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4 Books Recommended by Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Ever wondered what books have influenced Michelle Obama, a woman known for her wisdom and grace? Explore her book recommendations with Blinkist!
by Tania Strauss | Apr 26 2022
Michelle Obama Book Recommendations

Given Michelle Obama’s beloved public image and thoughtful, intelligent reputation, it’s no surprise that people are very interested in the first lady’s reading list. However, while her presidential husband has made a tradition of releasing a full list of his favorite books every year, Michelle has been a lot quieter on the subject. 

With the publication of her bestselling memoir Becoming, available in the Blinkist library, there was renewed interest in what Michelle Obama’s recommended books might be — and she has mentioned a few key nonfiction titles over the years. Unsurprisingly, all these books, which are focused on memoirs, touch on topics that can shed light on something meaningful about the world and reveal something resonant about the lives of the people who wrote them. 

What does Michelle Obama do now?

Want to know more about Michelle Obama, including her journey from modest beginnings to becoming a global icon? Check out our detailed feature, Digging into the Former First Lady’s Fortune: Michelle Obama’s Net Worth Revealed. This will give you an inside look into her life, achievements, and activities since leaving the White House.

And if you want to even dive deeper into the Barracks life, check out the article about what her mother, Marian Robinson, has to say about her. Read the article here.

So, here is a short but powerful list of four nonfiction books that Michelle Obama has praised in the last few years:

The Top 4 Michelle Obama Book Recommendations


1 . Educated by Tara Westover

This widely-acclaimed memoir, which was featured on several year-end lists when it was published in 2018, charts the author’s journey from an abusive, fundamentalist Mormon upbringing to a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. 

Denied schooling during her childhood, Westover left her rural home at sixteen, embarking on a journey that led her away from her oppressive beginnings, a path that, unfortunately, also resulted in the loss of her familial ties.

“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,” Obama raved to  New York Times.

2. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s Diary, written while her Jewish family hid from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic, is one of the great classics of memoir. Perhaps because Anne Frank never intended her diary to be published, it has an honesty, immediacy, and texture of lived experience that has touched millions, and that gave a face to the uncountable losses of the Holocaust. 

Michelle Obama is one such person who was touched deeply, and she published a lengthy tribute to the book on her Instagram after visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam in 2019.

3. A Promised Land: Barack Obama

A Promised Land, available in the Blinkist library, offers an intimate account of Obama’s journey from a young man in Honolulu to becoming a revered and complex figure in American history. Michelle Obama recommends this memoir not just for its deep personal connection to her life but also for its inspirational and educational value. 

Discover the political and personal challenges faced by Obama, as well as his unique perspective on leadership and change.

 4. Long Walk to Freedom: Nelson Mandela

This autobiography is a profound testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit, chronicling Mandela’s journey from the South African countryside to becoming an iconic anti-apartheid leader. Michelle Obama’s recommendation of this book reflects her admiration for Mandela’s enduring spirit and dedication to justice and peace. 

The book gives readers an intimate, inside view of how Mandela experienced his journey as it was actually happening. “I like to flip through it from time to time because it always seems to give me an extra boost when I need it,” Obama told the New York Times.

Get to Know Michelle Obama Through Blinks

Discover Michelle Obama’s Favorites on Blinkist

Michelle Obama’s chosen books are more than just her favorites. They tell stories of overcoming tough times, leading bravely, and how learning can change lives.

Are you interested in the world and its influential people? Then, you’ll find her book list really insightful. Now, it’s your chance to dive in. Blinkist makes it easy to get the key points of these books quickly or to explore them deeply, whichever you prefer.

Join us in exploring these inspiring books. Sign up for Blinkist now and get a 7-day free trial. Start your journey of discovery and inspiration today – the best ideas in the world are just a click away.

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