Book Club | The Light We Carry

A question that floats around after reading her latest – what’s not to like about Michelle Obama?

The Light We Carry is Michelle Obama’s follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Becoming. While The Light We Carry doesn’t follow a specific timeline, it is still a recount of personal experiences and how she has managed trying times. From friendships, family, marriage and racism to finances, politics, parenting and fitness. The book is a polished presentation of her life’s toolbox.

Albeit slightly slow to start as you wonder what journey the pages are about to take you on, relating to an ex-first lady is not something the everyday reader would ever have considered occurring.

In the face on a global pandemic, like the rest of us, Obama was forced to sit back and re-evaluate. It makes the reader feel seen. We can all acknowledge the pandemic took (or continues to take) parts of our lives, but having the feelings of uncertainty put into words by someone of cultural influence makes it feel settling.

Some personal favourite quotes from the book are as follows:

“They’re just trying to learn life” – deep down we are all just trying to learn life. Does anyone ever know what they are doing? This one was a quote from Obama’s mother.

“Celebrate the value of differentness in ourselves and in others” – pretty self explanatory. In a world that right not seems to be fuelled with lots of hate, this quote feels particularly relevant.

“A motto stays hollow if we only repeat it and put it on products we can sell on Etsy” – A motto about mottos from a book full of mottos.

Putting things on Etsy is incredibly easy these days, and while readers might not take on board every single piece of advice or wisdom from the book, putting even one tool to work in your own life makes it worth the read.

Again, what’s not to like about Michelle Obama? Aside from the occasional what one could call mum joke, and some of her overwhelmingly sincere Americanisms, this book is one you shouldn’t miss.