Becoming

Becoming

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY * OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK * NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER * ONE OF ESSENCE 'S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS

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]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781524763138
1524763136
Branch Call Number: 920.72097 OBA
Characteristics: xiii, 426 pages :,illustrations (chiefly colour).

Opinion

From Library Staff

Ranked #4 in the Books category. Also available in large print, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

Guest Nancy Sheng also got to help introduce former First Lady Michelle Obama at an event in Edmonton when she was promoting her memoir Becoming. Also available as an eBook, downloadable audiobook, and audiobook CD.

The best-selling memoir from the former First Lady, from growing up in Chicago to leaving the White House at the end of President Obama's second term.

It was no surprise to anyone that the memoir of beloved former First Lady Michelle Obama was a runaway bestseller, with the book selling millions of copies in mere weeks! Reflecting on her roots growing up in Chicago, to her time as a working mother and to her role at the most famous address in t... Read More »


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i
iloveseaotters
Oct 22, 2020

As much as I love Michelle Obama, I wasn't that interested in reading this book. However, from the very first word, she had me completely engrossed. I felt like she was sitting across from me telling me about her childhood and about how she became to be not only the First Lady, but also the wonderful person that she is. I admired her before, but as someone else stated in their review, reading this book made me love her even more. Although I have never met her (and probably never will), I feel like she has become a friend.
She writes with such passion and honesty and I'm sure that a lot of her experiences were hard for to write. One passage that really resonated with me begins: "It hurts to love after someone has died." I lost my husband 22 months ago, and it was nice to know that someone "gets it".
Michelle's story made me laugh, cry and wish I was friends with her. My favorite part of the book was her story of meeting President Obama. In that aspect, this book is a very sweet love story. It was nice to see a different side of him, which makes him "human". On another personal note, he was and will always be my favorite President which is why I loved this book so much.
I'm sure there is a lot more I could say about this book, but I will say this; with the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I didn't really finish it. Honestly, a small percentage of it was a little boring and toward the end I found myself skimming the chapters. But I stand by my review; it's an excellent book and an insight to someone I admire even more for having read it. Actually it made me want to read more autobiographies (both political and not), and perhaps write my own.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Oct 07, 2020

Have you ever wondered what books from the 21st century will become “classics”? Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, might be a contender. Michelle’s story embodies the many adversities that modern women and minorities are facing whilst showcasing the expanding roles and jurisdiction that women and people of colour have in society. In the Book, Michelle recounts her turbulent journey from a low-income family in the South Side of Chicago to the White House. Despite Michelle’s extraordinary accomplishments, many of her aspects of her story will likely mirror your own. Like many of us, Michelle dreamed of university, a successful career and parenthood. She had arguments with friends, struggled to find her own identity and purpose, and most importantly, liked cheese sandwiches. Michelle’s words provide extensive insight into the lasting effects of racism, the power of education and they encourage readers to drive positive change. I certainly reaped the benefits of reading Becoming; after reading the book, I felt more informed on race and gender inequality, and more importantly, I had gained a strong female role model. Michelle’s story is one that should not only be read by young women, but by all seeking to better understand our society. 5/5 stars
@ReadingGOAT of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

y
yanglidilys
Sep 22, 2020

16 CDs for an audiobook! It took me and my boyfriend to Milwaukee in Wisconsin, twice to Carmel in Indiana, one road trip to New York, and a day trip to Lexington to finish the entire book! She "witnessed" our relationship developed during pandemic. My boyfriend is planning to propose (I guess). Could it be the restaurant in Chicago where Barack proposed to Michelle?

g
ghkidlib
Sep 04, 2020

Loved this! I listened to the book on CD which she narrates herself, which adds a whole other dimension to her story. I’m an even bigger fan now than I was before. Highly recommended!

ChinesaR_KCMO Aug 31, 2020

In her autobiography, Michelle Obama offers a unique perspective on what it is like to live under the constant scrutiny that comes with living in The White House. She details her early life in Chicago's South Side, her life at Princeton and Harvard, and her time at a law firm where she met a young man named Barack. She speaks frankly about the struggles of living in the spotlight, of how her desire to support her spouse clashed with her dislike of politics. Free of the scrutiny of being the current First Lady, she lets free her true opinions on the people she worked alongside and the issues she faced. I definitely recommend this book to anyone.

k
KaedonC
Aug 07, 2020

Becoming is a Nonfiction book by Michelle Obama about her childhood all the way until her time in the white house. I was surprised that MIchelle met Barack Obama working at a law firm called Sidley Austin. What I found inspiring is that Michelle Obama grew up in the south side of chicago, known to have high crime rates. She then went from the southside of chicago and went all the way to Harvard; a very prestigious law school. I enjoyed this book and would recommend this book to middle schoolers interested in Michelle Obama's life. I found this story inspiring as I want to get into law when I grow up. I feel a new sense of respect towards the Obama's

c
corinnamayer72
Jul 31, 2020

A memorable read worthy of sharing and discussion. The words of Mrs. Obama are especially relevant and meaningful in this election year!

IndyPL_DeborahM Jul 20, 2020

This is a thought provoking book. It is very inspirational, detailed, and personal with an insightful view of Ms. Obama's life as First Lady plus life in the White House. It is a must read.

v
ValinOR14
Jul 16, 2020

I'm so happy to have read Becoming. I loved every moment of it, at times feeling very emotional and at others laughing out loud! There was so much I didn't know, like Michelle deciding she would NEVER be interested in Barack romantically when he lit that first cigarette! And then Barack's belief that marriage was pretty much unnecessary - leading right up to the moment of his hilarious (yet romantic) proposal. I loved reading about how Michelle and Barack balanced each other out: the meticulous, punctual planner and Mr. Laid Back.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and bring them back to the White House. They did so much good for this country as they strived to unite the Red and the Blue. What Michelle Obama did for children is something I will never forget. And what President Obama managed to accomplish, even though he was fought every step of the way by the Republicans, was truly inspiring. There were so many positives, which are now being undone just because President Barack was the one who accomplished them. There were parts that made me very angry, like when I read about Mitch McConnell vowing to do everything in his power to make sure Barack was a one-term president. It boggles my mind. Where does that hatred come from??

Michelle Obama's mantra is "You belong. You matter. I think highly of you," and I love that so much. That made it even more difficult for her to hear Trump vowing to build a wall to keep the Mexican "rapists" out of the USA.

Like President Obama says: "You may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as is should be." Wildly different from Mr. "I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything."

Ending on a positive note, the background involving living in the White House was utterly fascinating and sometimes funny. (Who knew the president and first family had to pay for their own food ... and TP?)

I highly, highly recommend this book to one and all!

j
jvelez_0
Jul 08, 2020

Conversational in both tone and content, Michelle Obama's Becoming is a memoir that was mesmerizing, heartbreaking, and highly informative; it was a read that delved deep into the former first lady's life. I really loved hearing her thoughts and reflections on key events in her life. Mrs. Obama exudes a wisdom so seldom seen. I listened to the audiobook and I was struck by how easily I was absorbed by her voice and how captivating she can make her life stories. I especially loved how she recounted her courtship with Mr. Obama, namely her highly unusual proposal. I also thought it did a great job of illuminating her inner most private thoughts during one of the most impactful presidencies our country has ever experienced.

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Quotes

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c
cknightkc
Jun 23, 2019

“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result.” - p. 43

c
cknightkc
Jun 23, 2019

“Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?” - p. 118

c
cknightkc
Jun 23, 2019

“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.” - p. 419

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.
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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.
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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.
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Kids found one another based not on the color of their skin but on who was outside and ready to play.
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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.
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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.
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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. ”
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Her goal was to push us out into the world. “I’m not raising babies,” she’d tell us. “I’m raising adults.”
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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To me, he was sort of like a unicorn — unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal.
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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.
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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.
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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

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sfrancis2006
Nov 26, 2019

sfrancis2006 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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manish_pmp
Jul 16, 2019

manish_pmp thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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