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Becoming

Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (16,422 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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Audio better than print

Unusually, I’m certain that the audiobook is better than the hard copy would be. Maybe this is because Michelle Obama read her own life story. She writes with the same honesty and grace she demonstrated as FLOTUS. Inspiring a plethora of emotions, her story allows us to understand the source of her drive and achievements. One thing surprised me: her recurring question of “Am I good enough?” The answer is evident: she most definitely is! A must listen autobiography.

96 of 106 people found this review helpful

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Such a human story

Being from the UK I didn’t know a lot about the obamas but what I know now is that they are just like you and me. I loved hearing about Michelle’s upbringing, her successes before and during her life as First Lady and the snippets of interesting facts about life in the Whitehouse.

38 of 42 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.

109 of 123 people found this review helpful

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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!!!!

93 of 105 people found this review helpful

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Becoming - an amazing journey.

Beautifully narrated and artfully written that embodies the taste, grace and intellect Michelle demonstrates consistently.

13 of 14 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!)

33 of 37 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic, even if you're not an American

Couldn't stop listening. I was worried I wouldn't like it as I am not American and not all that interested in the nuances of US politics. But I loved it! So much more than just a political disquisition.

24 of 27 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

47 of 54 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Book!

I had thought this would be a good book before I purchased it. However, it was even better than I anticipated. Michelle Obama is a fascinating woman (her husband is pretty interesting too). The quality of the writing is high, the account of her life, riveting and her values, inspiring. Authors often let a book down by narrating it themselves when they are not cut out to do so. Narrating, as most reading this review on audible will know, is a particular skill. Thankfully, this multi-talented woman is as good at narrating as she is at so many other things. Highly recommended.

39 of 45 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful!

Michelle takes us on a walk through her intimate moments of her life. I especially loved the openness with which she talks of her connection with her African roots. An honest and open story that I feel so accurately reflects the warm, human, beautiful couple we saw on our screens.

15 of 17 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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Christo de Wit
  • 12-12-18

Amazing journey!

Michele Obama takes you on a journey that will forever widen your outlook on life!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Asania
  • 02-01-19

Loved the power of authenticity

I am recommending this book to my friends, family and young women in my life. As a Black, female South African who grew up working class, there were so many things I could relate to in Michelle’s story. This helped me process my own thoughts and feelings about my personal journey.
Thank you Michelle for your authenticity and openness.

7 of 8 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.

3 of 3 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!!!!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Sims T
  • 10-01-19

Love love love!

I laughed. I cried. It was so well done. She is such an inspiration and this was the perfect way to kick off the new year. I feel motivated and moved to become an even better person.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-19

Awesome!

It Was even better than I expected. So many topics woven together beautifully. Great Book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • J E Law
  • 29-12-18

Inspiring and compelling story

Loved this, and now not sure what to do without Michelle talking to me! Such a great listen and so inspirational. Revealing Insights into the White House years and also simply a love story. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer Doherty
  • 02-05-19

Touching, honest and inspiring!

I loved this autobiography! Michelle Obama is so honest and candid in her description of life as a First Lady and the journey supporting her husband to get into office. It’s at times laugh out loud funny and at others brought me to tears but throughout this book is inspiring and hopeful! Great read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-19

very personal and inviting.

The ease with which she opened doors leading into her life made me feel quite familiar with her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful