Tag: michelle obama

Birthday Girl’s Best Reads!

Michelle Obama is the queen we all need daily advice from. But since she’s sadly not on our speed dials, we will have to draw as much influence and inspiration from her recommended book list. For her birthday, we have put together a number of books this mega powerhouse of a lady thinks we should read. Make sure you snag these books as fast as possible if they aren’t already in your bookshelf!

 

1. an american marriage by tayari jones

image via amazon

Similar to BecomingAn American Marriage discusses race, gender roles, and of course, love. A newly married couple, Celestial and Roy, find their lives turned upside down when he is convicted of a crime he did not commit. Left on her own while Roy starts a 12-year prison sentence, Celestial drifts away from him, emotionally. So what will happen to their marriage now?

 

 

2. the grapes of wrath by john steinbeck

image via abe books

Published in 1939, this story is set against the backdrop of economic depression and ecological hardship, and has remained hugely popular to this day, and is a staple in Michelle’s list. It follows the fortunes of a family as they travel the iconic Route 66 from Oklahoma to California in search of a better life.

 

3. song of solomon by toni morrison

image via amazon

It’s no secret that Michelle is a Toni Morrison fan, because back in 2011, during Take Your Child to Work Day, Obama noted Song of Solomon was the book that made her love reading. Song of Solomon is a coming of age story that discusses, in a literal and figurative sense, what it means to fly. The book has stirred up quite some controversy as it confronts many topics some have found uncomfortable, including racism, murder, and abusive relationships.

 

 

4. white teeth by zadie smith

image via amazon

“I love the way the story weaves together so many complex and powerful forces that affect our lives and our relationships – family and parenting, religion and politics, and so much more. Plus, it’s just plain funny. I love books that make me laugh every now and then.”, says Michelle.

 

5. educated by tara westover

image via amazon

Michelle says: “It’s an engrossing read, a fresh perspective on the power of an education, and it’s also a testament to the way grit and resilience can shape our lives. Tara’s upbringing was so different from my own, but learning about her world gave me insight into lives and experiences that weren’t a part of my own journey.”

 

 

6. conversations with myself by nelson mandela

image via by amazon

“I like to flip through it from time to time because it always seems to give me an extra boost when I need it. I cherish this both because it was signed by him and because he gave it to me as a gift when my family visited his home in 2011.” says Michelle.

 

 

Michelle Obama is the inspirational spirit animal everyone needs, and although she may not be the First Lady anymore, her book list is a portrayal of her vision and guidance, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with everyone.

 

featured image via book riot


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More Than A First Lady

One of the most influential ladies in the US, Michelle Obama, is celebrating another year of life. As former first lady, Mrs. Obama has shown nothing but kindness and has encouraged young women to believe in their futures. She is an inspiration to many and will always be one of the best first lady’s this country has ever seen.

Michelle Obama, formerly known as Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, was born January 17, 1964, to parents Fraser and Marian Robinson. Michelle and her older brother Craig were often mistaken to be twins as they weren’t that far apart in age. The Robinson’s lived in the South Side of Chicago, where both Craig and Michelle shared a room together separated by a sheet. Both children learned to read at home by the age of four, acquiring the knowledge they needed to skip second grade.

Image Via Pinterest

By sixth grade, Michelle started to create a name for herself. Her smarts gained her access to an accelerated program at school. There, she was able to learn French and complete accelerated courses in Biology. As a gifted student, she was able to attend one of the top gifted schools in Chicago, Whitney M. Young High School, where she graduated in 1981.

 

 

Following her brother’s footsteps, Michelle was accepted into Princeton University, where she graduated cum laude in 1985 with a B.A. in Sociology. From there, Michelle went on to study law at Harvard Law School, receiving her JD degree.

Image Via PBS

While working at her first job as a lawyer in Chicago, Michelle met Barack, who was a summer intern. Conveniently enough, Barack was assigned to Michelle as his adviser. After wooing her with his charm, Barack finally was able to gain the interest of Michelle. Within two years of dating, Barack proposed. The two were “married at Trinity United Church of Christ on October 3, 1992.”

 

 

In 1991, Michelle changed her career as a lawyer and went on to further her career in the public service field, working as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley. This is no surprise, as Michelle focused on social issues such as poverty, healthy living and the value of education. During Barack Obama’s presidency, from 2008-2016, Michelle continued to inspire others by giving speeches of great magnitudes in support of the issues she believes in.

Image Via Amazon

In 2018, Michelle wrote the book Becoming, going back to her “roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be.”

Later, in that year, Michelle and Barack came together and signed a deal with Netflix to produce series and films. This deal resulted in the August 2019 release of American Factory.

Despite being the former first lady, Michelle has continued to solidify her place in the world and is still loved by many. Happy Birthday, Michelle and keep being you.

 

Featured Image Via Variety

 


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8 of Michelle Obama’s Must-Reads

Book lovers and Obama supporters alike wait with anticipation every year to hear Barrack Obama’s book picks for that summer. Fortunately, you now have another round of books to choose from thanks to Michelle who has a few book recommendations of her own. Despite your ever-growing to-be-read pile, when Michelle Obama tells you to read a certain book, you listen!

Following the release of her own memoir, Becoming, Michelle reveals eight more must-reads in her “By the Book” interview, published on December 6, 2018 in the New York Times. Other titles come from an interview with Jenna Bush Hager and a memorial posted on Instagram for what would have been a Holocaust victim’s ninetieth birthday.

 

 

8-Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon

Image Via Image via The Stanford Daily

 

Part of the reason why Morrison received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, Song of Solomon follows the life of Michigan native, Macon through his life as he searches for a sense of identity.

 

7-The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Image Via Image via Penguin Books Australia

 

Before the major motion picture, Rachel was just a girl who liked to ride the train everyday to London and back. It’s definitely not because the train passes her ex-husband’s house or the because she can see the perfect couple she envies so who live a few houses down. Definitely not.

 

 

6-White Teeth by Zadie Smith

White Teeth

Image Via Image via Book Riot

 

Smith’s London-centric novel follows two friends, one Bangladeshi and one Englishman, as they navigate family, friendship and life in the city.

 

5-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Image via Apple Books

 

The archetype for unreliable narrators, Gone Girl will have you guessing until the very last page. Follow Nick and her husband Amy who disappears, but why…and how…and where?

 

4-An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Image Via Image via Oneworld Publications

 

Jones’ novel follows newlyweds who separate after a daunting rape trial. When they reunite later in life, things somehow get even more complicated.

 

 

3-Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Image via Booktopia

 

Westover’s biographical memoir tells the story of how she fell in love with learning after growing up with little to none of it at all.

 

2-The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

Image Via Image via Book Depository

 

Frank’s diary which she kept as a young girl before her family was sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust relay the horrors of the terrible tragedy.

 

1-Commonwealth by Anne Patchett

Commonwealth

Image Via Inprint

 

Patchett’s bestseller tells the story of a family whose dynamic gets turned upside down at a family christening and what happens when that child grows up and decides to share that story.

 

 

Featured Image via AARP

Audiobooks Sales Rise While Books Sales Fall

While physical books might be going out of style, audiobook sales are on the up and up.

 

Audiobook

Image Via The Creative Penn

 

Within the last year Barnes and Nobles was sold, there’s been news here and there about independent book stores struggling like never before, and the debate about whether or not physical books are out style raging on, audiobooks are on the up and up.

 

 

Previously The Daily Beast wrote that “while only 24 percent of Americans say they listened to at least one audio book in 2016, the average listener in that category consumed fifteen books in that same period, mostly on a smartphone.”

This year The Publisher’s Association, which collects and reports on data shared by many publishers across the country, released the 2018 year-end results.

All in all, estimated publisher revenue for downloaded audio increased 28.7% over 2017, meaning that, when it comes to audiobooks, publisher’s revenues grew 181.8% from 2014 to 2018. This is important, considering that audiobooks make up an estimated of 13.7% of publishers’ online sales.

What these numbers mean is that audiobook sales have an estimated worth of a whopping £69 million ($87.44 million).

Physical books, on the other hand, are down by 5%.

Considering the culture of audiobooks, and by extension book culture as a whole, these numbers all of that surprising. Step back, and think what could be the top selling audiobook…

 

It’s Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

 

Michelle Obama's 'Becoming'

Image Via Amazon

Not only did she write the book, but she’s the voice that makes the audiobook, well, into an audiobook.

This isn’t all that surprising. If you want know the story, then why not have the author themselves tell you the story? And Michele Obama must have something to say, being a former US First Lady and mother of two, so why not have her tell you her story complete with the emotion and cadence that can be missed if you skim across the black words on a bone white page.

It’s oral tradition right there on your phone/tablet/desktop that can be played, rewound, or fast-forwarded at your time and convenience.

 

John Grisham's 'The Rooster Bar'

Image Via John Grisham.com

 

Other big sellers were Joe Wicks’s The Fat-Loss Plan: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes with Workouts, Michael Wolff’s White House exposé Fire and Fury and John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar.

 

Stephen Lotinga

Image Via Twitter

BBC News  quotes Publishers Association chief executive Stephen Lotinga as saying that…

Audiobooks have grown phenomenally, as ever-increasing numbers of people opt to enjoy books in a way that suits new technologies and keeps pace with our busy lives.

 

 

Really? Consider this: Listening to audiobooks have less to do with having time reading a book. When reading a novel yourself, you can control how fast you read per word. The phrase ‘You can read’ can be read however faster or slowly you wish, and you can speed up between every other syllable.

So if when listening to an audiobook the speed of the speaker might have some external controls, but the control technology gives you is not as intricate of the control you have over yourself, then why listen to audiobooks if you can read much faster?

Because I can’t read a book and run on a treadmill at the same time. Because books take up valuable space in my backpack. Because I can play an audiobook in my car while I drive instead of reading and driving.

Roger Packer notes that, when polled, audiobook listeners revealed that they listened rather then read the book because “hey can do other things while listening (81%), They can listen wherever they are (80%); and Audiobooks are portable (75%)”.

The Guardian also notes that, “Lotinga said the rise in the popularity of podcasts, with the music streaming giant Spotify spending up to $500m this year buying podcast companies to tap the boom, was indirectly helping the book market.”

The same reason are moving away from CDs to streaming is the same reason why, despite the hits, UK’s took that surprise 5.4% decline.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via The Irish Times

These 5 Autobiographies Narrated by the Author are Perfect for the Beach!

When I think of summer reads, I think of the typical “chick-lit” with the hunky love interest and over-the-top romance. What I always forget about are the many other genres that are perfect to take off to the beach to read or even listen to while I quickly burn to a crisp. Over the last two years, autobiography has become one of my favorite genres, and I love listening to them – especially when they’re narrated by the authors. So here is my list of those perfect, inspiring autobiographies you need to be adding to your Audible or Libro.fm wishlist for summer.

 

1. Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler

 

Life Will Be the Death of Me advertisement

image via DPAC

 

If you’re a lover of Chelsea, you know her previous books have been all about how much of a hot mess her life is. They are jam packed with jokes, horror stories, and the occasional (frequent) hook-up. Her entire persona has been built up around her propensity to drink and get high and laid. I would love to say this book paints Chelsea as having it more together, but the truth is it highlights how much she doesn’t have it together… how much none of us really have it together. If you read the book, you do get to see all of the pictures of her dogs, friends, and family, but her narration adds another layer to the story she is telling in this book. Her voice cracks, you can hear her smile, and you get that authentic note of sarcasm in her tone that you may just miss in the book. If you’re wary, don’t be! The audio is under six hours, and it is all jam-packed with emotions. Warning: have some tissues ready, as you will unexpectedly be going to therapy with her.

 

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama Advertisement Poster

image via capital one arena

 

Let’s face it: when we saw Michelle Obama as First Lady, she was never anything other than elegant and graceful. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where her story starts, look no further! In her book, she recounts the major events in her life from growing up in a working class African American household in Chicago, to heading off to Harvard Law School, and eventually taking up residence at the most popular address in all of these United States. Through the narration, one thing remains certain: Michelle Obama maintains that same elegance and grace we came to love. She comes off so down to earth and at the same time you can tell she doesn’t take any crap. I absolutely adored reading about her adventures as daughter, student, wife, mother, and eventually First Lady. She even touches on returning to “normal” life once their stay at the White House was over. If you want a little insight as to what goes on behind closed doors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, this book is perfect for that, too!

 

3. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham

 

Talking as Fast as I Can Audiobook Cover

image via amazon

 

In 2000, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel took us by storm as the mother-daughter-duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. But just how did Lauren Graham find her way to that fateful day? Well, you can find out by picking up this book! In this book, Lauren recounts all of her tales from trying to make it as an actress in New York City, to struggling as an actress in New York City, to finally landing Gilmore Girls, to life after the show, and, finally, returning to Stars Hollow one last (maybe) time. As Lauren would say here, the ending of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life does end on a cliffhanger. If you aren’t a fan of Gilmore Girls, you can still find a lot of value in this book. She has advice for writers, advice for not dieting, and advice on what the appropriate tip is for when someone returns your backpack full of cocaine completely intact. Her reflections on her early acting career are amazing, and aspiring actors and actresses will definitely find this part of the story helpful. If you’re struggling to keep your current written project active (and struggling with finding that time to do so), she will guide you on how to do that exactly. In this book, Lauren proves how well she has taken on the mothering persona of Lorelai, giving us all the motherly advice we need wedged into the four and half hours of this audiobook! Fans of Gilmore Girls, you may even forget it isn’t Lorelai narrating this story. You should beware: there are some spoilers for Gilmore GIrls: A Year in the Life if you haven’t watched that yet.

 

4. It Takes Balls: Dating Single Moms and other Confessions from an Unprepared Single Dad by Josh Wolf

 

It Takes Balls book cover image

image via goodreads

 

Josh Wolf is a devout Patriots fan, but we won’t hold that against him as he recounts the funniest, most embarrassing tales of single fatherhood. We talk so much about single moms, who always seem to have it much more together than they should, but Josh makes it clear single dads are sometimes hanging on by a thread. He works his way through the early days, trying to find sitters so he can go on dates, to trying to find any kind of job so he can feed his children, even running an underground sandwich shop out of his kitchen! If you’re looking for a laugh, you have come to the right book. Josh Wolf is sure to keep you in stitches as he recounts a slew of stories in which each one is more hilarious than the last.

 

5. Has Anyone Seen My Pants? by Sarah Colonna

 

Has Anyone Seen My Pants? Advertisement Poster

image via sarah colonna

 

Another comedian, another fantastic audiobook! Sarah Colonna is hilarious, and you may remember her from her time on Chelsea Lately as a reoccurring comedian on the roundtable. In this book, she not only talks about some of the hook-ups that have gone south, but she also touches on all of the things in her single life before finding love in a Seattle Seahawks kicker, Jon Ryan. When she penned the book, she wasn’t trying to make anyone feel bad about being single or not finding love on the timetable that is given to us. Instead, she was trying to get the world to understand that it is okay to be single and ask for a table for one. She didn’t know that by the end of her book it would happen for her. The truth is no one ever knows what is going to happen; things just need time to happen. But don’t fret! Sarah will keep you laughing and crying all the way to end. Reading her memoir blew me away! Let it take you away for a few hours, too.

featured image via electric literature