Becoming

Becoming

Book - 2018
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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States 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.
Publisher: New York :, Crown,, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ♭2018
ISBN: 9781524763138
Branch Call Number: 973.932092 Obama
Characteristics: xiii, 426 pages :,illustrations (chiefly colour) ;,25 cm
Alternative Title: Becoming Michelle Obama

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d
daysleeper236
Feb 15, 2019

Powerful, insightful, heartfelt and utterly human in its honesty. This is a dazzling jewel of a memoir.

a
Ampluver88
Feb 15, 2019

I admired her before reading Becoming, and now I love her so much more!! Very well written story about her life. I recommend this to everyone. It was so interesting to read what was going on behind the scenes before, after & during so many of the moments we saw take place on the television. Loved it!!!

4
49ethyl
Feb 14, 2019

A book about hope. How the White House works from a great First Lady, Michele Obama. A book about becoming an inspired citizen. Read every chapter. Laughter, Anger, Hope, Tears is what I felt. Read it! Become!

w
writermala
Feb 13, 2019

A non-fiction book that is a page turner. Michelle Obama has done a remarkable job of keeping her memoir interesting. She starts out writing about her life in a middle class home, goes on to write as a young adult and her marriage to Barack Obama and ends with her life as a first lady. Indeed a variety of experiences. We can see her anguish when she is campaigning as for example when she is described as "a too tall, too forceful, ready to emasculate Godzilla of a political wife." Michelle Obama did her bit as a first lady by taking up the challenge of children's eating habits - she made children's diets healthier; and by encouraging young girls to reach higher and higher. She has been a tremendous motivating force and her intelligence has shined through. A wonderful read.

m
Maksiusha
Feb 09, 2019

the machine did not give the book to my mom

b
bmay01
Feb 08, 2019

Michelle Obama is such a good story teller. I felt as if I was transported to Chicago and was a fly on the wall and I could see in great detail. She paints the picture and does not apologize for who she is. I would highly recommend this book. Very interesting read about her life.

m
mmkirumira
Feb 07, 2019

I had no idea what life was before she became Mrs Obama and later First Lady. She gave us what it means to be a powerful politician and the price your family pays.It's a good book, there's a time where she narrates her dream at Whitehouse.Her dream, indicated the less invisible trust they had for Secret Service agents, yet they had to trust that they are secure and safe, the roaming assassination plots over their head daily,caused unsettlements on her. She lived in fear of her life and that of her family. Her life,is a reflection of what parents sometimes must endure to educate offsprings. Her father paid this price heavily. The book is easy to read too. Shorter chapters.

s
swheeler89
Feb 06, 2019

I relished the pages prior to her becoming first lady. Knew very little about her childhood, schooling or professional life prior to Barack. Reading this was a reminder of the American Dream and I have a new level of appreciation for both the Obamas. The book was very well written, but you're definitely reading to learn more about the public figure.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

From last paragraph in Epilogue: "In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why. ... There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become." THANK YOU FOR SHARING your intimate stories growing up in South Side of Chicago to become our forty-fourth FLOTUS. And congratulations to be voted America's most admired woman, joining your husband who was voted America's most admired man in Gallup's latest poll. Look forward to read President Obama's upcoming memoir about his presidency:

https://news.gallup.com/poll/245669/michelle-obama-ends-hillary-clinton-run-admired.aspx

Note: Validated that Michelle and Barrack indeed went to a community meeting that brought them together as depicted in the short film "Southside with You 2016."

a
awongable
Jan 31, 2019

Put Becoming on my holds list after seeing it grow to 1000+ reservations at my library, was very surprised to have gotten it right before a weeklong vacation overseas.

Michelle Obama's story of hope and courage from growing up in the South Side, where it was once more ethnically diverse to it becoming a "ghetto" as she puts it later, seeing how she stood up against norms of girls not being offered opportunities, and how her mother helped transfer her out of her 2nd grade unenthusiastic teacher helped me realize the importance of providing that extra thought in dealing with people, sometimes there might be experiences available to some, but we should try to help them create those.

The book also helped provide an insight into the secret world of the Obamas, from Michelle and Barack making sure that their children grew up with the same freedoms with as they did once growing up. From simple choices of ice cream on the front steps of a South Side apartment to choosing a school for Malia and Sasha in DC, it their ideas helped show a side that the POTUS and the FLOTUS and are just like us!

Reading it on the high speed trains through Europe, helped remind me of happier times in America, where the only biggest scandal was when Barack wore a beige suit!

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Quotes

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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”?
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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.
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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?
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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

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

There was a time, he told me, when he’d been looser, more wild. He’d spent the first twenty years of his life going by the nickname Barry. As a teen, he smoked pot in the lush volcanic foothills of Oahu. At Occidental, he rode the waning energy of the 1970s, embracing Hendrix and the Stones. … He was white and black, African and American. He was modest and lived modestly, yet knew the richness of his own mind and the world of privilege that would open up to him as a result.
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“Why would someone as smart as you do something as dumb as that?” I’d blurted on the very first day we met, watching him cap off our lunch with a smoke.
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“I think we should go out,” Barack announced one afternoon as we sat finishing a meal. “What, you and me?” I feigned shock that he even considered it a possibility. “I told you, I don’t date. And I’m your adviser. ” He gave a wry laugh. “ Like that counts for anything. You’re not my boss,” he said.

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

It took effort, he cautioned. It required mapping strategy and listening to your neighbors and building trust in communities where trust was often lacking. It meant asking people you’d never met to give you a bit of their time or a tiny piece of their paycheck. It involved being told no in a dozen or a hundred different ways before hearing the “yes” that would make all the difference.
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Who are you to be telling us what to do? But skepticism didn’t bother him, the same way long odds didn’t seem to bother him. Barack was a unicorn, after all — shaped by his unusual name, his odd heritage, his hard-to-pin-down ethnicity, his missing dad, his unique mind. He was used to having to prove himself, pretty much anywhere he went.
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The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”

j
jimg2000
Feb 05, 2019

So many of my friends judged potential mates from the outside in, focusing first on their looks and financial prospects. If it turned out the person they’d chosen wasn’t a good communicator or was uncomfortable with being vulnerable, they seemed to think time or marriage vows would fix the problem. But Barack had arrived in my life a wholly formed person.
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My mom, who’d just driven an hour to fetch me from the airport, who was letting me live rent-free in the upstairs of her house, and who would have to get herself up at dawn the next morning in order to help my disabled dad get ready for work, was hardly ready to indulge my angst about fulfillment.
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“If you’re asking me,” she said, “I say make the money first and worry about your happiness later.”

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