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The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own
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The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  790 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
**One of The Huffington Post's 27 Nonfiction Books By Women Everyone Should Read in 2017**
**One of Glamour's Best Books to Read in 2017**
**One of Bustle's 17 of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2017**
**One of BookRiot's '11 Books to Help Us Make It Through a Trump Presidency'**

Whenever I think about Michelle Obama, I think, When I grow up, I want to be just like her. I want t
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by St. Martin's Press
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Diane S ☔
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whenever I think of Michelle Obama , I picture her with her husband and two little daughters at his inauguration, about to start his first term as President. They had a elegance and grace that I admired, but what I really found exceptional was how together they seemed, as people in themselves and as a family. She has endured more criticism in the press, on Facebook and on other social media sites than any other first lady that I can remember, her looks, her figure. This book then should assure h ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 high stars. Reading The Meaning of Michelle is a lovely experience, but, oh man, it's a sad experience too. This collection of 16 essays written by a varied group of authors is a celebration of Michelle Obama. The essayists are black women, black men, white women, and others who celebrate Michelle in so many different ways -- her roots coming from Chicago's south side, her own professional accomplishments, how she took on the role of First Lady and made it her own, how she redefined and enrich ...more
Iris P
The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own

The Meaning of Michelle 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own by Veronica Chambers

I received a free advance e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

When I first heard of this book I admit that I wasn't particularly excited about it, you see, although I have a profound sense of respect and admiration for Michelle Obama, reading these days is my gate to escape politics not to eng
Angela M
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it

What a wonderful and well deserved tribute to First Lady Michelle Obama! I don't remember exactly when I became so captivated with this amazing woman . Even though I was stuck with how drop dead gorgeous she looked at the inaugural ball in 2008, I didn't take a lot of notice of who Michelle Obama really was until into President Obama's first term. At some point it became obvious to me how fortunate we are to have had this smart, elegant, down to earth woman grace the White House and our country,
Rachel León
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, read-in-2017, essays
I love Michelle Obama and I loved this tribute to her and her legacy. This essay collection includes different writers reflecting on what Michelle Obama as First Lady meant to them personally and professionally, as well as what it meant culturally. I really enjoyed it, though it also made me sad about what we've lost at the White House.
Jo Lisa
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! When I grow up I'd like to be like Michelle!
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
It really does took a while to finish this book, because it was an eBook copy. I wished I have a physical copy instead, because I have been highlighting many parts of this book that deserves to be brought to the surface.

I'm not Black, nor American. But my admiration to Michelle Obama is valid and solid.

The first half of this book consists of love letters to Michelle Obama (as pointed out by some reviews on Goodreads) but the latter half began weighting on personal experiences of these writers, a
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, biography, reviewed
When I was a very lonely, shy, friendless, ugly (braces, glasses, acne, rail-thin skinny) young white kid in grade school, two new students arrived: two black girls, Rachel and Clara W, (I don't have permission to tell this story). They were sisters, perhaps twins. I was last in the alphabet, last in line (often sitting alone in the cafeteria or often alone on a line of seats in the auditorium) last in everything with a last name starting with Z. But the teacher simply put Clara W. and Rachel W. ...more
Ije the Devourer of Books
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'When they go low, we go high.'

I love and admire Michelle Obama. She is a magnificent First Lady and has taken the role and made it her own with dignity, grace and a deep intelligence.

All of these essays reflect that. Each is a very personal reflection from a range of authors, some of whom have never met the First Lady, but who have been deeply touched by her life in some way. I think it is this personal touch that makes this volume of essays so beautiful. Each if them testifies to the way Miche
Reading in Black & White
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
15 essays...15 unique point of views...All of them perfectly describe how Mrs. Obama has broken the mold and stereotype to become a champion for us and probably our most favorite member of the dynamic Obama duo. Full review to come!
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
"The Meaning of Michelle" is a collection of essays on First Lady Michelle Obama. The essays in this book discuss race, class, marriage, creativity, fashion, fitness, womanhood and what it means to be American today. Some are very well written, others less so. But all in all, this was an interesting look into the effect Michelle Obama has had on our consciousness.

Michelle is an American Icon, not just because she is First Lady, but because she has redefined womanhood for American women. She is
Kayle Barnes
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Did I give this book five stars for the subject matter or its innate merits?Who knows.

I loved reading about Michelle Obama's influence and place in several writers' (including some new to me!) lives and learning more about and from FLOTUS.

Highly recommend for those reading for self-care and those still grappling with a post-Obama presidency.
Harriett Milnes
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-books
What a great book! The 16 writers mentioned in the title are a varied group, and include a couple of men. Powerful, confidence building. Every time it mentioned a speech or an appearance on TV, I looked it up on You Tube.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Many Facets of Michelle Obama

Like the majority of the globe, I've been enchanted by the Obamas since they arrived on the national stage and have greeted the end of the Obama era with sadness, anger, and a deep respect for the President and the First Family. Watching Michelle Obama find her voice on the national and then international stage has been wondrous to behold, and as a historian of American history, I am well aware that what the Obamas together created and achieved is a once in a gen
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
"More than two decades ago, Darlene Clark Hine, a historian of Black women at Northwestern University, wrote about the ways that race women had perfected a culture of dissemblance, a strategy of moving through social space in which black women gave the appearance of openness, while holding their most private, innermost thoughts, desires and lives in abeyance from public consumption. Michelle Obama's path to dissemblance has been fraught with struggle."
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
Ugh, Michelle Obama, we didn't deserve you. 😭

I'd been looking forward to reading this book for months and I finally got my hands on a library copy. I enjoyed reading most of these essays. A majority of them were written by black women, bringing an important perspective to the conversation and voices we need more of in general. A few of the essays were a miss for me (Marcus Samuelsson's was probably my least favorite—it seemed so out of place and felt like it was just about him rather than Obama)
Kathy McC
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating variety of ideas.
Liz VanDerwerken
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Long live Michelle. ❤ ...more
Julia Coney
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books-read
Veronica and the other essayists capture what so many women feel when they think of Michelle Obama.
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A bittersweet love letter to the outgoing FLOTUS.

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for discussions of racism and misogyny.)

Barack and Michelle Obama served this country for two terms as President and First Lady of the United States of America. Imagine that. America shaped in the image of a black man—with a black woman by his side. Even after eight years of watching them daily in the press, the fact that the most powerful man in the w
The CurvyJones
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It was a nice read, a collection of essays in which 16 different author tell they inspiration and meaning of Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama-wife, mother, lawyer, first lady, woman.
In no particular order I see her as all of these things at once and sometimes as just one, and at all times as inspiration.

It was nice to read how and what she means the other people. It has NOT change mine opinion about her, I already liked her.

Maybe to me she was and is more then just first lady( I am not an Ameri
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
From 2008 through 2017 Michelle Obama became an American icon. Not only by being FLOTUS, but because she somehow redefined womanhood for American women of all races and colors. The essays between these pages discuss how Michelle Obama affected the collective American and international consciousness on American women. Particularly American women of color. All these essays deliver a unique view on how Michelle's position has affected the writer. Essays on race, class, marriage, art, food, fashion, ...more
Emilio Amaro
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall this collection of essays about Michelle Obama is great and wonderful........but there are two writers who I can't help but point out how terrible they were for this collection. Both of them, instead of writing about Michelle Obama seemed to get high off the aroma of their own farts while patting themselves on the back.

Cathi Hanauer- She actually starts her essay but stating "The truth is, I don't know much about Michelle Obama." Boy does that show. As if her mediocre writing isn't painf
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I'd probably rate this a 2 or 2.5, but being a bit more generous because of the subject matter. I think Michelle Obama deserves lots of thought and good writing, and I look forward to seeing more of it.

These essays are informational and mostly, not personal enough to demonstrate what we feel losing her as our First Lady. They fall a bit flat and seem superficial. A couple of them shone, though, and the book opens up with them.

Benilde Little's Michelle in High Cotton discusses how she relates t
Lindor Joelle
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and my main complaint is that I wish it had been longer. The reflections from most of the contributors matched my own feelings regarding what "Aunty" Michelle's tenure as FLOTUS meant. Roxanne Gay's essay was one of my faves. If I could pick and choose Michelle's next steps, I'd also choose to have her get involved in highlighting the emotional well-being of black girls and women. It's an oft-overlooked topic that will probably gain more publicity soon. Michelle has always s ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I definitely give 5 stars for Michelle! The book is maybe more like 4, but personally I needed it right now!

I really enjoyed reading this collection of essays by so many voices I admire. There was one or maybe two chapters towards the middle I could have skipped. I could also see that maybe there are a few moments that feel repetitive, but I could read about her all day and she’s so important so I embrace it.

Parts felt conversational, some moments felt obvious, some really blew me
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Provided by NetGalley for an honest review

This is a brilliant anthology. The essays are diverse and insightful. A few are better than the others and all of them revolve around Michelle Obama.

Most of these essays are written by Black people and I write that this way because that's the way they are referred to in each of the essays. Their take is from the Black perspective and a lot of it will resonate with anyone who has grown up in a western country but is a minority. Straddling the two worlds i
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
The first half of the book was a love letter. The essays do put to words what so many feel about Michelle Obama, especially black women. Some essays were a little off mark - I thought Cathi Hanauer and Marcus Samuelson's essays were self-aggrandizing. (More so Hanauer, her essay could have been left out all together. At least Samuelson cooked at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave). The end of the books get real because they deal with race and issues with great attention and consideration - Sarah Le
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
I really enjoyed this book. It is a short anthropology on the life of Michelle Obama's pre-entry/entry into politics as the wife of a politician. The course of the book is 16 essays from a wide range of people, but in this you get to truly understand the brilliance, intellect, and truth that Michelle has embodied since Princeton. It's not often you get Michelle without Obama, but that's precisely why I enjoyed this book. As much as I love both Obamas' it was Michelle that I never really knew abo ...more
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Veronica Chambers is a prolific author, best known for her critically acclaimed memoir, Mama’s Girl, which has been course adopted by hundreds of high schools and colleges throughout the country. The New Yorker called Mama’s Girl “a troubling testament to grit and mother love… one of the finest and most evenhanded in the genre in recent years.” Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, Ms. Chambers' ...more
“It seemed like there was no shortage of things for us to talk about: it was like we were, in dialogue, reading a book that had no chapters and no end. There seemed to be no place to break. We walked each other back and forth until our mothers threatened to take a switch to our behinds. In this very literal way, I came to think of a homegirl as someone with whom the soul conversation is so deep and so stirring that you keep walking each other home.” 1 likes
“Whenever I think about Michelle Obama, I think, “When I grow up, I want to be just like her.” I want to be that intelligent, confident, and comfortable in my own skin.” 0 likes
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