Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Michelle Obama's memoir, plus her guided journal

Becoming ~ by Michelle Obama, 2018, memoir
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 U.S. 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 readers 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 honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it —in her own words and on her own terms.  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.
Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice ~ by Michelle Obama, 2019, journal
What's your journey of becoming?  This journal features an intimate and inspiring introduction by the former First Lady and thought-provoking questions and prompts to help you discover — and rediscover — your story.  “It’s not about being perfect.  It’s not about where you get yourself in the end.  There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.  And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others.  This, for me, is how we become,” Michelle Obama says.

Michelle Obama shared her own extraordinary journey in her memoir to help create space for others to tell their stories and to give people the courage to discover the power of their own voice.  With this journal, she now provides you with the encouragement to find value in your own personal journey of becoming.  It includes thought-provoking prompts designed to help you reflect on your personal and family history; your goals, challenges, and dreams; what moves you and brings you hope; and what future you imagine for yourself and your community.  She writes in the introduction:
"I hope you’ll use this journal to write down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, in all their imperfections, and without judgment. ... We don’t have to remember everything.  But everything we remember has value."
As you journal, take heart in the experiences that brought you to where you are today, and also feel empowered to take those next steps, wherever they might lead.
Donna read the memoir when it first came out, and I was impressed by the sections of the book:
  • Becoming Me
  • Becoming Us
  • Becoming More
Sue Jackson recently wrote an excellent summary on her Book by Book blog.  Ebony says it "is on track to be the biggest-selling autobiography in history, according to BBC."  I finally got a copy from the library and have already read well into her section of "Becoming Me."  Donna, best friend that she is, gave me Michelle's guided journal as an early Christmas present.  So today, these are the TWO books I'm sharing here.
A quote:  "The more I told my story, the more my voice settled into itself.  I liked my story.  What's your story?"
I found this Reading Guide, a 7-page pdf we can print out.  It looks as interesting as the book(s).


Helen's Book Blog said...

I really enjoyed this book as many others have. I hope you have a merry Christmas!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

What are you planning to read this year, Bonnie? I'd love to hear what you are thinking about reading?

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I've answered your question, Deb, by writing a whole blog post to start the new year: