Audiobook Review: Becoming

Oh my goodness. Can you even believe I haven't blogged at all in October and only twice in September?

What is even going on.

Panic not, though, as I am back (not actually sure where I even went to be honest) and I have a whole load of stuff lined up, first off being a small chat about Becoming by Michelle Obama, which I listened to on audiobook and absolutely loved. I kind of feel a little bit like Michelle Obama is my friend now if I'm honest. Not even kidding.


This book sold 1.4million copies in it's first week. That is a lot of books.

I think, in part, it's because we're all just inherently nosy, I certainly am anyhow: a little bit nosy and a little bit in-a-panic at the state of the world and so kind of wanting to hold on a little bit to a time where things were a little less awful than they are now. A time when it was a good person in The White House and not, y'know Trump and when the UK wasn't the clusterfuck it is right now.
Oh my goodness though, we're not going there, we are going to talk about Michelle Obama and this book. This book which is just so readable because this woman is so much more than the first African-American First Lady, she's absolutely fascinating and so so human and honestly I am so glad I listened to this on audio because it was spectacular.  I think a lot of the magic lay in Michelle's narration - there's a certain kind of power in listening to her recount her own experiences. It's one of the most engaging audiobooks I've listened to ever ever.

Michelle Obama has achieved so much in her life that it honestly makes me sleepy - and also aware of the fact that actually I am a massive underachiever myself - and she talks about it all, openly and honestly and with this self-deprecating humour and emotion. If I told you I teared up a time or two on my walk to work then that would not be a lie.

It isn't a book about politics if that was maybe putting you off picking it up, although let's be real here; Michelle was married to the PotUS so it would be impossible for politics not to be a big part of her story. More than that though, it's about a woman, growing up on the wrong side of the tracks (South Side Chicago, FYI) without much, materially, but surrounded by people who loved her and believed in her; a woman who as a woman - and a black woman at that - had to fight harder to get to where she wanted to be but who had the grit to do just that, to rise above all that stood in her way and kick some serious professional ass; a woman who met a man who she wasn't sure she even thought that much of at first but who she found herself falling in love with (and as first kiss stories go let me tell you that Michelle and Barack's gave me all the feels); a woman who married the man she loved and how that marriage and the life she had imagined morphed into something else entirely and something she could never have foreseen, a life that played out on the most public of stages; a woman who married the man who became President, who graduated Princeton and Harvard, who was massively successful in her own right, who fought hard and doggedly for girls and women everywhere, using her position as FLotUS for nothing but good, whilst at the same time giving all she had to protect her own two girls, but who never ever really stopped being who she was - that working class Chicago girl.

HOLY RUN ON SENTENCE BATMAN. I'm sorry, but apparently not sorry enough to go back and change it. It is what it is.

People have called this book inspirational, which, I'm not saying is incorrect; how can it fail to be inspirational when you look at how this girl from the South Side grew up to be the First Lady of the most inclusive White House America has seen but more than that, I think it's just a really good read about a genuinely good person, a person who doesn't have to care but who does and  for the right people for the right reasons. It's refreshing and it's somehow hopeful to know that not all people in positions of power are Trump or Johnson, that sometimes, just sometimes, you get an Obama, who has your back and wants to make your life better - a contrast I needed, a contrast everybody needs.

Honestly though, and I know I'm kind of repeating myself here but this book is just a hell of a read - I absolutely loved the first half of the book - Michelle's childhood, her teenage years, the start of her career, her and Barack before there was any hint of the Presidency. And there are snippets about the Queen, I'd have been there  for those if nothing else.

So glad I listened to this.