Book Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

There's nothing I like reading more than autobiographies. I cherish learning about the lives of real people going through the realities of life before me and seeing their lives unfold, knowing the outcome in advance. I find so much value in tracing every major step they took in becoming who they are today as I'm reading their reflective words on experiences that I might one day encounter.

Knowing this, reading Michelle Obama's memoir was inevitable for me. It was just a matter of time, and the time came last Sunday as I finished reading another book. The timing was also perfect in light of everything that has been going on in the past weeks with the Black Lives Matter movement.

So, with the right timing and a pressing desire to learn more about the issue of racial discrimination, it's no surprise that I gobbled up all 450+ pages of Becoming in the span of a week.

The book was everything I expected it to be: reflective, informative, encouraging, inspiring. It takes you through the three major chapters in her life, from her early days, to balancing her professional and family life, to acquiring and managing the title of FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States).

It is beautifully written, my mind reading every page in her distinct voice and imagining her and everyone I knew in her stories, as I'd seen them in pictures and videos online.

The book has taught me so many lessons that I'm still processing and storing in my head. Some of these are about the big and the subtle effects of racial inequality, about campaigning, politics and the less highlighted issues in societies, about marriage and parenting, about finding purpose and fulfillment, about resilience, sacrifice, and the importance of always sticking to one's values and inner compass.

Becoming has also inspired me to be more optimistic, to stick to my morals, and focus on my purpose and source of fulfillment rather than chase after the values of the crowd. It has shown me how blessed and privileged I am to have an education, to be healthy, to have a family and to live in a society that accepts me. More deeply, it has shown me perspective.

If you're just as interested as me in learning about people's life stories as told from their perspective, about the life of a First Family (especially the first African American First Family) and about the social issues we are still facing, Michelle Obama's Becoming is the perfect read.

I don't know about you but each time, after reading another book, I immediately find myself having a noticeably expanded vocabulary, impressing my own self with the new words I now have access to and use from my mental library.

It's truly a fascinating feeling.

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