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Becoming

Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (103,607 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.

1,954 of 2,342 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,

492 of 641 people found this review helpful

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Downhill Ride

The book began well, telling Michelle's early life, and continuing as the author adapted to Barak's campaign for President; but Michelle's story, became less interesting after the Obamas were in the White House. Later in the book, I found too many generalities (gardening) and no specific examples of actions and reactions of POTUS and FLOTUS; specific stories of things that happened between Michelle and other significant people were too few, or Michelle's feelings and reactions were not laid out ..

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Love Michelle But Couldn't Finish

Love Michelle Obama, but I thought it was pretty boring. 30% of it was amazing and enticing, but the rest was kind of mundane. She reads at a very slow speed too. I think I was expecting an autobiography as Trevor Noah's was, but it didn't live up to that for me. My review opinion may be skewed as I tend not to like the autobiographies, but thought hers might be as good as Trevor's.

11 of 14 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.

889 of 1,196 people found this review helpful

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I like the Obama's, but didnt like her book.

I admire the Obamas, truly! I honestly thought I would enjoy her story. I found it dull and stopped listening when she talked about playdates and drinking wine with other mothers in her messy livingroom. Blah, blah!

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

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I really wanted to enjoy this book...

I really wanted to enjoy this audiobook. I adore Michelle Obama, and I think she’s an inspiring person. However, I found it hard to get through the entire book. It felt a tad dry and overwritten and longer than it needs to be. Her overall story is good, though.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • B. Reid
  • Camas, WA, United States
  • 01-18-19

Simply unrelatable from my perspective

I ordered this book for a long road trip, and my partner and I looked forward to the engaging distraction. I must admit that we were only able to stomach about 90 minutes of it before we had had enough. From the predominance of glowing reviews, I wonder if it simply takes longer to become interesting, but we didn't have the patience to find out.

I certainly have never known anyone who has lived such a charmed and idyllic life as Ms. Obama claims to have done, and it is difficult for me to find it genuine. She certainly suffered some hardship based on her description of her father's illness, but in those first 90 minutes, that was the ONLY such hardship even hinted at. Everything else was nothing short of magical.

Perhaps her demeanor is such that she truly doesn't recognize adversity when presented with it. Perhaps her memories of past events have morphed into something more palatable than they actually were. Perhaps truth doesn't sell as many books as idyllic fantasy. It's simply difficult for me to imagine how a black woman could have grown up in recent/present America without a bit more struggle along the way.

Bottom line, lest I ramble further, I appreciate that Ms. Obama must truly be exceptional in many ways to have achieved all she has in her life. But I'm not very interested in hearing about a personal history in which all the pieces of the puzzle simply fell into place all on their own, but rather in someone who met struggle and adversity along the way, and how they overcame those obstacles.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • LindaByb
  • Lafayette, CA United States
  • 02-03-19

dont understand the hype

I am a big Michelle Obama fan and looked forward to this book. Unfortunately I really did not like it. I found it grandiose, everything in her upbringing, early career and courtship was done perfectly. She and her family could do no wrong. I didn't get past the courtship and really struggled to get that far. her narration didn't help me get through this. For me, she was monotonic and hard to listen to.

32 of 44 people found this review helpful

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really wanted to like it, but didn't

I am an enormous fan of the Obamas. But overall I felt this book was average at best. for whatever reason, I did not enjoy Michelle Obama reading this. the most entertaining parts of the book where when she was talking about Barack and what it was like when he became president. I hate writing this review, because I really did want to like it a lot more.

14 of 19 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.