Becoming by Michelle Obama


Honestly, Becoming was not really on my radar of “Must Reads” until I saw the number of people on the “First Book Of The Year” post that planned to read this as their first book of the year.  Seven of the ninety-nine participants had this book in their photo – far more than any other book chosen.  So.. who am I to argue with the logic of the worlds book lovers?  ;P


Michelle Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a home that was shared with her Aunt’s family as well as her own.  She and her brother Craig were raised in a loving home with parents that did not dictate their comings and goings or saddle them with curfews – they believed that you installed good habits and good examples in your home and your children will make their own decisions based on their upbringing.

It worked.  Craig, who loves sports and could open up a conversation in any room, was accepted into Princeton.  As his little sister, Michelle, followed suit taking an interest in Law and also made her way to Princeton.  Later, while working in a position at Sidley Austin in Chicago, she would meet a young attractive colleague named Barack Obama.  And the story of a journey to the White House would begin….

I listened to this book on audio while working on house projects.  The book is narrated by Michelle herself and I would highly recommend anytime you choose to read a Memoir/Biography go with audio if they are narrated (and they often are) by the author.  There is just something about the authors voice being put to their life story that takes it to the next level.

I was not disappointed with Becoming.  Michelle’s modest upbringing, her friendships, relationships, and even her struggles to fit in sometimes with an all too white-washed society was all very real.  I admit to cheering at some of the stories such as while in College a mother had her daughter removed due to Michelle’s color and I think “some day that lady can recall that she had her daughter moved away from a young girl that would someday become the First Lady.”

I found the book moving, and I enjoyed hearing of Michelle’s life as a child, to her schooling, to meeting Barack; her struggles with politics, Barack’s drive and the family struggles as it led to the decision to run for President.  To both of them I found a renewed appreciation for what they took on – come what may.

Overall – quite an enjoyable journey – one I recommend that you take as well if you have not already.  This is a delightful look into Michelle’s drive and the First Family.

Also recommended:  First Women by Kate Andersen Brower and The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower

31 thoughts on “Becoming by Michelle Obama

  1. I have Becoming on my coffee table, and I bought the hardcover for the photos, so no chance of audio. But I am reading a chapter or two a day and loving it so far.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed some interviews she had with Oprah and with Robin Roberts.

    A book that I will love and plan to look at from time to time after I’m finished. Thanks for your review.

    BTW, it’s great to see posts coming from your blog!

    1. OOH I didn’t know about the photos int he book! And yeah.. posting from the blog because with 6,000+ readers – its hard to ignore it for good book discussion. I am posting book stuff at I Guess I’m Doing This as well.

  2. This was my first book to read this year. I will agree with you about the audio because part of me wishes I had gotten that instead of the book, so I could have Michelle Obama read to me.

  3. This is in my library queue and it says 6 months! I can’t afford it otherwise.

    Since I know Mr.Obama’s former minister,I knew about “Barry’s” beginnings, but had little knowledge of hers. This promises to be worth the wait.

    *as some may know,I abandoned my First Book of the Year with great aplomb 60 pp in. It’s a disaster of a memoir I do NOT recommend

    1. LOL – disaster happen. 😛
      Have you tried audio Andrea? Forgive me if we have had this conversation. ;P I ask because if you have not tried Audible – your first audio is free with no commitment to sign up. You could then listen to this one.

  4. My wife and I are actually going to listen to this one. It will be our first audiobook. I’ve also been told that Kristen Chenowith’s book, that she narrates, is also a great audiobook.

  5. I also listened to Becoming on audio while I was reorganizing my house over the holiday weekend. I just loved it. There is something about listening to the emotion in the author’s voice as she reads her own words aloud that makes the audio version so riveting. Highly recommend.

  6. Sheila, I’m glad you enjoyed listening to Becoming. I’d like to read or listen to it as well. I think it’s great that Michelle Obama narrates her own story.

  7. I agree, Sheila. I am listening to Michelle read her audiobook at the moment. It is wonderful. What a down-to-earth, sensible girl nextdoor. She could be any one of my friends. Except she isn’t. I would have loved to have the wisdom of her mother as I was bringing up my children. I add my recommendation to yours.

  8. This sounds like a fantastic read. If only I were higher up on the waiting list for at my local library!

    Nice review, by the way.

  9. I didn’t know much about Michelle until I read this book and it was a really good, positive read for anyone, really. She had a little more opportunity than some might but her working class parents and their dedication to education is really what made the difference I think. I really loved how her voice seemed to come through, like she was standing right there telling me her story.

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