Saturday, April 6, 2019


Of the many current books I read this year, two of the ten outstanding ones are memoirs. Memoirs relate those episodes that have had a profound effect on the author’s life, which he believes would make an interesting story. Memoirs are not the same as autobiographies. An autobiography is the author’s recording of his entire life.  Today’s memoir is indeed remarkable.  Becoming by Michele Obama is immensely popular and more than 10,000 reviews have been written. I’m sure some of you have already read it.

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be “honest”.

Michele describes her girlhood and womanhood as an unwavering desire to excel.

When she was a child, she wanted a dog, a house with stairs with 2 floors, preferably for one family, and a 4-door station wagon. Little did she realize that these wishes would someday come to pass on a grand scale.

Michele grew up in the predominantly black South Side of Chicago in a family of modest means. Her only sib was Craig, two years older and with whom she has a life long friendship.  Her parents encouraged her. Even as a young child she was ambitious. When the neighborhood school deteriorated, her parents sent both children to private schools.

She excelled and was able to enter Princeton and eventually Harvard Law.

I found this book remarkable for a number of reasons the least of which is that Michele was the first African American to spend 8 years in the White House as First Lady.

Michele is extremely frank in describing her thoughts and experiences.
What I found particularly enlightening was the insight into how most blacks feel towards whites. The book also gives details about the political interactions and infighting, her marital relationship with Barack as well as her tenure as First Lady.

Regardless of your political preferences, I believe you will find this book a rewarding read.

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