Audiobook Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

by Michelle Obama

Publication date: November 13th 2018
Publisher: Penguin


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 mesmerizing 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. 

Source: Goodreads


“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.”

I have to admit, I’ve never really known much about The Obamas and I didn’t have any particular desire to read this memoir by Michelle Obama, the USA‘s former First Lady, but so many people recommended this book to me that I just had to give this a try.

The recommendations weren’t wrong. “Becoming” is a really interesting, inspiring and eloquent insight into Michelle’s life so far. I chose the audiobook as Michelle narrates it herself and I’m glad that I did as she reads with so much passion and emotion that I’m not sure I would have felt through reading the text alone.

This book helps the reader see The Obamas as real people, people with hopes, dreams, emotions and feelings, the things that we often forget those in the public eye have. Starting from her childhood, Michelle Obama tells the story of how she has come to be where she is today in three sections: Becoming Me, Becoming Us and Becoming More.

There isn’t much more for me to say other than that I found this to be a really educational read and I’ve learned a lot about Michelle Obama, her humble beginnings and her first impressions of her husband, about US politics and the election process and also about the laborious process of wanting to have a cup of tea on the balcony of The White House. I particularly enjoyed her impression of The Queen and Prince Philip!

Michelle writes and speaks with elegance, kindness and intelligence and I’m glad to have read her book. I’ve also recently watched her documentary on Netflix, which I highly recommend.

Overall rating: “Becoming” is an eloquent memoir by Michelle Obama. I enjoyed this candid look at her life so far and feel that I’ve learned a lot from listening to her stories. This was a 5 star read for me!

6 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

  1. I’m one of those who enjoy the smell, touch, turning pages of books. Becoming was my very first audible “read”, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cried, chuckled, laughed out loud, throughout. I’ve listened to it again and again, while cooking dinner, on long walks, during a road trip and on a long flight back from Europe; Her thoughtfulness, authenticity, sincerity, humanity, all incredibly palpable. The way she uplifts, celebrates and so graciously, and with such humility, takes little credit, instead, finding ways to credit to everyone else: her parents, her husband, her staff, friends.. the community she was raised in..

    Where I was furious with her hubby, and saw him as often self-absorbed, selfish, she graciously takes the fall instead – for what I thought were hubby’s glaring shortcomings.

    I came away really liking and respecting her, and having a much better understanding and real appreciation for her and for her lived experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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