Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama: Book Review + 5 Thoughts

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Author: Michelle Obama

Genre: Non-fiction / Autobiography

There was so much hype around the release of this book! So it’s only fitting, it made my list of books I read in the last year! Michelle Obama is such an inspiration. Not only because of what the Obamas time in the White House meant to the American political landscape, but because she herself is such a shining personality. When she speaks, you can sense her honest, authentic self in her voice.

Book Summary

Becoming by Michelle Obama is the memoir of the former First Lady of the United States. The memoir is filled with reflection and stories from her life; starting from her childhood in the South Side of Chicago to her role as First Lady, and everything in between.

The book has three sections:

  • Becoming Me focusing on her childhood,
  • Becoming Us – focusing on her marriage with Barack Obama, and
  • Becoming More – focusing on her journey towards and time as First Lady of the United States.

The book focuses on both her successes, and disappointments, starting from her childhood, all the way through her time in the White House. Her warm, genuine, authentic self comes across as she walks us through the defining moments of her life. Her relatable story inspires the reader to take the next step, whatever it may be.

For you if…

This book is filled with stories about the successes and disappointments she encounters in her personal and private life. It feels honest and an authentic view of her life.

It an inspiring, and empowering read, filled with authentic moments, that open us up to the world of the Obamas before and during their time in the White House. At the same time, Michelle Obama tells stories from her early life, and common struggles of being a woman, making the stories relatable to the masses.

She delves into her childhood, and the experiences that forms her current self.

Not for you if…

There was a bit of a lull in the middle of the book during the Becoming Us chapter, in my opinion. The pace picked up for me after Barack Obama’s political career becomes the focus.

It’s difficult to pick out the things I didn’t like about the book.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Five Thoughts about Becoming by Michelle Obama

What you take from a book is only worth the lessons you learn.

1 – Even Michelle Obama suffered an identity crisis

I get that she is human after all, but she always comes across as such a strong, inspiring woman.

Despite her career as a successful lawyer, she questioned her work identity and how it fit into the world. This is something I can definitely relate to in my daily life!

2 – Even Michelle Obama has to deal with the sexist nature of the world

I loved how candid she was about her struggles with being a woman in the workplace, and the emotional labour that comes with being a woman, especially once she hit motherhood.

At times, she had to bite her tongue, or take over familial responsibilities, especially while Barack Obama was President. He definitely couldn’t have done this without her support!

3 – It’s not just about politics

The book focused very little on the politics of her husband’s presidency.

She is very candid about her thoughts on politics. Despite the fact that we know her from the political realm, it is enlightening to read her opinion on how she tried to use her non-political position to impact change in other ways.

In the end of the book she does admit she is not interested in running to be president of the United States.

4 – A reminder that women and men are judged differently, all the time!

Barack Obama was voted to be president, but it was Michelle Obama had to worry about public perception. Arguably, Michelle Obama had to worry about it more, from her choice in wardrobe, to what she said, as well we what their daughters wore to public events.

She writes about balancing between wearing clothes from Target to appeal to the every person, vs. designer clothes on other days , but still continue to look put together, and be criticized for those choices! Barack Obama on the other hand could the same suit and tie combination everyday, and no one would question it.

5 – She’s such a strong, inspiring woman

One of the most inspiring aspects of Michelle Obama’s public appearance is her confidence. So it is definitely interesting to read about how her insecurities, and early life have shaped her thoughts.

Overall opinion on Becoming by Michelle Obama

A brilliant book, for which I have nothing but praise!

A candid, compelling, genuine story written by an inspiring authentic woman. Highly recommended, especially if you’re a fan of Michelle Obama.

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

― Michelle Obama, Becoming

If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



  • amymayj January 23, 2020 at 8:53 AM

    I’ve never really followed politics that much and don’t know much about the Obamas but I’ve heard so many good things about this book from people with similar views so I think I’ll have to give it a try. Thank you for sharing! X

    • Anum H January 23, 2020 at 6:02 PM

      I would definitely recommend it! I didn’t think the book was too political, although it revolves around a political person.

  • Anonymous March 28, 2020 at 3:30 PM

    I’m super interested in reading this book.
    thank you for sharing.

    • Anum H April 5, 2020 at 10:22 AM

      I would highly recommend it! 🙂

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