insole court book club – february

Becoming by Michelle Obama

This book is the first of our group recommendations and the first non-fiction novel that we have delved into as a group. Luckily, many of us received it as a Christmas gift as it wasn’t quite out on paperback at the time of reading. There was a very interesting split in the room of people who enjoy autobiography and people who don’t. There was also an interesting split between people enjoying particular sections of the book more than others. Once again, lovely to welcome some new members!

As always, I’ll share some of our general thoughts and musings, and some further reading/watching. All of us, I think, found it hard to offer up comments or critique as it’s not about a narrative, its her life. So please bear with me. As always, I’m interested to hear your thoughts as well so join in the discussion in the Comments section. Like the physical book club, it’s a friendly place, we don’t bite.

Surprised by how unexceptional her early life was.

Race wasn’t acknowledged as much as expected.

Some disagreed with that.

Appreciated the strength that she needed to keep up with the campaigning.

Interesting and inspiring.

Coming of age shift was interesting to those of a similar age.

White House stuff was a bit glossy. Were her real feelings edited?

She spent a lot of time justifying herself. Had to make an impact.

Extraordinary intelligence.

Her passion for education is infectious.

Ability to excel in life is down to you, and your attitude.

Very charismatic.

Interesting that she leap-frogged her own city’s University.  Didn’t see her place there.

Moving from an individualist view-point to wider perspective.

The need to over-achieve. Especially when you are very visible.

The privilege that comes with wealth.

Different up-bringings in the relationship. Sometimes opposites work. They took a chance with each other.

Awareness of the sacrifices of all of the family members.

Some cultural references that require some knowledge – don’t necessarily translate for UK readers.

‘When they go low, we go high’

Powerful.

  • The West Wing
  • Veep
  • Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • Lemmy’s autobiography
  • Nile Rogers autobiography

Our next book club book is Homegoing by Yas Gyasi, meeting on Tuesday 26th March, 7 – 8.30pm in the Reading Room of Insole Court House.

I am also doing a one-off short story book club on Tuesday 5th March as part of the Brilliant Books Festival at Insole Court. We’ll be discussing The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula La Guin. It is available to read for free here. The event is free but ticketed. You can find out more on the Insole Court website.

Kelly

 

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