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BOOK CLUB BUNDLES

Hi, I’m Lauren. The Library will provide books for your book club. Our book club bundles include 10 copies of the same title, along with a discussion guide. Check out available bundles when visiting the Library, or fill out the form below! Patrons can reserve book club bundles up to six months in advance. Our book club bundles are stored on the second floor for the public to browse and check out. Contact us at bookclub@gpld.org or call us at 630-232-0780 if you have questions.


Becoming

by Michelle Obama

GENRE: Nonfiction, Memoir

From a modest beginning on the South Side of Chicago, to the classrooms of Princeton, on to a law career, marriage, motherhood, and to the role of First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama tells her story.

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author biography

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is the wife of the forty-fourth President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States.

She was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After completing her formal education, she returned to Chicago and accepted a position with the law firm Sidley Austin, and subsequently worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Michelle Obama is the sister of Craig Robinson, men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. She met Barack Obama when he joined Sidley Austin. After his election to the U.S. Senate, the Obama family continued to live on Chicago's South Side, choosing to remain there rather than moving to Washington, D.C.  - Goodreads

More titles by this author.

reviews

Booklist

Who but Obama herself could narrate the story of her life? With impeccable pacing, the former First Lady’s warm reading immediately pulls listeners close for what feels like an intimate chat with a friend. Her cozy and eloquent prose employs a cadence that translates well to the audio format, and her familiar voice adds another dimension to her very personal story—one that is deeper, more revealing, and sublimely genuine. Family stories evoke warm tones, even when there’s a note of prickliness underneath, as when relating the tedium of early piano lessons with her strict aunt, or the pique of having her husband take a writing retreat to Bali while still a newlywed. Listeners will take notice when, in the midst of describing their workaday lives as young professionals, her tone turns to firm reassurance that life goes on after fertility challenges. A wistfulness tinged with pride will make hearts swell at Obama’s recounting of her husband’s first inauguration, and listeners will delight along with her at the tiny rebellion of finding a way out of the White House, arm in arm with Malia, to see the building illuminated by rainbow lights celebrating the passage of marriage equality—a momentary balm to the bewildering pain of mourning shooting victims at a service in Charleston earlier that day. Throughout, Obama’s voice conveys an openhearted sincerity, underlain with the same practicality and hopefulness by which she steers her life. A much-anticipated audio that delivers.  -- Heather Booth (Reviewed 11/19/2018)

Publisher's Weekly

The former first lady looks back on an unlikely rise to the top while navigating issues of race and gender in this warmhearted memoir. Obama's narrative is the story of an African-American striver, born to a working-class family in a Chicago ghetto, who got Princeton and Harvard degrees and prominent jobs in law and public relations, attended at every step by the nagging question, "Am I good enough?" ("Yes I am," she answers). It's also about her struggle to keep husband Barack's high-powered political career from subsuming her identity and the placid family life she preferred to the electoral frenzy—she disavows any desire for public office herself—while she weathered misgivings over work-life balance and marital strains that required couples' counseling. Becoming  the first lady ratchets up the pressure as Obama endures the Secret Service security bubble, has every public utterance and outfit attacked by opponents, gets pilloried as a closet radical, and soldiers on with healthy-food initiatives. Obama surveys most of this with calm good humor—"infuriating" Republican obstructionism and Donald Trump's "misogyny" draw her ire—while painting an admiring, sometimes romantic portrait of Barack and evoking pathos over her parents' sacrifices for their children. There are no dramatic revelations and not much overt politics here, but fans of the Obamas will find an interesting, inspiring saga of quiet social revolutions. Photos. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed 11/19/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 47, p).

Kirkus Reviews

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed. It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election. An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like. (Kirkus Reviews, November 30, 2018)

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