Book Review: Becoming

If social media and the news are but a snapshot from a window into ones life, in the autobiography Becoming by Michelle Obama, readers are invited inside to sit and listen as one of America’s most beloved First Ladies shares stories from her life.

This was a highly anticipated book of 2018 and understandably so. Michelle Obama is the first black First Lady of the United States. During Barack’s two terms, they avoided high scandals and drama (unlike a certain 45) and went against the common stereotypes portrayed of black people in the US. The media spent a lot of time focusing on everything she wore while she handled it all with style and grace.

I’ve not read many autobiographies and don’t really have an interest to…it’s not my favourite genre but since it is a part of my 2019 Reading Challenge, I figured, why not read an interesting someone.

The book reminds of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes, and Oprah’s What I Know For Sure in that it was read by the author Michelle Obama herself, and keeps you captivated by the many stories weaved throughout it. You really learn about her foundation as a child, her family dynamics and poignant experiences that have helped shape her into the woman she is and is becoming, as she embraces this new post-presidency life.

She talked about how she and Barack met, and the early parts of their relationship both personal and professional. She shared the behind-the-scenes of how Barack ran for the presidency, and she took this new platform thrusted upon her and found her niche to contribute in a meaningful way that also didn’t overshadow anything Barack did.

I “read” this book in audiobook format and it was about 18 hours long! As a person that typically listens to usually like an hour or so per day, it felt long at times and I was on a time constraint since I could only borrow the book for 14 days. But it was worth the time.

Some gems that I got from the book:

  • Growing up is not something that stops when you turn 18, 21 or whatever age we assign certain milestones to. As I wrap up the last few months of being in my 20’s, I still have time to grow up. I still have time to be whatever it is I’m becoming and I can enjoy being who I am in this moment.
  • We are always ever-evolving. Our lives are filled with changes and transitions.
  • There truly is nothing like having a good woman have your at your side and not only having her there, but really respecting her and listening to her voice and opinion. If Michelle had said no, that historic moment January 21, 2009 would not have happened and she’d be the wife of just another senator.
  • Everything’s connected and it’s only when we look back we see the webs we’ve weaved. We cannot change the past and we don’t know the future. All we can do is make the best decision with the information we have right now. And then do that everyday. I try to remember that every time I think about how the heck I ended up in South East Asia.

So, go ahead and read this book if:

  • You like autobiography books.
  • You like Michelle Obama.
  • You’re curious about the White House experience.
  • You’re easing your way into reading books by African Americans.
  • You like to read trendy books.

If you’ve read it, what did you think? What did you learn? Share in the comment section.

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