Our first book club read of the year! This was one of those rare times we didn’t have to vote on what book would be our next pick, because as soon as someone suggested it we all jumped in to say we all wanted to read it! A unanimous decision is always a joy, and was a good sign for the discussions we’d have about it!
I’d also love if you told me your favourite memoirs/biographies in the comments below this post! 🙂
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 mesmerising 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.
Blurb from Penguin Books Australia.
What. An. Inspiring. Woman!
I had heard amazing things about this book, so I didn’t go into it with the scepticism some others had that it would still be pushing a specific agenda or idealising Barack Obama and their political stance in any way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely naive, but I was refreshed at how honest and open Michelle seemed to be in this. Another lady in our Book Club actually listened to the audiobook of this, and where some people in the group thought she may have forgiven Barack of some errors, it sounds like her voice in the audiobook tells a slightly different story, which is more how I read it as well!
Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.
It’s kind of crazy how many roles and personalities Michelle has had to juggle and transform between in her life. From her fairly humble family beginnings, managing life with a sick father who stubbornly refused to see doctors for his worsening condition, through her college years as a smart woman having to work twice as hard as her more privileged peers, moving in to a law firm and meeting Barack, and finishing up with the campaign trails that culminated in a life at the White House (and beyond).
It’s incredibly interesting to read about the intricacies of White House life and American Politics, both topics I’m not too proud to admit I have little knowledge on. I think that along with most of the world, I was elated when Obama was elected and understandably crushed when he was succeeded by the man we now call POTUS, but reading it all from Michelle’s perspective made it a bit more real, a bit more inspiring, and a bit more heartbreaking. I was reading this on my way to work one day, and as I got to the front door of our office I reached the point where Trump was elected President. Honest to god it put me in such a bad mood for the morning, even though the actual event occurred like 2 years prior. I take this as a sign both of my still-present disbelief that it happened, and my emotional investment in Michelle’s story in Becoming.
Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.
There are dozens of sentences and passages I’ve highlighted on my kindle for this book, and I can honestly say that I think this is my read of the year so far in that I feel I learnt a lot from it, and took a bunch of sentiments away from it to carry through my life. Michelle writes so passionately about life as a sibling, a daughter, a mother, and a wife, it’s almost impossible to not endeared her. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it, and even if you don’t love it quite as much as I did, you’d be hard pressed to not at least like it a little 😉
Verdict: Definitely worth a read, it’s such an emotional and interesting memoir. Be warned though, it may come with feelings of inadequacy in your own life 😛
Page Length: 448
Do you read celebrity memoirs or biographies? What are some of your favourites?