BBC: ‘Becoming’.

I don’t know what is in the air (I think it’s oak pollen) but I’ve been up since 3 sneezing and putting eye drops in my itchy, red eyes! Around 4:30, I gave up and made coffee. I started on new allergy meds last week and have been feeling pretty good until this morning.

I was outside quite a bit on Saturday and I took a 3-mile walk last night… now I feel like there’s likely loads of pollen in any crevice of my body that I missed during my post-walk shower. Ugh.

But today’s post is much more positive — I’m talking about the latest read from Blanche’s Book Club: “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. Here is the book’s description from the book’s website:

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 unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, 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.

As soon as this book came out, I saw great reviews on it, so I added it to my list of library reserves (the waitlist was long). Honestly, I’ve never had much thought about Michelle Obama, and that likely sounds meaner than I intend.

I definitely thought she seemed cool, I liked that she wore lesser-known designers and affordable clothes during her time as First Lady, and I admired her garden at the White House and the coordinated effort to solve problems at the root of childhood obesity.

But I never really wondered about her politics or what she thought of her husband as President or what she was like as a mom. But this book works to tell all of those stories and I was pleasantly surprised.

It walks through her childhood, her relationship with her family, how she met Barack, their wedding, and having kids… and of course, her husband’s journey to the White House. I read nearly all of it in one sitting.

Even though I’ve read other books by former First Ladies, this was definitely the closest, likely the most real, picture I’ve ever had of what life is like inside the White House — it was fascinating.

I’d definitely recommend this book if you have any interest in an inside look of the presidency and/or life of a First Lady.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be Reading is “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean — I think this is my first read from Reese Witherspoon’s book club!

Meanwhile, I’m going to go scrub my hair because there are likely pollen spores clinging in there somewhere. Send help!

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