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Becoming

Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (101,416 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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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.

1,920 of 2,298 people found this review 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,

463 of 605 people found this review 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.

885 of 1,189 people found this review helpful

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I wanted to LOVE it!

I wanted to love this book, but, and I know I’m definitely in the minority here, it just wasn’t that interesting. I’m sorry!! I love her, I love her voice, it was just a little boring.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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It’s OK but a little to preachy for my taste.

A good story but for all of the inclusiveness that it speaks of I did not feel very included and I voted for her husband.....twice!

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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WOE IS ME

Little doubt she has done some good, but, oh my, "woe is me" from the South Side of Chicago gets really tiresome after awhile. We are each the hero of our own story. She had several ghost writers, which helped make it really flash; for example in her excessive praise of BHO.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Just okay

This book was not bad. However, I never leave a book unfinished and I actually didn’t finish this one. Something bothered me about her vagueness and the “no big deal” attitude of winning the election and moving into the White House. At that point it did not seem realistic or truthful anymore.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Tallahassee, FL, United States
  • 04-23-19

So so

At times dull, often inconsistent. I’m a Democrat and I like the Obamas. But this book is more of Mrs. Obama trying to prove that she and her husband “belong” - which no one in America or the world would ever dispute. Why waste any portion of this book on bullies - why let them shape your narrative. The insight is somewhat lacking too. It seems Mrs. Obama’s does not realize that her big anti Trump speech in which she treated him like a rapist likely turned voters off - Trump is quite despicable in his behavior towards women - but Mrs. Obama went way too far. In doing so - she violated the principles which she promotes at the conclusion of her book - making one think that she’s big with words and advice but does not practice what she preaches. The Obama’s are great and honorable people- but this book did very little to make us know them better, except for her childhood. I liked Sotomayor’s bio a lot more. At the end - I was left wondering- was Malia admitted to Harvard because the Obamas belong - taking the spot of one of those less advantaged students who worked harrier to get in? And if so - why does not Mrs. Obama address that issue?

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Nooope.

I really wanted to like this book. No, I wanted to LOVE this book. I have always admired Michelle. And maybe there is an agenda that she is going for that is over my head... Maybe by boasting about her perfect genes, saintly parents, unparalleled education, incredible opportunities, etc, etc, ... maybe, just maybe, Ms Obama is hoping to – what? Inspire kids to choose better parents? Choose where and how they grew up?

I had to give up on this. All it did was make me feel like a failure for being less than a genius, less than a perfect parent, having a truly shitty education experience as a kid and an "adequate" professional trajectory.

Maybe it's an American thing: "I admire you because you're lucky"? Maybe. Anyway, I admire Ms Obama slightly less now. Pity.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Good enough...

Enjoyed listening to the stories of her growing up and her family "threads". I admire the love and dedication she and Barrack have for each other and their girls. I also enjoyed learning about the voluminous duties of the First Lady.

A LOT of partisan rambling and I wish she had not taken pot shots at the previous presidency. I have read several other First Lady's memoirs who did not make references like: "The mess Barrack had to clean up"

9 of 12 people found this review 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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-18

Beautifully written

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ParisMP
  • 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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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 of 3 people found this review 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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  • Anonymous User
  • 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.