Becoming (My thoughts on the book)

BOOK: Becoming
AUTHOR: Michelle Obama

You don’t have to share all of Michelle Obama’s political views to enjoy this book. Because, guess what? This book isn’t really political. Although she certainly shares personal stories centered around hate, mistreatment and hurt, the FOCUS of this book is how she used all of her life’s experiences to learn, grow and encourage others.

I’ve never listened to an audiobook before, but I picked-up this audio-book from my library and LOVED hearing Michelle Obama tell her own stories in her own words. On a side-note, there were SOOOOOOO many wonderful quotes to feature; but, because I had to pull-off the side of the road to make notes, I could only list a few.

My favorite things about this book was her honesty and transparency. She talked very openly about struggles in her marriage. She was so transparent about the hurt, fear and resentment that came along with having a traveling (followed by extremely successful) husband.
She also spoke about her fears in motherhood. She talked about boundaries, guilt and feeling like she couldn’t be everything to everyone.
I also LOVED getting a first-hand ‘look’ into the good and bad of politics, media and the White House.

Faith-based? No
Easy read? Yes!
Age group? Appropriate for teens and up (My kids really enjoyed listening during a 24-hour road-trip)

Netflix special (which just covers the book TOUR with a few stories from the book):


  • “Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.”
  • “I grew up with a disabled dad in a too-small house with not much money in a starting-to-fail neighborhood, and I also grew up surrounded by love and music in a diverse city in a country where an education can take you far. I had nothing or I had everything. It depends on which way you want to tell it.”
  • “I was determined to be someone who told the truth, using my voice to lift up the voiceless when I could, and to not disappear on people in need. I understood that when I showed up somewhere,” 
  • “It hurts to live after someone has died. It just does. It can hurt to walk down a hallway or open the fridge. It hurts to put on a pair of socks, to brush your teeth. Food tastes like nothing. Colors go flat. Music hurts, and so do memories. You look at something you’d otherwise find beautiful–a purple sky at sunset or a playground full of kids–and it only somehow deepens the loss. Grief is so lonely this way.”
  • “I’ve learned that it’s harder to hate up close.” 
  • “I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.” 
  • “If I were to start a file on things nobody tells you about until you’re right in the thick of them, I might begin with miscarriages. A miscarriage is lonely, painful, and demoralizing almost on a cellular level. When you have one, you will likely mistake it for a personal failure, which it is not. Or a tragedy, which, regardless of how utterly devastating it feels in the moment, it also is not. What nobody tells you is that miscarriage happens all the time, to more women than you’d ever guess, given the relative silence around it.”
  • “For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. 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.”
  • “I’ve smiled for photos with people who call my husband horrible names on national television, but still want a framed keepsake for their mantel.” 

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