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Becoming

Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,053 ratings)
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Summary

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 United States 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 listeners 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. 

©2018 Michelle Obama (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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  • JJ
  • 15-11-18

Fascinating and compelling

An open and, I truly believe, honest account of Michelle‘s journey from her first day at school to her departure from the White House and everything in between. Her message is clear and transparent and she holds nothing back as she shares her most private thoughts, beliefs and real life experiences. Through her book, Michelle demonstrates her humanity, her normalcy and her love for people, young and old and of every race, colour and creed. Especially powerful is hearing her passion and emotions first hand as she personally narrates the text. She made me laugh and cry in equal measure and after feeling I really know so much about her now, she is officially my hero! I highly recommend this book!!!!

47 of 52 people found this review helpful

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A fantastic listen

Michelle reads her book in such a fashion that it’s hard to stop listening to. At times the power and heartfelt passion with which she reads is so moving, like she is there in person.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Epitome of grace, humility, courage, honesty and hope

This was a beautifully written / read book. I waited with anticipation when I preordered the audio was not disappointed. This was truly inspiring. As I listened, I experienced a tsunami of varying emotions...joy, laughter, pride, annoyance, hurt, I even cried at times but overall hope, love and appreciation. I was left motivated to keep going and helping others to grow too. I re played certain parts to internalise a message or ponder upon it. In some aspect, surprisingly I felt scales falling off my eyes. I am moved to not only continue to build on my own confidence, vision of my future and helping others, but also to re-examine my past...my history of MY forefathers. I am left recapping my own herstory and the reality of my path today. I felt re-energised.


I have bought the hard copy book too. I have recommended this book to all my friends and especially my daughter, sister, nieces and daughters of my friends. I would recommend the audiobook as Mrs Obama draws you in and captures you with her voice and intonations and takes you on a journey, some of which resembled my own journey and thought processes. I truly felt like I was there living each experience. It was wonderfully presented and I do not believe anyone else could have presented this book other than her.

Thank you, for allowing me into a snippet, yet important, personal and brutally honest journey of your life and your family. I continue to admire your family and having nothing but the utmost respect, love and prayers for you all. God bless, guide and protect you all always.

Your namesake,

Michelle

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Heartfelt and engaging

I was thoroughly impressed with this heartfelt and moving biography.

The book is divided into three sections: ‘Becoming Me’ describes growing up in a tight-knit working class family on Chicago’s Southside; ‘Becoming Us’ looks at her relationship with Barak Obama, from their meeting as young lawyers, their marriage and family and takes us through his political career up to the point he was elected president in 2008; ‘Becoming More’ then describes her experiences at the White House during his two terms in office.

I thought that the construction of the book was brilliant! Yes she is the wife of a former president, however this is HER book, HER story and she gives equal weight to each part, subtly showing that without the foundation her parents gave her she might not have met her husband or been the woman who would choose to marry him, and without that decision she wouldn’t have lived in the White House. Her point is made overtly and covertly, she could have been any one of a number of girls growing up in America and they could have been her.

She freely admits she doesn’t really care for politics, though she grew up in a Democrat household, so she tells events without the political colour that can easily weigh down biographies like these. Instead she often colours her descriptions of events with the little details that resonate more with the average person.

Her affection for those she loves, particularly her husband and family resonates throughout the book. She is unflinching in giving her opinion on Barak Obama’s weaknesses (timekeeping) but is a fierce proponent of what she views as his strengths. She is equally unflinching with her assessment of many others particularly Donald Trump and the Republican Party, though she is also critical of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 campaign. She speaks affectionately of George W. and Laura Bush (and notably says nothing about Meliana Trump) and humanises many individuals who seem more history than human (Queen Elizabeth II and Nelson Mandela).

One of the most powerful things that she does it to put her life and the events in it into a wider context. She is the great-granddaughter of a slave, she grew up during the decline of the Southside of Chicago and the so-called ‘white flight’ and was deeply aware of the affect it had on the community. And she reminds readers of the country and economy that her husband inherited and the very different one that he left.

All in all I thought this was a wonderfully warm and often witty book and possibly the best post-administration promotion of Barak Obama’s legacy. I’m delighted that I bought the audiobook as Michelle Obama’s narration was brilliant. She tells her story in her own words and her own voice and adds nuance that I thing would have been missing if I’d only read the written book (though I might buy that for the pictures!)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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wow

I have admired Michelle Obama for a long time and waited for the publication of this book for quite sometime. It did not disappoint.

Michelle gives women a great role model regardless of social standing, religion or colour. The book was quite inspirational and I found her narration to be warm and sincere.

At 60 years of age I have found many elements of this book struck a chord with me.

Michelle Obama is an American citizen that the country should be proud to call their own.

My only comment would be and I understand that I am a white woman and nearly a senior citizen living in the UK shires, are people of colour treated so badly in the USA that it is near impossible to thrive and have no expectation to improve their lives as a working class person of colour,

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely blown away by this memoir!

Michelle Obama beautifully recalls her life, capturing her highs, lows, struggles and triumphs in the most eloquent way. A must read for everyone, but in particular, for people of colour who will completely identify with her observations and experiences navigating this world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A must read

One of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Humble, inspiring, upretentious, educational, uplifting and romantic.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Thoughtful and thought provoking

This is a wonderful book! The words just seem to flow, willed by a powerful force of expression and self-realization. I am grateful that Michelle Obama sat down to render this account, it does not gloss over, and as such it is genuine and beautiful! A must listen!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Extraordinary

A wonderful autobiography. It is well-written and follows her amazing journey as a working class, African-American woman who ended up in the White House. She is an inspiration and I would recommend this book to anyone.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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wondedful

I loved this audiobook. A wonderful, engaging, insightful story narrated by the author herself. I couldn't wait for the next chapter and the next.....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-11-18

Worth reading again and again.

Becoming stirred up so many emotions, I found myself laughing and sometimes openingly sobbing as I listened to your story of how you and your family came , saw and conquered.

I'm so proud of you Michelle Obama,
YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!!!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-11-18

Love, Hope, Courage and Optimism

I'm living a life that can often seem devoid of all hope and justice. Each day is a battle in a larger war, not of my making. Michelle Obama, not for the first time, has reminded me in her wonderful words and powerful truth, that love and courage remain and cannot be diminished, despite the consistency of the evil behind the horrors. I have loved this extraordinary woman and her family from afar and now, for so long. Her commitment to being fully present in the world, to never stop 'becoming' ....to show and share another part of herself, is so inspiring and brings me a kind of peace, or perhaps reminds me of my own, very real, if sometimes deeply buried, peace. Thank you, dearest Mrs Obama, for stepping up and into all manner of lights and sharing your kindness, intellect, integrity, grace, humour, LOVE, beauty, dignity and dancing with us all. I know you do not wish a life in politics. However, please do not ever become invisible to us. You are so deeply loved and I do not wish to live in a world where you are not visible - in your own way and one that brings you contentment. I am English but know very well we are all connected and we impact each other in ways many never understand. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your wonderful book. Luisa de Cusac

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Onyeka Okonkwo
  • 24-11-18

Solid Autobiography

The narration is excellent.

The stories are reflective and straight to the point.

Overall, it’s a great work as expected.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joyann Waithe
  • 16-11-18

Thanks to

Thank you for this book and thank you for being FLOTUS we love you 🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marvelous Michelle
  • 14-11-18

Excellent

Loved it. Perfectly titled. i felt like Michelle was speaking directly to me, telling her story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-12-18

Becoming

Becoming is a wonderfully written book, by one of the most remarkable women who comes from a humble background & dared to believe in herself being propelled by everyone who believed in her. This is a true testimony to the old adage that a child is brought up by a village and you lived that existence in all that you stood & still stand for. When you had an opportunity to reach out to a much broader USA community, you did your best to use your position to empower others even as far as the UK. Through many of your programmes gardening, let's move & for brighter girls you brought hope & new life. Mrs. Obama, we applaud you, your husband & 2 beautiful daughters. You stand head & shoulders above many who have used a similar status for self enrichment & engrandiosment. You were all humble, hardworking & pushed the envelope at every given moment. We love your selflessness. Your reach was not only to the USA, but you reached out to the UK & worldwide. You remain a symbol of great fortitude, amazing zeal & tenacity for many African children & adults the world over. I pass our most sincere gratitude. THANK YOU, ENKOSI, SIYABONGA !!!!!! Nandi from South Africa

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  • Yin
  • 07-12-18

Heartfelt Narration

Experience marred by changes in sound quality of narrator's voice. It is as if different recordings were pieced together.

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  • PRIYA SINGH
  • 06-12-18

a possible story of you and me

I loved the book. I loved it because it felt real. it is real. not return by the first lady but a lady whose issues apprehensions , doubts and stress we can all relate too. it's story of mother a wife whose concern are similar to what we have. you can just absolutely relate to it. I like how the context is established for every expression and emotion. the books speaks of empathy in more ways than one. absolutely recommend it.

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  • Latoyah
  • 05-12-18

A must read for the young and the hopeful

Insightful, thought provoking, inspirational and funny. Mrs. Obama’s story of Becoming is a true testament that staying the course while maintaining dignity, class and faith can be rewarding.

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  • Suzanne Annenberg
  • 04-12-18

Honest, authentic and inspiring!

I loved this book and would recommend it, highly. Michelle Obama is inspirational and an exceptional human being. She is honest and authentic. She doesn’t sugar-coat anything and is unafraid to show vulnerability. Her book gives one great insight to what it must have been like to balance life as wife of the most prominent man in the free world and to raise two little girls as the US’s first daughters. This book should be compulsory reading for all women!