Welcome to Reading with Rachel’s first nonfiction book review! A few years back, my parents bought me Becoming for Christmas. I completely forgot that I had this book on my bookshelf. One of my goals as a bookworm is to read more nonfiction books, and I think Michelle Obama is a perfect place to start. Michelle Obama’s biography Becoming tells the extraordinary story and journey of Obama’s life before and after becoming America’s first African American First Lady. I appreciated how the biography revealed all the significant points of her life. The section about Obama’s childhood stood out to me because she discusses her experiences as a black woman who grew up in Chicago. From a young age, Michelle is moulded by the solid family values instilled by her parents, who gave her and her brother a safe, loving environment to grow up in. As a BIPOC woman, Obama highlights the importance of working hard, being persistent, having integrity, and speaking up for herself. The hardships of racism and being a woman comes up consistently, which stood out to me and is something I could relate to as a reader. For example, Obama discusses how due to her race, she is not seen as “worthy” by her school counsellor to attend an ivy-league school and shares her experience of how difficult it was to be a BIPOC woman in a male-dominated society. Obama’s story is inspirational for young women around the world, as her story proves how important staying strong is and not being scared to speak up when you encounter injustices in your life. As someone who only knew Michelle Obama as the First Lady of America, it was shocking to hear about her struggles. Learning and reading about her life experiences made me think of her in a different light. Overall, I enjoyed reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I was unable to finish reading this book in one sitting, not because the content was not interesting but rather because of how lengthy it is.
Book Club: Food For Thoughts
- Why do you think Chicago is a significant part of Michelle’s identity?
- Were you surprised by any criticisms targeted toward Michelle during her husband’s presidency?
- What are Michelle’s opinions on Donald Trump’s presidency? Do you agree or disagree with her opinion? Why?
- What part of Michelle’s story did you find inspirational? Did you relate to her? Why or why not?
- What did you learn about Michelle and Barack’s relationship? Did anything surprise you?
- What does Michelle say about working hard? Why do you think she thinks that using your voice is important?
“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.”
On November 14th, 2022, Michelle Obama released her new book The Light We Carry. I would not be surprised if this one is as good or even better than Becoming. The moral of the story, Michelle Obama never disappoints. This book will be on my Christmas wish list this year. Will you be picking up this book? Here is the summary:
“There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much? Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.”