I’ve been on the hunt for a REALLY good memoir/biography – and I couldn’t go past a memoir by Michelle Obama, ghost-written or not!
I pretty much expected it to be a bit cheesy and peppered with vague, girl-power, life-inspo quotes.
But nope, she tells her story pretty straight.
Michelle retells big moments of her childhood, growing up in poor/simple/frugal circumstances, getting into a selective high school, going to university, her first big job, her passion for community and people. You get to know her and she’s surprisingly normal and refreshingly happy.
It does get a little too sweet when she describes falling in love with Barack – um, even I got a bit gushy?! She talks a lot about having a husband who is quite different to her, and needing to go to counselling.
Also no surprises, there’s a lot about campaigning, US politics and living in the White House.
Overall I DIDN’T find it earth-shatteringly inspirational. I found it refreshing, insightful, engaging and warmly inspirational. Which was nice. I felt that she and I were good girlfriends now!
Best takeaways for me:
She was unapologetic about putting her kids into childcare and going back to work. She grew up with an attitude: Male or female, you worked, and you worked hard.
She juggled being a mum, going to mother’s groups, volunteering at schools, racing around to music lessons, buying take away dinners and feeling guilty about all the rushing around. Very normal!
She always had a clear passion for people and giving back to the community. I liked that she put her hand up to help others, from very early on in her career.
I loved that she liked getting A’s and that she liked being smart.
Her words came across as someone who has genuine honesty, integrity and grace.
And when I listen to I her speeches they convey so much confidence and authority, yet she seemed so honest, vulnerable and was so likeable… like she was instantly your dependable best friend.
It made me – Ok ok I guess it INSPIRED me – to seek to convey that kind of warmth and confidence whenever I spoke.
Do you have a favourite biography or memoir?? I’d love to hear your recommendations!