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Becoming

By: Michelle Obama
Narrated by: Michelle Obama
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Publisher's Summary

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former first lady of the United States.

Number one New York Times best seller 

Watch the Emmy-nominated Netflix original documentary

Oprah’s Book Club Pick

NAACP Image Award Winner

One of Essence’s 50 most impactful Black books of the past 50 years  

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

Critic Reviews

“A serious work of candid reflection by a singular figure of early-twenty-first-century America... Becoming is refined and forthright, gracefully written and at times laugh-out-loud funny.” (Isabel Wilkerson, The New York Times Book Review)

Becoming is inspirational without trying to be. From the first words, the very warmth that permeates its author emanates from the pages.... Becoming manages to be a coming-of-age tale, a love story and a family saga all in one. More importantly, this book is a reminder that America is still a work-in-progress, and that hope can be an action word if we allow it to be. Becoming is a balm that America needs, from a woman America does not yet deserve.” (Angie Thomas, Time)

“Deeply personal and refreshingly honest... She’s thoughtful, humorous, bracingly revealing, and when it’s time, she does us all the favor of showing us the human side of a man worshipped by so many.... It’s human and genuine and welcoming to see the layers of humanity she holds open.... Michelle Obama’s story can maybe inspire you to find a path for your own story.” (Shonda Rhimes, Shondaland)

Featured Article: Starstruck? The 50 Greatest Celebrity Memoirs of All Time Are Here


The best celebrity memoir audiobooks are in a league of their own. This competitive genre continues to evolve and innovate as more stars discover the power of audio, often blending memoir with comedy, self-development, social critique, and exclusive performances. The star-studded list of celebrity memoirs will not disappoint as the real stories of your favorite celebrities are revealed in their own words and voices.

What listeners say about Becoming

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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.

2,140 people found this helpful

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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.

900 people found this helpful

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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,

545 people found this helpful

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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.

293 people found this helpful

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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!

250 people found this helpful

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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.

210 people found this helpful

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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!

207 people found this helpful

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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.

201 people found this helpful

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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!

179 people found this helpful

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I really did give the benefit of doubt

I went into reading this book with the intent to be inspired and hoping to find a new level of respect for Michelle.... Open minded, I thought perhaps I was tainted by the media. I’m a 40 yr old, successful woman entrepreneur. I was left depressed, frustrated, appalled, and disappointed. Here is a woman who has excelled in every stage of her life (even in grade school) and was married to a man who held the most powerful job in our country, and still, someway, somehow, she still manages to portray herself at a “disadvantage.”

She has this enormous platform to be a change agent and an inspiring voice for women, and she completely missed the mark. Literally the only people who I believe could relate to this book are 1) her biological children who want a full history of Michelle’s life and 2) black women whose aspirations are to attend or already attend an Ivy League school.

Michele is angry. She is angry she was born a woman. She is angry she took a back seat to Obama. She at one point appears to be angry to have to go through the challenges of Motherhood. I’m really quite saddened for her. Truly. She has been afforded amazing opportunities that less than 1% of Americans receive, and still, she never overcame the victim mentality.







176 people found this helpful

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  • Listener
  • 01-01-19

We still don’t deserve Michelle Obama

This was a great way to spend twenty hours. I didn’t think I could long for The Obamas any more than I already did, but this book reminds you how we had smart, gracious people in the White House.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sinéad
  • 12-10-18

Beautifully written

Intimate, insightful, moving and well worth the listen. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thank you Michelle.

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  • Hanne
  • 11-18-18

A wonderful book

A really great book. So interesting and beautifully told. And also so well read by Michelle Obama herself.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ParisMK
  • 01-19-19

Heartwarming, inspiring and just wonderful.

I loved every moment of this book. She doesn't try to sugarcoat her struggles and really shared in a way that she hasn't before. I feel privileged to have read about our FFL's extraordinary and inspiring journey. I also feel empowered to make my own journey, my own.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel Olivieri
  • 11-30-18

Just so good

I feel like I really know Michelle Obama (and the world) a little bit better than I did before. So good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-19

A thank you

I cried and I laughed through the soft and jovial listening. A great mix of feelings and stories. 😍🤩❤️

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  • Angelica
  • 04-10-19

Thank you Michelle, this is a heart-opening piece!

I am from Venezuela living in the diaspora, and this book made me feel I belong! Very sensible en empowering conclusions. thanks for sharing this piece of you!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-21-19

loved it...especially listen to her voice

Loved it!
Her way of story telling just keeps you hooked. A must read for sure

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  • JJ
  • 03-19-19

Wonderful

I had high hopes, and at first I thought the story moved a bit slow - but there was a reason for every little story told. The book ties her stories wonderfully together, and I have a much better undertaking of who Michelle Obama is and what drives her. I am left so very impressed and utterly inspired.

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  • Edel Mahony
  • 02-25-19

Fascinating & Encouraging

Endearing and enthralling to hear the very ordinary but incredible story of Michelle and her family. Such figures of hope.