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Becoming

Written by: Michelle Obama
Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4,453 ratings)

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Publisher's 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 Random House Audio

What members say

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Okay

I always find hearing about people’s lives and backgrounds interesting. And this is was. But- that’s all it was. I was kind of hoping for a deeper message, theme etc. Some commentary on... well anything. But it’s just an “and then this happened” type of biography, listing things she did and said.

21 of 29 people found this review helpful

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About BECOMING

This beautiful story is told so personally by this magnificent, “ordinary” woman.
I learned so much listening to it; about Chicago, where I, too grew up...more than twenty years earlier than Michelle. I learned about the evolving city; a thousand things I never knew or understood.
I have a new appreciation for the stories we all carry and how imperative it is to tell them. Michelle describes the many ways of becoming; that we’re never finished or finite— changes weave
backward and forward in our stories to give us more choices—better choices. Spending all these hours absorbing all she offers has been the greatest privilege. I miss hearing her talking to me already. Perhaps one of the most important gifts to me in hearing this is a new respect for—a new understanding of optimism. It’s not something we stand around waiting to feel — it’s something we grow and give.
Thank you Michelle. ❤️🤸🏿‍♀️

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant First Lady, Brilliant Book

If you want to read this book to learn more about Barak Obama, don't. You will get some insights into the man's character and his story from the perspective of a loving wife, but that's anout it. This not what the book is about.

Mrs. Obama describes her journey and her family's journey eloquently and honestly. She shares enough to show you a glimpse into her life, but not so much as to endanger her family's privacy.

Throughout the book, I felt that I am listening to a brilliant mind, to a Harvard educated lawyer, to a loving wife and to "The Mother in Chief". Always compassionate, grounded, reasonable and caring.

My only gripe is that I wish the narration would have been done by a professional narrator. Mrs. Obama does great, but it could get a bit monotonous at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Became

I have to admit I found the beginning of this book "unrelateable". The further I listened the more absorbed I became in the story and reflecting on the beginning of the book, I just thought I couldn't relate and I didn't give her a chance....I did relate to things like going to a certain school to appease others, taking jobs to make others proud of me etc.... Thank you so much for a sneak peak into the life of Michelle Obama...one of the most statuesque women in history.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Amazing read

I could not stop listening! Michelle’s voice, amazing story of resilience, drive and confidence are truly admirable. This is one of my favourite all-time reads (made WAY better by listening to her tell her own story).

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Intimate and inspiring

Michelle Obama invites us through an honest, candid tour of her life, proving that she is a remarkable person, yet very human. I will look for more to come from this woman as she still has so much to share. Thank you for sharing your story so far.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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amazing woman!!

everyone young woman should read this book, it is powerful and could change your future.

18 of 27 people found this review helpful

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inspiring

This is the first book I finished on audible. It is so touching and inspiring that I look forward every time I have bits and pieces of time to listen to it. Michelle Obama told her story so authentically and passionately that I did not want it to end, also did not want to put it away. And I am not even American. Recommended to all.

12 of 18 people found this review helpful

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I tried so hard to love this book...but couldn't..

I was so excited about this book, but after listening for about 2 hours I gave up---the utopian childhood, coupled with seemingly an endless amount of perfection (school, home, life) I stopped. I am partial to finding a kin to people's greatness and flaws---the flaws make it real and demonstrate the life we all truly live. I think Michelle Obama is amazing--I think this book made me feel less than perfect in comparison and therefore made me stop listening. It may actually be her real life was that perfect and that is amazing, it just didn't hold my attention or make me hope with her and care about her....

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful for so many reasons

Much needed voice in our world today, thank you Michelle! I highly recommend this read and added bonus that it is read by the brilliant author.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Celeste Resvaloso
  • 2019-07-05

I love Michelle Obama

but this Audio book was soooooooooo boring i had to force myself to finish it ....I don't know why either any other time I see her on TV-Talkshows-late Night shows she seem Freaking interesting and awesome in everyway ....her story was good it kinda got lost in her
Ma-no-toness ...*I still have nothing but respect for her ***Carry on Mrs. Obama your the Bomb. com

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn Kirk Hunter
  • Mooresville, NC USA
  • 2019-06-22

Unremarkable

I love Michelle Obama. I voted for her husband both times; I grew to love and admire her more and more through the 8 years he was in office. My favorite line: "When they go low, we go high."
But the book was a "this and that" taIe. I kept waiting for her to make meaning out of her experiences. I kept waiting for her to say something profound. I did skip around ('cause I just got bored) so there might have been something there that I missed.
It was interesting to me that her growing up was not terribly different from mine - I was a middle class white girl who had many of the same life experiences (even the piano lessons) - and that surprised me. I developed admiration for her mother and the parenting principles that both her mother and father practiced.
Maybe the book I'm looking for from her will come when she's 80 and can reflect on the amazing life that she has led.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • SZK
  • 2019-06-12

Quite a disappointment

I was really looking forward to this book, because my friend found everyday she “couldn’t wait to get in her car to listen to this audio book while she was driving”. Turned out the book was so boring and fake that I felt I was wasting my time. I liked Michelle Obama quite a lot before I read this book, but ended up sort of dislike her after I finished the book. Her story before Obama running the office was interesting, but once it got into politics, everything just went south. It’s quite easy to tell that every story she was telling was just to make excuses and perfect the stories that she was questioned about at some point. I also didn’t like the hatred towards whites and Republicans throughout the book. (I am neither a white nor a Republican, so I am not biased that way.) She appeared to be quite an ungraceful person. Based on this book, I don’t even think she was as half graceful as Laura Bush. I lost my interest half way into this book, but I still tried really hard to finish it in hope that it would get better at some point. Unfortunately, until the end, it never got better. It was completely a waste of time. In fact, sometimes,it made my driving quite suffering as I couldn’t help rolling my eyes.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Mitzi
  • Home
  • 2019-06-01

It Sounds like a diary

I have always loved what they Portrayed and stood for, but... really did not expect. Michelle’s poor misunderstood me version

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Amzn customer
  • BELLEVUE, WA
  • 2019-05-27

Had different expectations.

It's not a bad book. I just had different expectations. Being an Obama family fan and with an expectation that this book comes from Mrs Obama, I wanted to read her journey, her contribution to the presidentship. We do get that but in patches.
"I was not bossy, I was just confident." This line automatically set an expectation that we are going to get an overhaulish account from the ex-FLOTUS. But the book losses the track and then what we get in almost half the book is Mr Obama - the President's journey. By the time, we get back to Michelle Obama's experiences again, the book is more than 3/4th done. Maybe, the expectations were set accordingly through various post book tours that this is more about a family journey - a political change that came across with Obama presidency. But with a title like Becoming, a reader actually feels misled that what he ended up with was not what the book tried to deliver.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • B. Lynne
  • 2019-04-05

Great person, average book

I have nothing but love, admiration and respect for both Michelle and Barack Obama. However, I have to admit, this book was a bit boring. It's just a bit pedestrian, the stories of Michelle's life and ventures in and out of the white house.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Daarbear5
  • 2019-04-24

had high expectations

The fact the author read the book made it better but still wasn't blown away.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • pasadena, ca United States
  • 2019-04-24

Huge fan of the Obama's but...

First, I think Michelle and Barack Obama are really great people. But I have mixed feelings about this book. I really did not enjoy the first 8 chapters. Hearing about Michelle's upbringing sounded a bit self-serving. There were too many references to Harvard and Princeton. Having gone to an Ivy League myself for undergrad, I could feel myself cringe whenever she referred to her world class education. It sounded a little elitist, to be honest. When the book changes gear and she meets Barack, I became excited again. It's very obvious that he is the exceptional half to that pair. She is unimaginative. She admits that her success is all about setting goals and checking the boxes. But Barack is a renaissance man and a big ideas guy. I enjoyed hearing about her struggles during his rise to political fame and her focus on her kids. I could relate to this. But it was hard at times, to feel sorry for her as she describes the struggles associated with moving to the White House. It sounds like she wants sympathy and is trying hard to get it and yet describes all of its opulence, as if she is a princess moving into her castle. I was hoping for more depth from this book. I think it's probably too hard to do, given how much ground needs to be covered. Michelle Obama is in an impossible position. As my review is an example, people will critique her to the end of time. I'm glad she was my first lady for 8 years. But I think I need to read more about Barack, as he is really the uber unique individual that I admire so much.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • N. Smith
  • 2019-05-31

I don't see what the hype is about

I really wanted to like this. I love Michelle Obama and think that she's such a role model for women. Plus everyone is obsessed with this book so it must have something going for it. But unfortunately--it is painfully boring. I mean, I appreciate that the Obama's were boring, don't get me wrong, there's something to be said for that. Boring is what you kind of want for your leaders. I would much prefer boring leaders right now. But in order to get through this book, I had to play it on triple speed to try to get to a point where she says anything. I did not want to give up on it. She droned on and on about the most banal things like her father's car--why does anyone care what car her father drove when she was growing up and why did that have to take up space in a book? Then on and on with other things equally as boring as cars. Then you hear her talk about how she was Barack's supervisor and to me that's just a reminder of how she should have been president instead of him so that was mildly annoying. Anyway there's not enough substance in the first third of this to keep my interest so after making a really concerted effort I'm putting in the towel now.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • mikal1974
  • 2019-04-29

Boring

I struggled to finish it. I did learn a few interesting things but mostly it was about the Obama's being black & overcoming things. I'm happy for them but found the book boring.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Cheerioh
  • 2019-05-04

Génial, passionnant, tellement éclairant

Je me souviens de mon plaisir à savoir qu'un homme noir avait enfin atteint les hauts sphères du pouvoir, je me souviens d'avoir apprécié le caractère exceptionnel de son épouse. C'était un vrai bonheur de la découvrir dans cette autobiographie, lue par elle qui plus est.

Le couple Obama est exceptionnel, nul doute après la lecture de ce livre audio. Je n'ose imaginer leur déception à l'arrivée putride de l'autre, l'erreur de parcours. Elle l'évoque à la fin, ça donne la nausée.

Le livre raconte son parcours à elle évidemment, petite fille de milieu très modeste, avec un père handicapé très courageux, sa rencontre avec Obama, leur vie de couple, l'éducation de leurs enfants.

J'adore son franc parler, même quand elle évoque les sacrifices consentis pour la carrière de son mari, les doutes, les frustrations. Elle évoque son engagement en tant que première dame.

Sa lecture est touchante, dynamique.

Non mais quelle bonne femme ! Un vrai modèle !

J'adore, je recommande. En plus on découvre les petits secrets d'arrière cuisine de la maison blanche, c'est très divertissant.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2019-01-22

Amazing !!

I feel so empowered after this book. It made me reflect on many aspects of life and was both fun and educational. Thanks for sharing your story, Michelle!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • NHobson
  • 2019-07-13

Becoming

Fascinating, powerful, moving, enlightening and enlightened. Michelle Obama is at once witty, generous, intelligent, intellectual, humble, tough and vulnerable. This book is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. What a remarkable story and so well described and told. She is informative and a raconteur, easily the equal of her famously loquacious and oratorical husband. She shares her life with unconditional love charm and warmth, and, what an extraordinary life.

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2019-07-11

Don't judge on the beginning

inspiring book which offers a different perspective. I stopped after the first chapters, but then picked up the listening again and DO NOT REGRET at all

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  • Kat
  • 2019-06-06

A must read (listen, hear, think about)!!!

Loved every second!! what an amazing story and insite to Michelle Obama's life in and out of the White House!
Every Vote matters!!

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2019-06-04

Prenant

Écouté en VO avec la voix de Michelle Obama, quel charisme! On se laisse emporter par le récit.

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  • Pimpao
  • 2019-05-31

bof

raconte une vie d'abord en solo, puis à deux avec Obama.... sans aucun intérêt sauf pour des gens qui veulent savoir les petits détails

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2019-05-16

I couldn't put it down.

I couldn't put it down. It's so touching,so moving and inspiring. Her words resonated with me.I enjoyed every chapter. A big bonus is that Michelle herself read to me.

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  • Natalia
  • 2019-05-04

Inspiring

I enjoyed this book read by Michelle herself. I was amazed by her story and by the humbleness with which she tells it. While the childhood part seemed a bit boring at the beginning, I understand the reasons for the author to tell it. It is all about Becoming.
Thank you, Michelle, for inspiring others to be who they are and to never let go of a hope for change.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2019-04-25

Welll done Mrs Obama!

I never thought I would like this book so much. It is well written and well read but above all it is deeply “human”. You will not regret reading or listening to it.