Play Book Tag discussion

Becoming
This topic is about Becoming
36 views
Archive: Other Books > Becoming by Michelle Obama--5 stars + ♥

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Nicole R (last edited Dec 06, 2018 09:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Becoming by Michelle Obama
5 stars + ♥

Let me be clear from the start: this review will mainly consist of me gushing over how much I love Michelle Obama. It is hard to separate the book from the woman because, well, it is an autobiography so obviously the things I admire about her in her public life are the same traits that endear me to her written story.

Y’all, I love Michelle Obama. She is smart, driven, talented, compassionate, well spoken, and a role model. And those traits exude from every page of this autobiography (it is more than a memoir as it covers he entire life, though not with equal page-length dedication). Her passion for kids, social equality, and her family literally brought tears to my eyes at times.

Nothing in here is going to be particularly shocking, but I learned a lot about her. Especially her childhood. I knew she was from the South Side of Chicago, but did not know much about her parents or how she was raised. She also is honest about her marriage to Barack. About their struggles when they had two young kids that they were balancing with Barack’s state political career, especially given their two very different approaches to life.

Her descriptions of the Obama Family’s time in the White House was enlightening, particularly the descriptions of security that it was obvious she found stifling, but it countered her very real concern for the safety of her family. She details the programs she launched in the White House, including how she developed them, who helped with them, and their successes. She talks about being constantly scrutinized and judged, and how she went through many emotions related to that. She talked about the extra weight she felt as the first black family to occupy the white house, and what that meant for the greater society as a whole.

And look, I agree with Michelle’s platform whether it is related to education or health care or social issues. So reading this was constant reaffirmation of what I already believe. She is not in your face about her political/social stances and she frames them as her believes as opposed to what everyone should believe, but if you do not agree with her then you may enjoy the book less.

Finally, the oft-repeated question: is this a political book? Honestly, not really. A large portion of this book was about Michelle’s childhood and family, growing up on the South Side of Chicago. She talks about college and law school and her early years at a large Chicago firm. The theme that permeates the majority of this part is her commitment to equal opportunities for the less economically fortunate and people of color (two segments that often overlap).

Of course, she documents her dating Barack and their lives together, which involves his political career. So, she talks about politics in terms of what it was like to be married to someone who runs for office and serves at both the state and federal levels. She talks about her role in the campaigning process and even more about her roll as First Lady. But she says very little that I would call politically charged.

Now that doesn’t mean that there are no political statements at all. She does talk about how Republicans blocked some of Barack’s proposed bills, how Republicans crafted talking points from some of her gaffs, etc. And, she holds few punches when expressing that she is upset that Trump was elected president, though she does not personally attack him but she does comment on his political stance and things he said publicly. She really gets heated when talking about his role in the Birther Movement against Barack because it led to threats against her family. Again, I share most of her views, so this was just a “mmm-hmmm” kind of moment.

Icing on the cake? She narrates this herself. Be still my heart.

The bottom line is that Michelle Obama is a role model. Dare I say that she is an icon. She talks throughout about how she is constantly “becoming.” Becoming a better person, becoming a person who knows herself better, becoming a different type of career woman. Becoming a wife and a mother. Becoming the version of herself today and what she hopes to become in the future.

So, I am left with one final question: How do I “become” Michelle Obama?!?


Booknblues | 6496 comments I love the title Becoming. I love that it shows that we each are always in the process of becoming and I can't wait to see what Michelle Obama does next.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Booknblues wrote: "I love the title Becoming. I love that it shows that we each are always in the process of becoming and I can't wait to see what Michelle Obama does next."

I also loved that part! As someone who is coming up to a cross roads in my life where I am going to become a lawyer when I have previously been a scientist (and before that a policy person) that message really resonated with me.

And, as someone who has changed professions and geographic home bases many times over the years, it was also very calming to not think of being a lawyer as my permanent state, but the NEXT state as I continue on becoming.


Booknblues | 6496 comments It is a perfect idea for you.

But I think for all of us. I am planning on transitioning to retirement within a year and wondering what that will mean for me.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Booknblues wrote: "It is a perfect idea for you.

But I think for all of us. I am planning on transitioning to retirement within a year and wondering what that will mean for me."


Retirement sounds like a great transition! Hopefully becoming a more relaxed, less busy, and more read-y person! lol


message 6: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8091 comments Nicole R wrote: "Becoming by Michelle Obama
5 stars + ♥

Let me be clear from the start: this review will mainly consist of me gushing over how much I love Michelle Obama. It is har..."


I am absolutely on #teammichelle-I had the pleasure of working on Barrack's first campaign and was able to see her speak-all the things you said about her in the second paragraph are absolutely authentic!


Theresa | 7822 comments I've got this in my TBR pile -- will probably read early next year. When her promo tour has died down and I am missing seeing and hearing her! It's like a really special treat that I want to savor for a while before devouring.

Becoming is something we do throughout our lives. We are never 'finished'. Even once you become a lawyer, you continue becoming --- a partner in the firm, the expert in a certain area of law, a mentor, owner of your own firm, the list goes on.

I see Michelle as a reluctant politician - her husband's career trajectory forced her into politics, in truth. She had her stumbles and fumbles but she adapted and even embraced it with grace and smarts. There is much each of us can learn from that. Isn't it what so many women of the previous generation did as the wife of a CEO, expected to entertain and otherwise help her spouse meet his CEO social obligations? In some ways I'm still astounded that our First Lady -- and even the wife of our VP -- is expected to put aside her own professional career and achievements because her husband has been elected President or Vice-President. Much of Corporate America has moved away from having expectations of what a CEO's wife is as 2 career families have become the norm. But politics is still stuck in the 50s, in spite of many of the barriers that have been torn down.


message 8: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2614 comments I wonder if that situation will change when the US gets its first woman President, Theresa? ;)


Theresa | 7822 comments KateNZ wrote: "I wonder if that situation will change when the US gets its first woman President, Theresa? ;)"

Lord I hope so! And that I am still alive to see it.


Booknblues | 6496 comments Theresa wrote: "KateNZ wrote: "I wonder if that situation will change when the US gets its first woman President, Theresa? ;)"

Lord I hope so! And that I am still alive to see it."


Ditto!


message 11: by Joi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3830 comments Great review!! I also <3 Michelle, and am impatiently waiting (and probably will be for the next 6 months) for the overdrive of this audiobook.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments My library list is super long as well! I totally used an Audible credit on it! I couldn’t wait.


Booknblues | 6496 comments Nicole R wrote: "My library list is super long as well! I totally used an Audible credit on it! I couldn’t wait."
I used an audible credit as well, I rarely listen to books but thought it would be worth it to hear Michelle and it was.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I am so glad you loved this book! It was wonderful. She is a classy lady, and honestly, I love how much she does not like politics. I also learned so much of her childhood that I did not know. Her parents were kind and loving. And the woman has so much drive. It was inspirational for me — a wonderful review.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments She is so inspirational, isn't she?! She makes me want to work harder and smarter and be better!


message 16: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1219 comments I used an audible credit, too. I’m hoping I can get my hubby to listen with me, since he’s also a Michelle fan.


Theresa | 7822 comments Tracy wrote: "I used an audible credit, too. I’m hoping I can get my hubby to listen with me, since he’s also a Michelle fan."


So did I. I rarely like listening to audiobooks, but this one seems a must have. Of course I have it in print too.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Becoming (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Michelle Obama (other topics)