Emily May's Reviews > Becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obama
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it was amazing
bookshelves: memoirs-or-bios, nonfiction, 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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Quotes Emily May Liked

Michelle Obama
“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
Michelle Obama, Becoming


Reading Progress

October 11, 2018 – Shelved
November 13, 2018 – Started Reading
November 16, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 114 (114 new)


message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Oh, hope it is good. I so admire her. :)


Emily May Laura wrote: "Oh, hope it is good. I so admire her. :)"

She seems like such a kind, intelligent person. I miss her and Barack so much :'( My MIL got tickets to her tour for tonight, too, so I'm so excited to hear her speak about her experiences!


message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura Neat that you will get to hear her. Yes, we don't miss the water until the well runs dry, and boy has it run dry.


message 4: by Wendy-Lynn (new) - added it

Wendy-Lynn Great review Emily! I so love the Obamas and feel that she has always been an inspiration to women. I agree with Laura as the well definitely has run dry.


Sarah Great review! I am about 4 hours into the audiobook of this one so far and I'm loving it. She really is an incredible woman.


Magali I pre-bought it, which I don't do often and can't wait to be able to actually read it.


Elyse  Walters Amen amen amen!!!!!
Bless you! Thank you!
Beautiful review!!!!


Meredith I am more than halfway through the audiobook, and I’m so in love.


message 9: by (new)

Lé I'd like to read it! But I saw that the audiobook is 19 hours long........ :-(


Emily May Lé wrote: "I'd like to read it! But I saw that the audiobook is 19 hours long........ :-("

That's odd... why is it so long? I read the physical book but it didn't seem that much longer than average o.O


Sarah Lé wrote: "I'd like to read it! But I saw that the audiobook is 19 hours long........ :-("

I'm listening to it at 1.25 speed, which doesn't sound super fast at all, so it will only take...oh, 15.2 hours. Still a very long audiobook! But so far listening to it is a great experience, so I don't think I will mind spending 15+ hours with Michelle Obama's voice!


PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps I could listen to Michelle’s soothing voice forever. 19 hours feels like a long hug. I’m listening in 1/2 hr or hour doses.


message 13: by Kat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kat Great review Emily! I’m a huge fan of the Obama’s, and what they represent and how they carry themselves. I’ll be sure to add this to my list.


message 14: by Alexis (new) - added it

Alexis Rogers-Esparcia Awesome review!


message 15: by Elizabeth (new) - added it

Elizabeth Damn, this review made me cry


Naisha Sharma a very beautiful and emotional review . i read it almost 10 times.


Naisha Sharma i can't wait for the next review


message 18: by Maisie halton (new)

Maisie halton i can't wait


message 19: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate Ellis Great review. Heading to Amazon straight away.


message 20: by Sitthichok (new) - added it

Sitthichok Arsa I want to read it.


message 21: by Maisie halton (new)

Maisie halton Me sa me


message 22: by Meredith (new) - added it

Meredith Welp. Now I’ll have to go and read it. I love Michelle (and her family) so much!


HarryPotterEatsPie Thank you so much for this review!!! I've been scrolling through the reviews for weeks and there's been people dissing her and Mr. Obama. I almost lost hope until I read that review


♡Meme♡Reads love♡ Beautiful review!


message 25: by Maisie halton (new)

Maisie halton Beautiful review everyone even mine


Mandy Lé, you might already know this, but a lot of audio apps offer the ability to adjust the rate of speech.

On occasion you get a narrator that reads at a far slower (or faster) pace than the reader desires.


Bari Dzomba 65% through and it’s fantastic. 1.75 narration speed still allows for enjoyable listening.


message 28: by Mlearnard (new) - added it

Mlearnard Great review! Thank you.


message 29: by E.R. (new) - rated it 5 stars

E.R. Joy Beautifully written and well thought out post......I went through a lot of emotions listening to this book on Audible. How human she always has been and asking the questions like "Am I good enough and what is my purpose?" I have those thoughts and when she did not want "apperances" with her colleagues. Do not want to spoil it but every person needs to read this. I used to be one of those staunch Republicans but over the past few years I have changed my thinking.....good, bad, or indifferent.... it has helped me see what is in the real world. Yes, the book is not about politics but about a beautiful black girl who overcame a lot of obstacles.


Suzi Reads Great review . I’m currently reading it and love it .


Chris Great summary! I actually happy cry every time I watch Michelle Obama's Carpool Karaoke video--to see a First Lady be *that* friggin' cool! So far this book hasn't hit me that way (130 pages in), but this review may have the effect of "triggering' me. lol "Becoming" is quite simply wonderful book on so many levels.


message 32: by Josayhey (new) - added it

Josayhey I was also at the Forum, and she was ....sensational. I can’t wait to read this!


message 33: by Theresa (new) - added it

Theresa under the friends section i know that i have shared books i am wondering if anyone has ever received any or is this section just a waste of space?


message 34: by Asri Mayasari (new)

Asri Mayasari I am not American, do you guys think it's still an enjoyable book for non American? Thanks.


Emily May Asri wrote: "I am not American, do you guys think it's still an enjoyable book for non American? Thanks."

I'm not American either and I loved it :) I'd say an interest in Michelle Obama makes it more enjoyable, but even without that, it's just a compelling memoir about how a poor girl became one of the most powerful women in the world.


message 36: by Asri Mayasari (new)

Asri Mayasari Thank you, Emily!


Kathy Taylor I’m listening to this book. It’s fantastic that Michelle Obama is reading it because it adds to the authenticity of the book even more. It’s beautifully written. I sure wish I’d had her as a friend to confide in, to discuss the big topic items one has throughout life. She is the real McCoy. Genuine. Intelligent. Caring. So thoughtful. Brought up in a family that was well grounded. Yes, the word “inspirational” has been mentioned before, but it’s just such an appropriate, accurate term. Very enjoyable. I look forward to listening to more of it every time I can.


message 38: by Elaine (new) - added it

Elaine I enjoyed reading your review.I would say the better word instead of “inspiration” would be trailblazer. She is the new precedent of what a First Lady should be. I loved her from the moment when Barack Obama quoted her saying, “we raise our children so they won’t need us anymore.” Brilliant! I am very excited to read her book, also I am American.


Isabel (Sab The Book Eater) I just finished listening to the Audible audio and I feel like a friend left me the moment it ended.


message 40: by Lynda (new) - added it

Lynda Marks I loved the book. I have always admired Michelle but even more so now. I love the way she lives and respects Barack and her girls. I just like the respect she shows everyone. I admire the restraint she has when she would like to bash someone who deserves it. She is a true lady.


Te'Keya Growe wow , I don’t even need to write a review on here now because you took the thoughts completely out of my brain .


message 42: by Jaanav (new)

Jaanav Hi. My 10 year old wants to read it. Is it ok? Age wise?


Alexis What a great review. Thank you.


Howard Pavane Thanks Emily May for such an excellent review. I am listening to Becoming by Audible narrated by the author. Michelle is not only intellectually stimulating, honest, and intelligent. Her memoir is conversational, descriptive, and natural. I began by reading the book, however I felt something missing. I didn’t have the time to read the book as quickly as I wanted. So, I started listening to her memoir and I’m glad I did. She is a natural speaker, and I feel as if I am having a conversation with a close friend. Now I listen when I drive, or waiting at a doctor’s office, or even at home.


Linda Bargas Jaanav — Usually I don’t read reviews before reading the book, and especially not during, but I’m only halfway through. This one breaks the mold in so many ways. I have yet to come across anything a 10 year old should not read. (In fact, I wish more young ones would read it. It truly is inspirational.) I’ll try to remember to update my thought about that when I’m finished.


shelley taylor I had to get a hand held copy for my library. Absolutely, enjoyed reading her story. Laughed some and cried some, but entirely enjoyed the journey.


Madison Weisman Jaanav, I just finished this (as an audiobook which I highly recommend) this is definitely fit for a 10 year old, content wise. I wish I’d had it at that age!


Naisha Sharma i guess i have the right to say this that you are my idol ........... i love you so much...........your books are great your reviews are great and everything you do is great .


Shannon An honest and inspiring read. Full of self reflection and inspiration. An amazing journey by an ordinary woman who did extraordinary things. Thank you Michelle, for all you did and continue to do to keep America at its best!


message 50: by Rita (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rita One of my best reads for 2018. I don’t write reviews but I just want to urge people to read this book. I know it has helped me feel less angst and more hopeful for our country.


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