Becoming

Becoming

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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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, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.
Publisher: New York :, Crown,, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781524763138
Characteristics: xiii, 426 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 25 cm
Summary: 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, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.

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c
creativegirly123
Mar 25, 2020

This book is captivating and inspiring to its core. It gives us a broader vision of Michelle Obama and Barack Obama for the society in general and how passionate they were about the work that they did. She talks about every sphere of her life -the core family values, the society she was raised in, the friendships she had with different people in different phases and how much they taught her.She talks about the insecurities and self doubt she often found herself in when doing great things which she knew would have an impact on her life and everybody else's life. An amazing story to own and tell to encourage young people especially first generation college goers to be confident of themselves and to dream big and work with a bigger purpose in life. Honestly there are no other books i can relate this to as it was so personal. I loved it and recommend it because of how raw it was.

j
Jyclibrary
Mar 15, 2020

Thought it was pretty superficial

liljables Mar 03, 2020

I don’t think I have to explain who Michelle Obama is, right? I will tell you that Michelle Robinson was born and raised in Chicago, grew up in a small apartment rented from relatives along with her older brother, and worked her ass off to get into Princeton, followed by Harvard Law. She went on to practice law at a prestigious firm in Chicago, which is where she met a young man with a funny name. I won’t reveal any more, but I will say that Becoming takes you all the way from Michelle’s early childhood to the end of her tenure as First Lady, with many twists along the way.

I will freely admit that of this book’s three sections (Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More), Becoming Me was my favourite by a mile. Obama writes about her childhood with such fondness and warmth, while painting an honest, not always flattering picture of what the South Side of Chicago would have been like for a young black girl. She acknowledges often how lucky she was in every step of her schooling and early career - to find the right mentors, who introduced her to the right opportunities, which set her on the path to success. Many of the programs Obama later established were specifically designed to help the kids who didn’t get those lucky breaks, no matter how hard working they (and their parents) might be.

The third section, Becoming More, was fun to read in that voyeuristic, peeking-behind-the-curtain way - this part of the book spans the Obamas’ two terms in the White House. It was really just the middle section, the narrative of Michelle and Barack’s relationship pre-presidency, that didn’t grip me as much, but I understand that it was necessary to the narrative as a whole.

Overall, Becoming is well-written and highly readable - I’d happily pick another book by Michelle Obama should she write one!

c
CCrumley60
Feb 26, 2020

Read Feb 2020. A very “down to earth” family concerned with future generations.

WOW, WHAT A WOMAN! Extremely well written and easy enjoyable reading . Don't even need to say 'Highly recommend' as I had to wait ages to borrow it and there is still a long wait list. In my own commmunity Michelle's book is very well spoken about by those who have read it and others wanting to read it, envious of those who already have. Michelle Obamas family are a true gift to this world.

d
dklund
Jan 24, 2020

'BECOMING' - what an beautiful, inspiring, intelligent, hopeful book. The Obama's ARE 'The American Family'. Every time we hear them speak, or see them on TV, we always think 'they are just like us' - what great friends or neighbors they would be (other than secret service hanging around). America owes them a lot. Only Barack could have pulled us from the brink of another terrible Depression and set us on a 10 year steady growth trend.
Thoughtful and Respectful - just what we expect in a Pres and his family.

c
Clib91199
Jan 20, 2020

I love Micheal Obama!

j
jzimmer
Jan 19, 2020

Loved listening to the audiobook read by the author while traveling. I had no idea she was such a good author. I usually hate anything political but could totally relate to her as a woman and mother trying to juggle it all. Highly recommend.

l
lewis771
Jan 18, 2020

Lawyer, 1st Lady and wife of the 44th President.

LPL_JillM Jan 13, 2020

I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version of "Becoming." Michelle Obama is the reader, and it is wonderful to listen to this book in her voice with her inflections and emphases. The fascinating story of a fascinating person of integrity. I enjoyed learning about her past and how it formed who she became and what was important to her. This book was so good, I looked forward to my commute!

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Quotes

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c
cknightkc
Jun 23, 2019

“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result.” - p. 43

c
cknightkc
Jun 23, 2019

“Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?” - p. 118

c
cknightkc
Jun 23, 2019

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” - p. 419

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

Many quotes in goodreads already, likely includes many below:

I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most — is it “angry” or “black” or “woman”?
===
Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.
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Everything that mattered was within a five-block radius — my grandparents and cousins, the church on the corner where we were not quite regulars at Sunday school, the gas station where my mother sometimes sent me to pick up a pack of Newport’s, and the liquor store, which also sold Wonder bread, penny candy, and gallons of milk.
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Robbie and Terry were older. They grew up in a different era, with different concerns. They’d seen things our parents hadn’t — things that Craig and I, in our raucous childishness, couldn’t begin to guess.
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He was devoted to his car, a bronze - colored two - door Buick Electra 225, which he referred to with pride as “the Deuce and a Quarter.”

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

If you’d had a head start at home, you were rewarded for it at school, deemed “bright” or “gifted,” which in turn only compounded your confidence. The advantages aggregated quickly.
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Kids found one another based not on the color of their skin but on who was outside and ready to play.
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In 1950, fifteen years before my parents moved to South Shore, the neighborhood had been 96 percent white. By the time I’d leave for college in 1981, it would be about 96 percent black.
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If my mother were somebody different, she might have done the polite thing and said, “Just go and do your best.” But she knew the difference. She knew the difference between whining and actual distress.
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Their anger over it can manifest itself as unruliness. It’s hardly their fault. They aren’t “bad kids.” They’re just trying to survive bad circumstances

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

For the next nine years, knowing that I’d earned it, I made myself a fat peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast each morning and consumed not a single egg.
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My grandfather, born in 1912, was the grandson of slaves, the son of a millworker, and the oldest of what would be ten children in his family. A quick-witted and intelligent kid, he’d been nicknamed “the Professor” and set his sights early on the idea of someday going to college. But not only was he black and from a poor family, he also came of age during the Great Depression.
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If you wanted to work as an electrician (or as a steelworker, carpenter, or plumber, for that matter) on any of the big job sites in Chicago, you needed a union card. And if you were black, the overwhelming odds were that you weren’t going …
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Speaking a certain way — the “white” way, as some would have it — was perceived as a betrayal, as being uppity, as somehow denying our culture.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.
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I tore through the lessons, quietly keeping tabs on where I stood among my peers as we charted our progress from long division to pre-algebra, from writing single paragraphs to turning in full research papers. For me, it was like a game. And as with any game, like most any kid, I was happiest when I was ahead.
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Advice, when she offered it, tended to be of the hard-boiled and pragmatic variety. “You don’t have to like your teacher,” she told me one day after I came home spewing complaints. “But that woman’s got the kind of math in her head that you need in yours. Focus on that and ignore the rest. ”
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Her goal was to push us out into the world. “I’m not raising babies,” she’d tell us. “I’m raising adults.”
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We weren’t going to “hang out” or “take a walk.” We were going to make out. And we were both all for it.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

I was caught up in the lonely thrill of being a teenager now, convinced that the adults around me had never been there themselves.
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Was she picturing herself on a tropical island somewhere? With a different kind of man, or in a different kind of house, or with a corner office instead of kids? I don’t know, and I suppose I could ask my mother, who is now in her eighties, but I don’t think it matters.
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If you’ve never passed a winter in Chicago, let me describe it: You can live for a hundred straight days beneath an iron-gray sky that claps itself like a lid over the city. Frigid, biting winds blow in off the lake. Snow falls in dozens of ways, in heavy overnight dumps and daytime, sideways squalls, in demoralizing sloppy sleet and fairy-tale billows of fluff. There’s ice, usually, lots of it, that shellacs the sidewalks and windshields that then need to be scrapped.
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I hadn’t needed to show her anything. I was only showing myself.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

I hoped that someday my feelings for a man would knock me sideways, that I’d get swept into the upending, tsunami-like rush that seemed to power all the best love stories.
===
I’d been raised on the bedrock of football, basketball, and baseball, but it turned out that East Coast prep schoolers did more. Lacrosse was a thing. Field hockey was a thing. Squash, even, was a thing. For a kid from the South Side, it could be a little dizzying. “You row crew?” What does that even mean?
===
It was hardly a straight meritocracy. There were the athletes, for example. There were the legacy kids, whose fathers and grandfathers had been Tigers or whose families had funded the building of a dorm or a library.
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If in high school I’d felt as if I were representing my neighborhood, now at Princeton I was representing my race.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

In my experience, you put a suit on any half-intelligent black man and white people tended to go bonkers.
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To me, he was sort of like a unicorn — unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal.
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Compared with my own lockstep march toward success, the direct arrow shot of my trajectory from Princeton to Harvard to my desk on the forty-seventh floor, Barack’s path was an improvisational zigzag through disparate worlds.
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He was in law school, he explained, because grassroots organizing had shown him that meaningful societal change required not just the work of the people on the ground but stronger policies and governmental action as well.
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There was no arguing with the fact that even with his challenged sense of style, Barack was a catch. He was good-looking, poised, and successful. He was athletic, interesting, and kind. What more could anyone want? I sailed into the bar, certain I was doing everyone a favor — him and all the ladies

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sfrancis2006
Nov 26, 2019

sfrancis2006 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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manish_pmp
Jul 16, 2019

manish_pmp thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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