Taps’ Notes: Becoming by Michelle Obama

medium.com

 I read this book on the recommendation of a close friend. Memoirs have a tendency to be hit or miss. Going in to this one I was skeptical. Michelle Obama, for all the amazing things she has accomplished in her career and as First Lady, has largely remained private about her history and family, especially as compared to her husband. After this read it's clear: Becoming is her coming out party. 

I was struck by two things reading this book. First, Michelle Obama is a fantastic writer (or has a fantastic ghostwriter if you believe her husband). Second, contrary to other autobiographies that tend to paint a rosier and more glamorous picture of life and never seem authentic or genuine, the First Lady is incredibly open and vulnerable. She takes us through her internal struggle between what society believes she should do versus what doing what she is passionate about. She walks through the importance of family and the foundation it created for her life. She is open in her love for Barack and how she didn’t think he could win and didn’t want him to run but simultaneously didn’t want to hold him back. She talks about being a mother and describes the sense of time with a baby perfectly: 

When there’s a baby in the house, time stretches and contracts, abiding by none of the regular rules. A single day can feel endless, and then suddenly six months have blown right past.

Becoming is a worthwhile read if for no other reason, Michelle Obama is clearly a very intelligent and capable person, open and vulnerable in a highly relatable manner.

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