couple, I know that I’m in the right tracks. Their love story excited me. It made me smile and sigh several times. Actually I made so many “awww” voices that my husband thought I was watching “Love Actually” for hundredth time. So yes, it was real, it melt my heart and I loved the parts about their marriage. And yes, this part also tells us Barack Obama’s political carrier and ends with the election night in 2008! Yes he was elected President of the United States.

I actually liked the story about Obamas ‘ giving up the corporate law to do something meaningful. You know they can easily pay the humongous, terrifying student loans with making an impressive amount of money by working as corporate lawyers.

And the final part is “Becoming More” tells us the first family life.

Overall: I enjoyed this memoir. It is one of my fastest, impressing, touching readings.
I loved Michelle Obama’s two quotes that really work as my life mottos which are:

“Choose people who lift you up” and “Find people who will make you better”

Thankfully I did. And I loved this book. I’d better read more memoirs.

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
November 18, 2018
"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, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
October 5, 2019
I'm surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoyed this. I was engrossed the whole time and even teared up at some parts. Even when I wasn't reading the book, I was still thinking about Michelle Obama's story. I loved that rather than a rehashed Wiki article of her successes, this was a reflective coming-of-age story that will be inspiring to so many women and people of color who are struggling to find themselves. I loved experiencing Michelle's life alongside her with all her triumphs and heartbreaks. She gives insight not only to what her experiences were like in the White House, but also why she chose certain initiatives during her time as FLOTUS, and how her childhood and upbringing added to her perspective. I especially loved that for all the success she’s had, she always brings it back to how there are so many other kids out there possible of change who just needed the right guidance and opportunities. Her perspective is valuable and very much needed. I was moved hearing her story, and very much appreciate the reminder that even in a bleak country, there are good human beings out there.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews45 followers
July 27, 2021
Becoming, Michelle Obama

Becoming is the memoir of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama published in 2018. The book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother. The book's 24 chapters (plus a preface and epilogue) are divided into three sections: Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More.

Become Me, traces Obama's early life growing up on the South Side of Chicago, through her education at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, to her early career as a lawyer at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack Obama.

Becoming Us, departs from the beginning of their romantic relationship and follows their marriage, the beginning of his political career in the Illinois State Senate. The section ends with election night in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.

Becoming More, describes their life as First Family.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «شدن»؛ «میشل اوباما شدن»؛ «خاطرات بانوی اول شدن»؛ «میشل شدن»؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و یکم ماه آوریل سال 2019میلادی؛ کتاب را بار دیگر نیز خواندم روز چهارم ماه آگوست سال 2019میلادی به پایان رسید

عنوان: میشل اوباما شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: سپیده حبیبی؛ تهران، موسسه نگارش الکترونیک کتاب، 1397؛ در 580ص؛ شابک9786008299868 موضوع: زیستنامه میشل رابینسون اوباما - 1964میلادی - همسر ریاست جمهوری ایالات متحده آمریکا - روسای جمهور، از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: علی سلامی؛ ویراستار: مهدی سجودی مقدم؛ تهران، مهراندیش؛ چاپ بیست و پنجم 1397؛ در 518ص؛ تصویر، مصور؛ عکس؛ شابک 9786006395715؛ فروست تاریخ و سیاست، 18؛ عنوان دیگر میشل اوباما شدن؛ موضوع زیستنامه میشل رابینسون اوباما - 1964میلادی - همسر ریاست جمهوری امریکا - روسای جمهور، ایالات متحده - سده 21م

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم سعید دوج؛ تهران، روزگار، 1397، در 561ص؛ شابک 9789643748869؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: فرزانه فیروزکوهی؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1397، در 460ص؛ شابک 9786004612272؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: حمیدرضا بلوچ؛ تهران، علوم آریا، 1397، در 512ص؛ شابک 9786009855773؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: علیرضا بهنام؛ تهران، سرزمین اهورایی، 1397، در 600ص؛ شابک 9786009882304؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: کابک خبیری؛ با همکاری مارال دربندی؛ تهران، انتشارات اسحق، 1397، در 400ص؛ شابک 9786008175513؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: مهری مدآبادی؛ تهران، هورمزد، 1397، در 700ص؛ شابک 9786226010610؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: سوده احمدی مقدم؛ احسان عبدالباقی؛ مشهد، سیمرغ خراسان، سایلان، 1397، در 220ص؛ شابک 9786226115308؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: مهراب حسنوند؛ تهران، آسو، 1397، در 460ص؛ شابک 9786008755616؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: موسسه ترجمیتو؛ ویراستار: نغمه علیقلی؛ تهران، تیموری، 1398، در 576ص؛ شابک 9786006629414؛

عنوان: میشل اوباما شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: کیوان سپهری؛ تهران، نحل، 1397، در 480ص؛ شابک 9786226092074؛

عنوان: میشل اوباما؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: بهناز امانی؛ تهران، ماهریس، 1397، در 295ص؛ شابک 9786009929337؛

عنوان: میشل شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: رضا اسکندری آذر؛ تهران، انتشارات خوب، 1397، در 488ص؛ شابک: 9786226513647؛

عنوان: میشل شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: سودابه قیصری؛ تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر پارسه، 1397، در 517ص؛ شابک 9786002534361؛

عنوان: شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: هاجر شکری؛ امان الله ارغوان؛ بجنورد، در قلم، 1397، در 496ص؛ شابک 9786226372077؛

عنوان: خاطرات بانوی اول شدن؛ نویسنده: میشل اوباما؛ مترجم: خدیجه صفایی؛ تهران، نشر گویا ، 1398، در 640ص؛ شابک 9786226528177؛

نقل از مقدمه: «آنگاه که بچه بودم، آرزوهایم ساده بودند، دلم میخواست یک سگ داشته باشم؛ دلم میخواست خانه ای داشته باشم، که داخلش پله باشد - دو طبقه، برای یک خانواده؛ به دلیلی نامشخص، دلم میخواست به جای یک اتومبیل «بیوک» دو در، که باعث شادی و مباهات پدرم بود، یک «استیشن واگن چهار در» داشته باشم؛ عادت داشتم به همه بگویم: وقتی بزرگ شدم، دلم میخواهد پزشک اطفال شوم؛ چون عاشق این بودم که دور و بر بچه های کوچک باشم»؛ پایان نقل از پیش درآمد

بانو «میشل رابینسون اوباما»، زاده ی سال 1964میلادی، در «شیکاگو»؛ وکیل، کنشگر اجتماعی، نویسنده، و نخستین بانوی نخست آمریکایی - آفریقایی، در تاریخ «ایالات متحده آمریکا»، هستند؛ بانو «میشل اوباما»، دانش آموخته ی دانشگاه «پرینستون»، و دارای درجه ی دکترای حقوق، از دانشگاه «هاروارد»، هستند؛ «شدن»، روایتی از زندگی شخصی، خانم «اوباما»، همسر نخستین رئیس جمهور سیاه پوست آمریکا، پیش، و پس از ورود به «کاخ سفید» است، بانوی نخست رئیس جمهور پیشین ایالت متحده ی آمریکا، در این کتاب، با سود بردن از شیوه ی روایی، و دوستانه، خوانشگر را به دنیای خویش فرامیخوانند؛ و آموخته هایی را بازگو میکنند، که سازنده ی شخصیت ایشان بوده است؛ از دوران کودکانگی (کودکیها)، در محله ی فقیرنشین «شیکاگو»، تا روزی که «بانوی نخست» ایالات متحده ی آمریکا، شدند، سخن میگویند؛ سرگذشت، و زیستنامه ی زنی، همسری، و مادری ست، که گام به گام، با دشواریهای زندگی، روبرو میشوند، و با «تلاش»، «شکیبائی»، «تدبیر»، و «ایستادگی»، چشم به آینده ای روشن، و تابناک میدوزند، و در برابر بن بستهای «طبیعی»، «اجتماعی»، و «نژادی»، هرگزی سر خم نمیکنند، و رام نمیشوند

نقل از متن: «اگر تنها یک چیز در زندگی آموخته باشم، توان سودبردن از کلام است، نهایت تلاشم ��ا کردم، که سخن راستین را بگویم، و مسائلی را بازگو کنم که دیگران همگی آنها را نادیده میگیرند»؛ یایان نقل از متن

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 19/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 04/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for  Teodora .
331 reviews1,774 followers
April 2, 2023
5/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

me: *screaming through a megaphone and a microphone* I LOVE MICHELLE OBAMA SHE’S MY PRESIDENT

I am not even American LOL but I’d still vote for Michelle at pretty much anything to be completely honest.


There is not much I could discuss this book, because everything I could possibly say lays already between the pages of it, so I would make this quick because this is the most important idea of my review: I LOVE MICHELLE OBAMA, thanks for coming to my TED Talk, have a fine day.

Becoming is the complex road Life chose for Michelle to go to and the story of how she became who she is now: a woman of integrity, loved by so many and who inspires towards kind purposes in life. Michelle is a superhero of a nation. But she is just so much more than that. She is a normal person with normal habits, dreams and aspirations, with a ludic nature and a nice sense of humour. She's a fabulous mother to her daughters, a fabulous wife and friend to her husband, a fabulous daughter to her parents.

Michelle Obama inspires. Maybe she doesn’t realise it. Or maybe she does. She talks about things that bother her, raising an alarm to the rest of the world. Talking about racism, feminism, health issues, poverty, even peace, Michelle inspires with her words because if she likes it or not, her words weigh.

I take off my hat for this incredible, real-life Wonder Woman and I take the liberty to say only this: even though I have no direct connection whatsoever with anything this woman has ever done in her life, I just feel the need to say THANK YOU MICHELLE LAVAUGHN ROBINSON OBAMA FOR EVERYTHING YOU’VE DONE FOR THIS WORLD AND THANK YOU FOR INSPIRING A NEW GENERATION! Thank you for inspiring me. I owe you one in heaven (supposing that I even get there LOL).

Profile Image for Felice Laverne.
Author 1 book3,229 followers
February 12, 2020
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.

Michelle Obama Marquee

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.

Michelle Obama Talk

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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Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
June 13, 2019
This isn’t so much a review as it is a tiny opportunity to thank the book gods for all the opportunities reading and books have given me. Getting to meet and share time with Michelle Obama was one of the craziest highlights of my professional life and speeding through this book to finish it in time will always be one of the funniest reading experiences I’ve ever had. 🙌🏼
Profile Image for Holli.
746 reviews9 followers
November 8, 2018
This book is poorly written. Only fans of M.O. could possibly like this book as it doesn't stick to facts. They are the only ones allowed to give reviews of it. I wonder what is being said about Trump books? My review has been deleted twice. Hopefully I am allowed to say this little bit.
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books76.9k followers
January 7, 2020
4,5 estrellas, solo porque hubo partes que me parecieron innecesarias (?), pero en general lo AMÉ. Le tenía miedo porque es larguísimo (el audiolibro dura 19 horas), pero conforme más avanzaba, MENOS QUERÍA QUE SE ACABARA.

Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
September 22, 2021
Whatever was coming next, this was a story we could own.
What an extraordinary and formidable undertaking it must have been, to be the one standing next to the first black President of the United States. And it was made all the more so because Michelle Obama was scrutinized and held to a bar far higher than any previous First Lady. And yet, she came through it with grace, intelligence, and humor, and in the process, inspired an entire generation of women and people of color, including me.

Becoming feels like I'm not just reading the words of one woman's incredible journey from lower middle class to being one of the most respected women of our time, but also the potential story of what could be for so many women of color. Michelle makes clear that her life was able to take its remarkable trajectory in large part due to the influence of her parents, extended family, teachers, and mentors, who all loved and invested in her through her crucial formative years.

Reading this, I'm struck by how honest and forthright she is. She is open with all the difficulties and struggles she has gone through, both public and personal. She talks about how she tries to balance her drive for a career in public service with her husband's political calling, all while raising two young children. It must have been extraordinarily challenging, yet she handled it all with enviable poise.

One of the things I most enjoyed about this book is its message of optimism and hope. She's incredibly resilient and driven, even in the face of so much opposition, criticism, and disparagement of herself and her family. She accomplished so much during her time as First Lady, and reading her words in this memoir is a true inspiration.

Michelle Obama encompasses all that I admire: authenticity, kindness, and resilience. And this book is not just a candid self-reflection, but also a hopeful call for us all that we can do better and can achieve anything we put our minds to, as long as we aren't afraid of hard work.

I'm so glad I picked up this memoir of a truly exceptional woman. There's a lot in here to digest, and I will be taking the time to think over all that I've read in the coming weeks and months. I know her words will stay with me for a long time.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
December 9, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,822 reviews12.9k followers
December 18, 2018

While I admit to being a reading fiend when it comes to politics, as some will no doubt have realised, I also find much pleasure in learning about people through biographies and memoirs. Knowing full well that I would be swept up in the wave that surrounded the recent release of Michelle Obama’s memoirs, I vowed to take some time to read them, partially to offset some of the alarming pieces about current events in DC. Obama seeks not to define herself as FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States), but rather Michelle Obama (née Robinson), taking the reader as far back as she can remember. Obama sets the stage for the reader with a solid recounting of her life on the South Side of Chicago in the late 1960s. In an era rattled by race wars, she remembers her parents forced to pinch pennies and living with relatives, while the world around them tried to come to terms with racial integration. Working hard in school and always striving to excel, Obama remembers gaining a spot at Princeton, where her older brother was already attending. There, she learned the power of community and helping others, a theme that repeats itself throughout the memoir. After leapfrogging into Harvard Law School—again, through hard work and merit—Obama was able to settle back in Chicago at a law firm. Here, she met an ever-tardy and somewhat esoteric Barrack Hussein Obama, whose basic living was something to which Michelle could relate, though they clashed considerably in their approaches to organization. Barrack and Michelle soon began a courtship that led to marriage and the introduction of politics into the equation. Barrack was a community organiser who was being touted for more, first a State Senate seat and then all the way to Congress. While Michelle was never fond of the political arena, she argues throughout the middle of the memoir about how she could never stand in the way of her husband’s ambitions. The Obamas welcomed two girls into their lives, doubling the size of their family and bringing new meaning to work ethic. Michelle struggled with this, as well as being a wife/mother while her husband was away a great deal, though the reader will see much change throughout, as the girls got older. The last great transformation for Michelle was her husband’s choice to seek the White House. If she struggled before, the campaign showed her new issues and concerns, as exhibited through a number of lenses. The Obamas worked hard and utilised their fresh message approach to reach the political pinnacle, but that was only the beginning. In wonderfully fluid narratives, Michelle Obama depicts life inside the White House and roles of the First Family, inviting the reader to explore some of her most personal thoughts as initiatives, bills, summits, and security decisions shaped America at break-neck speed. Even when the time came to leave, Michelle refused to turn off and fade into the background, arguing that there was still much life to live, as can be seen with the publication of this book. Stunning in its frankness and refusal to shrink out of sight, Michelle Obama offers readers a refreshing look at a woman’s life who was shaped by her life experiences, but refused to be defined by the man who stood beside her. Recommended for those who love memoirs, politics, coming of age, and anything uplifting, which is sure to offset much of the sludge that Washington is spewing out these days!

There have been many notable First Ladies in the last number of years, all of whom left their own marks on America. However, I can think of only one who stood out and sought to define herself independent of the role her husband brought as President of the United States. That thought came to mind before I began this book, though now that I am on the flip side, I can see that Michelle Obama was more than ‘wife of’, but rather a woman of great importance in her own regard. Michelle Obama refuses—throughout and in many scenarios—to allow herself to be defined as simply a member of a group. She is not just a woman, an African American, a mother, a First Lady. This memoir catapulted many of the views I had of Obama and helped me see the woman who sought to fight for equality years before she made headlines, who advocated for others decades before healthy snacks in schools became an initiative, and who loved life to its fullest before being thrust before the cameras. In essence, Michelle Obama became many things on her life journey, hence the aptly chosen title. As the memoir argues so effectively, there was more to the woman than being a spouse and mother, tending house while Barrack Obama rose to power. Without Michelle, there would have been no winning campaigns, but not because she stumped or smiled for the cameras. It was her passion and dedication to the kernel of the Obama family that saw these four people become firsts in many things and helped America realise its greatness. Being able to tear down walls, rather than build them; communicate passionately, rather than attack venomously, Michelle Obama forged the cornerstone of the legacy she wishes to leave the world. Let it never be forgotten that beside every decent man is a fundamentally stupendous woman and the brilliance of the words in this book give new meaning to this. When I speak of brilliance and earth-shattering aspects of this memoir, I refer not only to the wonderful prose and sound vignettes that rise from page upon page, but also the shards left to twinkle in the sunlight, as the reader notices just how many glass ceilings Michelle Obama was able to break in her life, paving the way for other women to follow her.

Kudos, Madam Obama, for one of the most enthralling memoirs I have read in a long time. I am stunned, in awe, and so happy I took the time to get to know you better. Thank you for making the world a better place by being an active part of it!

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:
Profile Image for Christy.
3,921 reviews33.1k followers
December 4, 2018
4.5 stars!!

I’ve had Becoming pre-ordered since I saw it was coming out. I was so excited to read it. Per my Amazon account, I purchased The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama in early 2007. When I read this book, I was moved and hoped this man would be president one day. When I was in my early 20’s, I volunteered for his 2008 campaign. My point is, I’ve always loved the Obamas, but I never knew much about Michelle. After reading this book, I feel like I know so much more. Her story is inspiring, fascinating, and I adore her.

If you’re going to read this book, I can’t recommend the audio book enough. Michelle herself narrates it and I always love when authors narrate their own stories. It makes them that more personal and captivating. I loved reading about her past, her family, and of course when she met Barack and their story. I could relate to some of her story and learned a lot of new things about her. This was a fantastic autobiography and I can’t recommend it enough!
Profile Image for Magali.
774 reviews33 followers
November 21, 2018
I don't know what happened but I really did not connect with Michelle Obama while reading this book. I ended up skipping a lot of paragraphs, reading through it and would have probably not ended my reading of Becoming if it had been written by any other person in the world.

I really wanted to love that book. I pre-ordered it and was waiting for it with anticipation. I like Michelle Obama, I think she is an amazing strong woman and I wanted to read why she was all that. I still believe she is an amazing strong woman, but I still don't feel like I really know why. I know how. The book was filled with details and facts and anecdotes, that's not the issue, I actually would have edited out some of it if it had been my decision, I felt it was to detailed at times.

The issue, to me, was that it felt more like a biography than an autobiography. A lot of how : facts, anecdotes, memories, but not a lot of why : analysis, opinions... Michelle Obama is a really good writer, and she tells us how she felt at times but... I don't know. Maybe it was a little to polished ? A little too clean ? Even when she talked about anger, it felt like "light anger", like okay anger. Even when she talked about marriage issues or about the death of her friend at a young age, it felt... It felt like she had a lot of distance, like she talked about someone's else life...

I now know a lot of things about Michelle Obama and her family, her friends, her husband, her daughters, her life in the White House... But it all feels more like historical facts or a very long article written about her than her own thoughts. I'm really disappointed by this, eventhough this book is still a good book, I get why people love it so much. It's just it was not what I wanted it to be.
Profile Image for emma.
1,871 reviews54.8k followers
October 30, 2019
Michelle Obama Give Me A Hug And Tell Me Everything Is Going To Be Okay 2k19.

One of my greatest wishes is for the entirety of my thought process to be narrated - if not controlled - by Michelle Obama.

But apparently that isn’t “a thing that can happen,” and “even if it was it’d be creepy and in many ways morally wrong,” and “seriously Emma how do these ideas even occur to you, it’s worrying, stop.”

So I did the next best thing and listened to this audiobook.


I don’t even LIKE audiobooks (shockingly - I like books and I like podcasts so I’m not sure what’s holding me back), and still I’m aware that the fact of the matter here is this:

If you read this instead of listening to the audiobook, you’re getting played.

Because the only thing better than reading 426 pages of Michelle Obama writing about herself is listening to 18 hours of her talking about herself.

A complete dream.

Bottom line: I could rant about my love for Michelle Obama for 426 pages, but that would be weird. (If this weren’t weird enough already.)


starting a petition for michelle obama to give me a hug

review to come / 4.5 stars


i want michelle obama to be in charge of everything, including my entire life.

however that appears to not be """possible""" so i'm going to listen to her talk for 18 hours instead
Profile Image for Stephanie L.
154 reviews106 followers
Want to read
March 5, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Brandice.
914 reviews
February 16, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Peter.
472 reviews2,557 followers
April 12, 2020
Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, is a refreshingly honest and fascinating insight into the major decisions, challenges and events in her life. This left me with even more respect and admiration for her and Barak. It provides wonderful coverage of her thinking and actions through life, from childhood to lawyer, to wife and mother, and to First Lady.

Michelle’s background in the South Shore neighbourhood in Chicago is openly chronicled to the reader and shows a person shaped by her hardworking and loving family, a father that grafted every single day at the water filtration plant, even with multiple sclerosis making it difficult to walk. The foundations of her determination and her devotion to her own family with Barak were rooted deeply during those early years. Her telling of losing family and friends is just heartbreaking, more because she goes beyond loss, and ties it to the gift of life, and life’s lessons.

After meeting Barak and establishing a loving relationship, Michelle recognised his vision and drive, which led her to question her own highly paid legal career. She would seek something that would give her a similar meaning and purpose. Something that would go well beyond the need to secure a higher and higher salary. She changed jobs, taking massive pay cuts to find that purpose and contribution to society. She worked for non-profits, City Hall, healthcare and academia, so she could make an impact where it mattered, to heal divisions and disparities.

What has inspired me most about Michelle and Barak is that they give a sense of possibility to ordinary people. A possibility that doesn’t require sacrificing everything for that single self-centred goal. We can strive for a life of balance, a balance between family and career, between self-need and freely giving, and between reality and dreams. The realm of politics is very strange and I have often held a thought that anyone determined to be in politics should be enough reason for them not to be elected. Those thoughts played on Michelle’s mind as she watched Barak become drawn into that manipulative and dishonest world. While ultimately providing all the support she could to her husband's mission, she was steadfast in keeping her focus on family needs. There are slips along the way but with careful and honest reflection, she grounds the family again and prevents the glamour of their position affecting her family values.
“I was a full-time mother and wife now, albeit a wife with a cause and a mother who wanted to guard her kids against getting swallowed by that cause.”

This book provides a unique perspective on the greatest political achievement for many decades in the US. The achievement that working-class people can further their education, their careers and their dreams to the pinnacle of ambition. What caught the imagination of the world was that Barak Obama would not only become the USA’s first black president but would disregard the supposition that only money families could achieve such a high office.

Of course, this book is inspirational, but it is also the manner in which it was achieved that inspired people worldwide. Michelle pays such heartfelt devotion and praise to her husband’s role and gives another lens on his achievements. Barak’s views came from a place of inclusion, positivity, caring, principles and hard work. Compare that with what we see today, not only in the US but globally. He also had a natural ability to engage people and inspire possibilities.
“Barack looked out at the audience and into the TV cameras, and as if kick-starting some internal engine, he just smiled and began to roll. He spoke for seventeen minutes that night, explaining who he was and where he came from.”

“The media response to Barack’s speech was hyperbolic. “I’ve just seen the first black president,” Chris Matthews declared to his fellow commentators on NBC.”

Michelle’s life as First Lady illustrates how serious she took the role and how she used it to tackle issues that were important to her, such as the families of service personnel, and the education rights for girls, while also remaining resolute in maintaining a regular family life that they would return to when the presidency terms were over. She is a lady of utmost intelligence and dignity, with a strong moral focus. Pity, she won’t ever run for President - we'll see.

I felt the book revealed more than I was expecting, however, it wasn’t a tell-all account and provided the perfect balance between factual insight and titillating gossip. The book created a captivating and enthralling story, deeply moving at times, and with a conviction to keep family and friends’ secrets private.

I listened to the audiobook version so I could take the opportunity of hearing Michelle Obama’s story in her own eloquent words. The narration feels deeply moving and personal and on the many emotional events in her life, it becomes so touching that you are totally enchanted in the little bubble that now surrounds you.

This is a book I highly recommend it and really worth reading or my preference, listening to.
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