Becoming (book)

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Becoming (Michelle Obama book).jpg
AuthorMichelle Obama
CountryUnited States
PublishedNovember 13, 2018 (2018-11-13)
PublisherCrown (North America)
Viking Press (Commonwealth)
ISBN978-1-5247-6313-8 (Hardcover)
Preceded byAmerican Grown 

Becoming is the autobiographical memoir of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama published in 2018.[1][2] Described by the author as a deeply personal experience,[3] the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.[4] The book is published by Crown and will be released in 24 languages.[4] One million copies will be donated to First Book, an American nonprofit organization which provides books to children.[4]

It sold more copies than any other book published in the United States in 2018, breaking the record in just 15 days.[5]

Book sales[edit]

Total book sales, including hardcover, audio and e-books editions, sold around 725,000 copies in the United States and Canada during its first day, making it the second best-selling debut for any book in 2018.[6][7] Bob Woodward's Fear: Trump in the White House holds the record after selling around 900,000 copies during its first day.[6][7][8] However, Barnes and Noble reported that Becoming surpassed Fear in first-week sales and had more first-week sales of any adult book since Go Set a Watchman in 2015.[9] The book sold 1.4 million copies in its first week.[10] After 15 days, the book became the best-selling book in the US for the year 2018.[5]


The review aggregator website Book Marks reported that 20% of critics gave the book a "rave" review, whilst 70% of the critics expressed "positive" impressions, based on a sample of 20 reviews.[11] It was a Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection.[12] Walter Clemens of the New York Journal of Books stated: "Read this book and you will be more thankful and even proud to be part of the human race from which this woman (and her husband) emerged. Becoming will assure you that not all figures in public life are professional liars, fakes, thieves, sexual bullies, and assassins."[13]


Questlove curated a soundtrack for the book, called The Michelle Obama Musiaqualogy.[14]


  1. ^ Barnes & Noble. "Becoming". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  2. ^ Haring, Bruce (February 25, 2018). "Michelle Obama Memoir 'Becoming' Set For November Release". Deadline.
  3. ^ Obama, Michelle [@MichelleObama] (February 25, 2018). "Writing BECOMING has been a deeply personal experience" (Tweet). Retrieved February 28, 2018 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b c Chow, Andrew R. (February 25, 2018). "Michelle Obama's Memoir to Arrive in November". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming breaks sales record in 15 days". BBC News. November 30, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Italie, Hillel. "Obama's memoir sells more than 725,000 copies". KFDM. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  7. ^ a b "Sales of Michelle Obama's book top 725,000 in 1st day". Press Herald. 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  8. ^ Chappell, Carmin (2018-09-18). "Bob Woodward's 'Fear' sells 1.1 million copies in first week, a record for publisher Simon & Schuster". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  9. ^ Carras, Christi (November 19, 2018). "Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' Becomes 2018's Fastest-Selling Book, Says Barnes & Noble". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  10. ^ "Michelle Obama's book sells 1.4 million copies in a week". CBS News. November 21, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  11. ^ "Becoming". Book Marks. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "First Look: Oprah's New Book Club Pick: Becoming, by Michelle Obama". November 12, 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  13. ^ "Reviewed by Walter Clemens in New York Journal of Books". 2018-10-09. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  14. ^ Stutz, Colin (November 20, 2018). "Questlove Expertly Curates Soundtrack for Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' Book Tour: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved November 21, 2018.

External links[edit]