Fellow Westporter, Sybil Steinberg, contributing editor and former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly, treats Westport Library patrons to a wonderful book event a few times a year. She recommends a long list of new books, fiction and nonfiction, and gives us a short summary of each and reasons why she loves each one. Here is her current list!
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Becoming is an engaging memoir from a tall, bright, black girl from Chicago who grew up in a traditional home with loving family and the opportunity for education. Where her life led is remarkable and Michelle Obama tells us about her youth, her relationship, marriage and daughters along with her thoughts and opinions about being a black woman, wife and mother in the White House. As the First Lady, she had worthwhile major initiatives surrounding children’s health, military families and education and she provides readers with an insider’s look and insight into her time in Washington DC.
Becoming is not just about becoming FLOTUS, it is about Michelle Obama’s personal growth based on choices she made and ones that were made for her due to circumstances – choices about her career, whether or not she got married and had children and how she created and honored her family values, made an impact on people and participated in causes she cared about, utilizing her new found power and visibility to help the people in our country become healthier, more ambitious and hopeful. She wasn’t just the president’s wife; Michelle Obama was a refreshing force with strong morals and an effective agenda for positive change in the White House, while providing stability for her children and husband as he took on the biggest job in our country.
One of Michelle Obama’s major initiatives while in the White House was the Let’s Movecampaign with the goal to reduce childhood obesity and encourage a healthier lifestyle. She worked with her Executive Director, Sam Kass, who at the time was President Obama’s Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition, and together they created the first major vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden.
A role model for women and girls, Michelle Obama took on the job of First Lady and conducted herself in the public eye with grace and effectiveness and deserves admiration and accolades. I highly recommend this book, regardless of your politics, as it gives you a unique understanding of the Obama family, the challenges members of the black community and all women face, and the endless possibilities for making positive change in your immediate world and the world at large. I loved it and hear the audio version is fantastic!
About the Author:
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.
I am looking forward to two of Sybil’s nonfiction recommendations, The Library Book by Susan Orlean, about the LA library fire in 1986, and Small Fry, a memoir written by Steve Jobs’ daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
If you are a year behind in your reading, see Sybil’s recommendations from October 2017 HERE.
If you are really behind, check out this video of Sybil Steinberg on Charlie Rose with her book recommendations in 1996!
Click HERE for my 2017 reviews on Book Nation by Jen and stay tuned for my review of Washington Black by Esi Edugyan…coming soon!
Every Tuesday new books are released and my reading pile is continually growing (See all photos in this post!). I follow lots of book websites and Facebook pages along with many published lists to decide what I want to read and review.
Sybil Steinberg, former book reviewer and contributing editor at Publisher’s Weekly presents her picks twice a year at the Westport Library in Westport, CT, one of the most highly ranked libraries in the nation.