Book numero uno of my makeshift “book club” through Instagram and blogging! I’m sad to admit that this is actually the first book of the summer that I have finished – how disappointing 😦 I intend for these posts to be pretty short & sweet, no nonsense unless I’m feeling super passionate! So let’s get right into it 🙂
Michelle Obama is a wonderful writer, first off. The way Becoming is written makes it sound like you are having a normal, informal conversation with her face-to-face. I feel like I actually know her! The book is split into three parts: “Becoming Me”, “Becoming Us”, and “Becoming More”. I’ll briefly summarize my thoughts on each:
Becoming Me: If I had to choose, this section of the book was probably my favorite to read. Here, Michelle (are we on a first-name basis now?) wrote all about her childhood and growing up in a neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. It was fascinating to see life from the eyes of a child, living under the same roof and also down the street from many extended family members who were all deeply loved by each other. I loved hearing about how her family operated – how hands off her parents were, in the best way possible. *side note* It really teaches you something about parenting, in my opinion. Her parents trusted her and Craig (her brother) enough to know that the kids would always make the right decision in the end. And if they didn’t, they’d learn from it. I’m supportive of that approach, given the appropriate situation. She attended Princeton and then Harvard despite all the naysayers, and impressively jumped into the world of corporate lawyers right after she graduated. Needless to say, she is smart, guys.
Becoming Us: To be honest, this is where the book got to be a little dragging for me and why it took me so long to finish it. The beginning of the section is quite interesting because it’s when she meets Barack and they develop into a true relationship. It’s fun to read about a side of a former Prez that you never would have known otherwise! She maps out their family milestones – births, deaths, house jumps, career choices – which was another cool thing to read about because who the heck knows what a President does before he’s the President? When Barack chose a career in politics, it put a lot of pressure on their family. He was gone for most of the week, so Michelle had to take on much of the responsibilities on her own, which I admire her for. She juggled a lot during that time period; it really shows how far a wife/mother’s love will go!
Becoming More: The final section was a close-second favorite to the first. It’s all about Barack Obama’s run for presidency, his being elected, their 8 years in the White House, and a tidbit about their plans post-First Family. It’s captivating to penetrate those walls, even if it is through paper! Bet you thought that everything came for free when you became the President of the United States – think again! Michelle disclosed that the First Family resides free of rent, but at the end of each month they receive a bill for all the groceries and utilities spent. Imagine that bill before she told the chefs to stop importing items from across the world! She discusses the odd & fuzzy role of the First Lady and the legacy that she wanted to leave during Barack’s presidency, one thing being a garden she planted on the South Lawn which I think was an awesome idea.
I know political views might play a big role into the decision of whether or not to read the book, which rather annoys me. I’ve had some people be very rude about me simply reading a book about a controversial person & family. It irks the crap out of me – it’s a BOOK people, not a declaration to red or blue. Personally, I did not keep up with politics much (I still don’t as much as I should) when the Obamas were in the White House so I don’t have a particular opinion. I know what various friends and family members think of them, but the political world gets so messy. Besides all that, I think the Obamas seem like a fun and exciting family that I would love to hang out with!
Overall, I think Becoming is a book that every woman should add to their reading list. Whether you like her or not, Michelle Obama is a force to be reckoned with. She is a strong, highly intelligent woman and she knows how to use it. A great role model who exemplifies compassion, resilience and love.
Let me know what you thought of the book! Would you recommend it to a friend too?