Becoming by Michelle Obama

I loved Becoming by Michelle Obama so much I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll start by saying I know how biased I am about the Obamas. I adore them. I miss them. I follow fan pages on Instagram. So, I get it. I probably would have loved the book no matter what. But I have to tell you, this book went so far beyond what I expected from a White House memoir.

She uses conversational language so it’s almost like you can hear her voice as you read. She answers all the questions that you want to ask her:

  • What is it like being married to a career politician, Barack Obama, no less?
  • How do you keep your family together during campaigns or the presidency?
  • How does it feel to be in the public eye all the time?
  • How do you protect your young children from the toxic environment which is politics?
  • What does Barack do that annoys you?
  • How do you deal with the harsh criticism that can come your way?

 


She writes in depth about how she always wondered if she was good enough.


 

I’m shocked by how personal this book feels.   She talks about:

  • her upbringing
  • the challenges she faced because of her race
  • being a working mother with a husband that is absent most of the time
  • marriage counseling
  • her miscarriage and the struggles to conceive
  • how she is always working to prove herself
  • times she was hurt
  • her schooling
  • her career
  • her struggle to maintain her identity

She goes into great detail about life in the White House, her staff, the chaos of each day, the Secret Service and the initiatives she championed as First Lady. She paints a picture of Barack Obama like only she can. She leaves little tidbits of wisdom throughout and gives her insight about major events that are truly inspiring to read. My favorite thing about the book is that she lays out her path from being a typical black girl from Chicago to being one of the most influential people in the world in such relatable detail. It has left me with a kind of hope that is hard to feel in the current political climate. I highly recommend giving this one a try if you can carve out some time.

The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes

The World As It by Ben Rhodes was a very emotional read for me for a number of reasons. I’m sure part of the reason is the current period of time that we are living through. Watching the constant scandal unfold day after day makes me yearn for a past that was not that long ago. I decided to pick up this book after the 2018 midterm election.

I spent two weeks leading up to the election full of anxiety about the future of the United States and society in general. I stayed up all night on election day watching the results roll in. I felt a sense of relief after the House was securely in the opposing party’s hands. After about an hour of sleep I decided to take a break from social media, my blog and the news in general. Reading will help me rest, recover and refocus, I thought to myself. I don’t know if this book was the right one to pick if rest and recovery was my goal, but I’m so glad that I read it.

It is beautifully written. He has a way of painting vivid pictures in your mind while simultaneously evoking real emotion as you read. He takes you on his personal journey starting with his feelings about 9/11 and ending with his last ride on Air Force One. He describes the first time he meets Barack Obama, the workhorse companionship of the campaign, the elation after Presidential victory, the enormous sense of responsibility he felt in the Oval Office, the sparring with journalists, the hell he felt as he was vilified by right wing media, the complications of foreign policy and the pressure of speech writing for the most influential man on the planet.

Throughout the book he describes little conversations he had with Obama that are really endearing. He somehow captures the human side of governing which is what made it so hard to put down. He is able to capture the sadness, anxiety and disappointment that the staff felt after the results of the 2016 election. He describes his own emotions in such a compelling way that it brought me to tears as I thought about that period of time. It was such a good read.

Although the last chapter is really sad he ends on an inspirational note. He writes, “I was a man, no longer young, who – in the zigzag of history – still believe in the truth within the stories of people around the world, a truth that compels me to see the world as it is, and to believe in the world as it ought to be.” It’s worth the time if you have it.

Bill Browder: Red Notice Book Review

 

This is a must read book in 2018! It reads like a political thriller, yet it is a true story. It also gives some really good background info to help make sense of the Russia investigation.

I added Red Notice by Bill Browder to the Blue Mom Red State book club because Bill Browder is a key player in today’s news of the day. After the death of Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder has made it his mission to seek justice for him. Red Notice offers some context to the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr about Russian adoptions and dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Bill Browder has become a highly polarizing figure in today’s politically charged environment much like everything else. He is the subject of many conspiracy theories and is a villain in the eyes of Vladimir Putin.

Read the book and decide for yourself!

 

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

 

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis was such a fun read and I’m so glad to add it to the book club! I’ve been really stressed with the Blue Mom Red State blog so it was the perfect time for this book. She talks about how to stay motivated in your life of chaos. One of my favorite chapters was about breaking promises to yourself. I do that all the time! She covers a wide range of subjects that most people can relate to like emotional eating, sex issues, parenting frustrations and many more. Definitely worth the read!