I often find very popular books…well, underwhelming. Why did so many people like this book over that book? Why does [name of a very popular book] still have 5 stars on Amazon/Goodreads, when it’s so trite/boring/unrealistic/eye-rolly? What made Oprah pick [one book] over the similar but superior [other book]? Etc, etc. I’m sure many of you Cannonballers can relate.
However, I am DELIGHTED that this book has library waiting lists and 5 star ratings across the board. I hope everyone reads it, and comes away a little more generous, a little more inspired, a little more empathetic, a little more gracious.
One of the many things this book does well, in my opinion, is put human faces and human experiences on “politics.” Obama talks a lot about how she wouldn’t be where she is without x, y, z– a good mom, a good teacher, reliable childcare, a caring older brother, a lot of luck etc, etc, but also that there are thousands, millions, of other girls just like her, who just didn’t have x, or y, or z–and it is our obligation as Americans to do something about that.
Obama is just so great, you guys. I just love her. And I loved that this book was so honest, but also knew when to pull the punches. Enough to relate on a deep, human level, but not voyeuristic, and not gossipy. Well-crafted as a memoir, with clear themes and a final chapter that almost left me in tears because God, haven’t these last few years been just so, so hard? At least Michelle’s right there with us.