Reading to Learn: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama has become an international icon over the past decade, serving eight years as FLOTUS in the White House and then afterwards with her work with organizations like Reach Higher. Her memoir, Becoming, came out earlier this month and I started it immediately. Admittedly, my expectations were extremely high- she has excelled at everything from establishing her own career before meeting her husband to helping kids eat healthier to running a family in front of the world to rocking tank tops with her awesome arms. Write a book? She's done much harder things. And disappoint she did not. Becoming is one of the best books memoirs I've ever read and will definitely make my top-ten list of the year. 

Obama divides her book into three sections: Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More. The first section is on her upbringing in Chicago and her experiences at Princeton and Harvard Law School. She discusses her struggles with always trying to stick to the path she and her family expected of her, one of constant achievement. I definitely found a kindred spirit in her devotion to order and following a plan. In the next section, she covers her early marriage with Barack, as well as his quick rise in politics. She also discusses her two daughters, including her struggles with conception and managing to be a working mom. The last section detailed the Obama family's time in the White House and right after. 

I sometimes struggle with getting into memoirs, one reason being lengthy chapters on the person's youth. I was concerned with this and sort of went into the book with the attitude, "I hope the early years are fast- bring in Barack!" In fact he doesn't enter the picture for nearly 100 pages and that ended up being completely fine- Michelle alone is incredibly fascinating (of course) and she recollects her youth easily and with reflection, humor, and honesty. Once she and Obama become an item her perspective is endearing and loyal, although she isn't afraid to admit to her resentment of his time away from their family, her struggles with his need for so much alone time, and how much she despised his smoking.

If you're on the fence, get off. This book is worth every penny and every minute spent reading it. It was such a wonderful reminder of what this country used to be like and how possible it really is to bring back someone with experience, intellect, warmth and humor into the White House once again. Michelle Obama is a shining example of what a First Lady - no human being - should be like and her story is amazing from beginning to end. 


  1. Well, I WAS on the fence, actually! So thank you for your convincing review. It sounds like a really good read.

  2. Well, I WAS on the fence, actually, so thank you for your convincing review. It sounds like a really good read. (And if you could be so kind as to delete my previous comment as I forgot half of my url and had to re-comment. LOL)