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Becoming

Written by: Michelle Obama
Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2,735 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 44.75
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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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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.

4 of 4 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 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

9 of 12 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 12 people found this review helpful

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A bit boring

I felt like I didn’t get much out of this book. Got boring so I couldn’t even finish it. Just me though

6 of 8 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.

1 of 1 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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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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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....

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth Woodward
  • 2018-12-05

Didn't know what I was getting into

I highly recommend the audio format as it is read by the author.

I spent most of their eight years in office rebelling against anything the Obama's sought to accomplish. Sadly, I let the political pundits and partisan politics have too much influence on my thinking.

I was excited that we had our first African-American president, but I couldn't fully embrace all of the policies, and therefore was unwilling to embrace this presidency.

My last several years I have invested time and effort to connect with others. The greater the perceived difference, the better the conversation. I always learn more, appreciate others in new ways, and my life is richer as a result.

For those who are fans of the Obama's, this will be an enjoyable read to encounter the experience from Michelle's perspective.

It is more important for those like me to read. I am amazed at how the political machine works to divide and demonize people. It is difficult to witness and does nothing to build up our country.

I see how I have been complicit due to my silence or unwillingness to question what is being broadcast across the various media platforms.

Politics and religion should be talked about at the dinner table, because that is where we meet the humanity of others, and it's harder to hate those up close.

1,616 of 1,911 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Sullivan
  • Bernardsville, NJ USA
  • 2018-12-22

Great story - from a 54 yo white republican man

I was not a fan of President Obama's policies and views, but I did think he and Michelle we really good people.

I just like good stories with good people; Michelle's life is very different from mine, and I appreciate her experiences and contributions to make us a better, more elevated society.

I only cringed a couple times when she got political and implied only the Republican party dig in their heals and are partisan. but it was infrequently enough for me to still consider this a great book.

For you democrats, since I read this, and since Michelle and W became good friends, 41 - A Portrait of My Father By: George W. Bush. I think you will be equally surprised - regardless of your political view,

262 of 341 people found this review helpful

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  • J. James-Long
  • Portland, OR United States
  • 2018-11-15

Thank you, Michelle. That was some speech!

I've been a member of Audible since 2002. I have 670 titles in my library and have listened to all but a handful. They cover almost every genre and I have to say that, while every biography has a unique angle with worthwhile message, Michelle Obama's story is exceptional.

How often are the words in an audiobook actually written by the subject, and not just written in first person by a ghostwriter? How often does an author read more than the first chapter, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his book? A few. And mostly by actors or comedians who are used to the work.

I loved this book, not only for what Michelle had to say, but because SHE recorded her words in her own voice. This has an effect like no other. The only other book I can think of that stepped out of the audiobook formula was Ruth Bader Ginsburg's story, with its interjection of the actual recordings of events in her life. In Michelle's book you feel like she is sitting next to you, being her true self and telling you her sincerest thoughts over a cup of tea. It is like being in a room with doilies on the coffee table and her aunt playing piano downstairs.

On finishing "Becoming" I have to remind myself that she doesn't know me. If I see her on the street I can't just say "Hi Michelle!" But in this review I can at least say "thank you." Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your story so far. You still have so much good to offer the world, and this story is a great beginning. You are reaching a network of people through this book who are poised on the balls of their toes, ready for something. You are still young (yes!) and positioned to harness all the love and goodness to create something good. You show through example that the world can become a better place through one hand holding another, one mind inspiring empowerment in another. Now go build your own personal life work! Follow up on the plans you made to build your own career. Here is a hug for you!

Now I have to go find you on Twitter or wherever you are.

829 of 1,097 people found this review helpful

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  • Shantaviae
  • 2018-12-28

I thought I knew her, but I was sorely mistaken

I always approach the task of getting to know someone beyond their public facade with a bit of apprehension. Even though I pre-ordered Becoming without a moments hesitation, it took me sometime to get started and even to complete reading her story. In my mind, Michelle Obama has always been a porcelain figure held up by the black community as someone to admire and aspire to be like. I think that I was afraid to dig-in because I didn't want to learn whether or not my superwoman had a kryptonite. In the end, I came to the breathtaking realization that she and I had more in common than not. We share the same fears and doubts, and with our grit and the support of our loved ones we have been empowered to overcome them. I take the blame for holding her so far away from me all this time. Now I can truly embrace her as not only our FLOTUS, but as another little brown girl from the South side. Thank you Michelle for sharing your story with such grace and I'm looking forward to cheering you on from the sideline along the rest of your journey!

155 of 223 people found this review helpful

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  • melyssa57 (A Page Before Bedtime dot com)
  • 2018-12-31

Excellence!

Unless you live under a rock, you know that this fall Becoming by former First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, was published and has quickly become (aha, see what I did there?) a bestseller. I pre-ordered the book via Audible earlier this year and began listening as soon as it was available.

As I was selecting keyword tags for this post, I considered choosing politics. I decided against it because this is a book about the life of Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. While she does share behind the scenes information about her husband's politics and his successful, consecutive presidential campaigns, the book is her life story. Furthermore, she makes it very clear that she does not enjoy politics nor does she have any political aspirations of her own. During the 2018 mid-term elections, I read an article about Heidi Cruz (wife of Texas Senator Ted Cruz) and how she, at times, feels relegated to simply being the wife of Ted Cruz rather than the educated, professional, individual person she is. I think this happens to many women who are connected with high profile men - once again proving what the Obama's have often said - we are all more alike than we are different. So, if you have not read Becoming and decide to embark on Mrs. Obama's life journey thus far, please read it with an autobiographical lens that happens to include the 44th President of the United States.

The book begins with Mrs. Obama's childhood and she works her way chronologically through her formative years, her Princeton and Harvard years, meeting Barack Obama, her struggles conceiving their children, the family's journey to the White House, pretty much through present day. It is her detailed, personal account. While listening to her masterfully read the book, I felt like she was a good friend sharing a phenomenal story. Many of the stories she shared I recalled from the not too distant past, some were new to me, and others offered a different view from the accounts by the news media.

The aspect of Mrs. Obama's life that resonated most with me was her constant relationship with the media - traditional and social. In the book, she often mentions being under the never-ending microscope of society by way of the media. This, of course, is what politicians and their families take on in their service to their city, county, state, and country. However, as anyone could imagine, it seemed to weigh on Mrs. Obama at times. A full two years post-office, and just the other day I witnessed one of my Facebook connections refer to Mrs. Obama as an animal. It's sad. It's demoralizing, and it's not right. As Mrs. Obama noted in her book, the "office" of First Lady isn't an official one nor is it a paid position. When the current First Lady said that she is one of the "most bullied" people, her statement was met with laughter and jokes. But I don't really think she was far off the mark. Being in the public eye can be exhausting. We, as private citizens, experience that via social media (some of us to a greater degree if one's messaging is extremely controversial and goes viral). I think our society would be much better served if we all extended some grace and kindness to one another - especially to those who are serving our country in various capacities.

While the Mrs. Obama's memoir is just over 19 listening hours, it really didn't seem that long. Mrs. Obama has a great reading voice that helps guide the reader through her life story. There is so much detail, I certainly cannot give a comprehensive review. I can just say this - many First Ladies have written a book about their time in the White House, and this one is historical and worth reading.

Recommendation: I would definitely recommend this read, especially the audio version. It was nice hearing Mrs. Obama's inflection and tone as she recounted some interesting and funny stories. It also evoked emotion when she demonstrated her vulnerabilities, making her more relatable to African Americans, women, and, most importantly, Americans. I'm told the hard copy book has a nice inset of photos. So, maybe buy a hard copy and get the audio companion also!

Until next time ... Read on!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lkm
  • Ohio
  • 2018-11-13

Can't stop listening!

I could not wait for this to drop into my account - probably more than any other that I have had. I have had many books here, that the author has read, and it really does not turn out well...I was a little worried. I know Mrs. Obama is amazing, very sophisticated (as well as down to earth) but still - narrating is a real skill, as it is really like acting, but she nailed it.

As I started Becoming, I was absolutely drawn in. I was blown away by her writing and her narrative style. I had so much to do, yet could not stop listening! She has the kind of style that reaches down into your soul, like you are friends. I knew some about her early life, but it was nice to hear more. Mrs. Obama's descriptive style is really amazing; when she was talking about her life after and the freedom, I felt like I was there with there.

I absolutely loved this one - this is a don't miss!

238 of 358 people found this review helpful

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  • Christiane
  • 2019-01-29

Beautifully written and narrated

Michelle Obama delivers a beautifully written, honest and well read narrative of her time in the white house. Her novel made me not only more aware of the trials of the first black presidency but also rendered me looking for opportunities to volunteer in some of the causes championed by her. ‘Becoming’ literally moved me to tears and taught me a lot about American history. Unveiled, honest and from the heart I would recommend it to anyone.

58 of 87 people found this review helpful

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  • H. Franke
  • Utah
  • 2018-12-06

Are You Who You Appear To Be

I am into a few chapters and I keep feeling I am discovering a precious gem. The story telling is like fiction but this is fact. Michelle's voice works so well in her reading. I feel comforted by her steady telling. It's an historical book. This is not dry and un-telling. It is rich. You will be a better person for reading this. Whether that's your intention or not.

139 of 211 people found this review helpful

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  • Jameka
  • 2018-11-19

A beautifully written book

Michelle is a true role model! I listened to this book in less than one week. She captured my attention in the very beginning and I experienced every emotion until the very end! This empowering and unifying rhetoric couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you, Michelle!

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • La'Shea English
  • 2018-12-16

Amazing and inspiring Book

This is one of the most inspiring books I've read to date. I love how she showed us all sides of her life and not just the glamorous stuff. She shows us who she is and where she come from, her story can inspire others to just keep pushing themselves to go the extra mile and anything is possible.

19 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Cath42
  • 2019-03-24

Trop de sérieux

J’étais très impatiente de « rencontrer » Michèle Obama. Sans être une fan, j’admire son parcours, ses prises de parole... mais je ne m’attendais pas à découvrir autant de dramatisation... tout est grave: un chapeau trop grand pour sa fille, une fête d’anniversaire... un peu d’humour et de recul aurait pu rendre son récit plus agréable. Je retiens de ce livre une chose: Michèle est une personne très sérieuse...

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  • Hincu Diana
  • 2019-03-11

Amazing book!

I think everyone should read or listen to this amazing book. It shows another perspective while being empowering and humble.
Michelle Obama has a beautiful, calming voice which adds to the overall message of the book!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-26

Great

What a woman.
Fantastic book.
Would highly recommend
Inspirational
Easy listening
What more can I say

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  • ASMAA BENABOUD
  • 2019-02-17

Amazing well written read

100% recommend this book.
A well written story of the inspirational one and only michelle obama . The extraordinary journey from her humble beginnings to the middle of the politic scene!
Relatable on so many levels to all women from non white origins who aspire to be more and leave a positive print in the world not as it is ,but as it should be!

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2019-02-14

Good book, but I was expecting more

It's a good book, but I wasn't hooked. The beginning is very slow, lots of detail about her childhood that's not particularly remarkable. The book only gets interesting when she meets Barack. I really wanted to love this book, but I can't give it more than 3.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-13

A must read! Thoughtful , inspiring

Not a political book but a book about people's lives and about changing a society.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-13

Great!

Inspiring! full of feelings! Very well described, you feel like visinting tons of places! Awesome!

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  • Richard S
  • 2019-01-26

Great to be read to by the author

Great to be read to by the author. A personal account that focuses on the personal rather than the political, which I enjoyed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 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!!