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Becoming

Written by: Michelle Obama
Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6,462 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2020

Number one New York Times best seller

Oprah’s Book Club Pick

NAACP Image Award Winner

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 US 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

Average Customer Ratings

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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....

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Such an amazing human being.

Lovingly written and narrated. Smart and funny. Such a fierce and focused woman. Refreshingly candid. Everything I hoped for. Not only a good role model, but love the resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

6 people found this 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. ❤️🤸🏿‍♀️

11 people found this helpful

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Boring book with unnecessary details

Bought the book to learn about the life of Michael Obama but didn't know she would give such tiny details which are not even important such as her 3rd grade classmate full name. She goes on to tell her story with such details the entire time which gets really boring. Struggled to finish it. Not worth listening to if you want to know her inspiring story.

8 people found this helpful

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A great book for working mothers to inspire hope

Michelle Obama is a great writer and really conveys a hopeful message to all mothers that it is okay to be very educated, and climb the ladder, and want to take care of your own children, and marry hardworking overly ambitious men, and it’s also ok to be optimistic that everything will work out just fine. I related to her on so many levels, which was surprising as a Canadian mother of two with no real political background. I heard her ambitions, frustrations, and life goals and felt so much authenticity in her voice.

1 person found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

27 people found this 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).

5 people found this 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.

11 people found this helpful

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amazing woman!!

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

19 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-12-03

Whew. What a story.

From the South Side of Chicago to the WHITE HOUSE! Whew. Let that sink in. As a black woman, this book moved me differently than any other book I’ve read in recent memory. Letting me know it’s ok that I’m still “Becoming” and that I have the right to enter any space I want to! I loved Mrs. Obama before, but I was introduced to Michelle Robinson Obama and I love her even more. She read her own story like she was talking directly to me and I loved that. It was like sitting down at your Auntie House and she was telling you all tea over a good glass of wine! I’m so thankful for her sharing her story and being so open and honest about it all. What a story!

32 people found this helpful

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  • Diana New York
  • 2019-09-20

Exquisite!

I love this book, I loved the story… It was so raw, and authentic and compassionate and beautifully written. Thank you Michelle Obama for all that you do and all that you are and for opening your door.

15 people found this helpful

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  • WonderVee
  • 2019-10-31

Boring

I’ve read so many amazing memoirs and this one just didn’t capture me at all. This story sounds like a Disney fairytale for little girls. Everything Is just perfect in her life, perfect mom and dad and brother and husband. Even the arguments with her fiancé were perfect. Boring, boring, boring, had to stop reading.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-04

Boring

I was totally disappointed. The subject
Material was too concentrated on her childhood.

Also felt it was incredibly negatively.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Chic
  • 2019-11-03

Very well written and read.

This book opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’ve always had mad respect for the Obamas but this heightened that respect. Michelle Obama is very open and transparent in this book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • LynnP
  • 2019-10-30

This was painful!

It took me a year to get through this book and only did because of pure determination that I paid for it so I will listen to it. She was so descriptive that it was the longest 18 hours ever. It was ridiculous that at one point she describes that Barack was such a noble man they didn’t use the $100K to redo the living quarters but then spent tax payers money to go to NY for a date night. Unless you really love the Obamas I would not suggest this book. I did not get one aha moment out of it.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-05

Hard to listen to

I had a really hard time with this book. It felt like she wanted me to feel bad for her, but she didn't have it bad at all..... I dont know how you call yourself "middle / poor class" when you go to Princeton and Harvard. Seems like she carries a chip on her shoulder for some reason.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Vedeena
  • 2019-07-27

Very Slow

I have to admit that I'm disappointed with this book. It's incredibly slow so I've been listening to it in double time. I've been trudging through it looking for the pearls of wisdom or deep insight, but it's mostly filled with the minutia of the day to day tasks. I've recently watched the documentary "fed up" and the ineffectiveness of the Move campaign. I was hoping to get Michelle's viewpoint on the challenges and why she gave up on her commitment to real change but she simply glossed over this topic only offering a high level synopsis.

62 people found this helpful

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  • marchdreamer
  • 2019-01-10

Beautiful and everyone should read this!

I love listening to Michelle Obama share in her own voice her story! I feel strongly that everyone regardless of race or gender should read this book. Thank you Michelle for sharing your authentic voice with the public!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Mac
  • 2019-05-05

Wow What a Disappointment

I was and am a huge fan of President & Mrs. Obama and have always found them to be insightful inspirational people, so admittedly I came in with high expectations.

Boy, was this a massive disappointment. I'm not sure exactly what it was, maybe it was the poor my martyrdom she dragged on about. Wow, I sure thought she had a lot more good things in her life than bad stuff but those seem to be in passing. I'm a thrifty person so hearing her whining about taking a huge pay cut i 1989 from $120,000 to $60,000 to do something she wanted to do left me aghast. I fully appreciate the % cut, but she had a husband also making a low for lawyer but still a lawyer salary. I appreciate she took a big hit but she was still making a bunch of money compared to most Americans. Double that for her husband and she's in the very top of salary structure back then. Very off putting. There were all sorts of those stories. I thought he was a great transitional president and she was a great partner. I jsut don't feel sorry for her and that seemed like her #1 thesis in the story. Yuck.
One good thing about the story--while it started out awful it did move up to mediocre at the end.

94 people found this 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.

10 people found this helpful

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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

2 people found this 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 people found this helpful

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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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Thomas O.
  • 2020-03-04

detailed and well-balanced book

as a European, I long contemplated if i should even bother.
turns out, it's worth every penny and minute I spent on it.
it had me emotional on multiple occasions, where this usually doesn't happen.

Michelle is of course, politically biased but only rarely shows this.

I sincerely recommend this to anyone, man or woman, black or white.
I'm looking forward to Baracks book.

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  • Luana
  • 2020-01-28

Marvelous

No wonder she got the Grammy for narrating this audiobook
What a story!
What a woman!
Powerful and inspiring

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  • Arnaud CHRETIEN
  • 2019-12-26

Merci Mme OBAMA, j'ai beaucoup aimé !

très bon livre sur la vie personnelle Michelle OBAMA - quelle femme exceptionnelle.
j'attends le prochain avec impatience !

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  • amarino23
  • 2019-12-16

Personal, intimate and powerful

I approched this book with little expectations and finished it feeling touched, moved and maybe, just maybe, with a bit of hope for the world. Here is a person that had a completely different life story than mine, was the first lady of a foreign country and lives a life I cannot even imagine. However, through her words, I managed to identify with her emotions, thoughts and even fears. This book is about personal stories, it's about politics, about the history of the United States, but above all is about strong and real women everywhere.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2019-12-01

Le livre de l'année selon moi

Le livre est fascinant. Plus qu'une simple biographie, c'est un roman. Michelle Obama est excellente en narratrice.

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  • anne
  • 2019-10-24

Quite an adventure

Strong and encouraging.
Down to earth in political world.
Michelle mother wife and true to herself