2024 Grammy® Award Winner •#1 NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • In an inspiring follow-up to her acclaimed memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.
There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?
Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.
“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.
About the Author
Michelle Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service. She is the author of the #1 global bestseller Becoming and the #1 national bestseller American Grown. The Obamas currently live in Washington, D.C., and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
“A deeply personal and hugely inspirational exploration of ‘what keeps us upright in the face of uncertainty . . .’ In other words, perfect for now.”—O Quarterly
“A joy to read.”—Los Angeles Times
“Reaffirming . . . What makes the book special is that it builds on parts of Becoming, and [Michelle] Obama serves as mentor and guide.”—The Washington Post “Obama’s road map for uncertain times resonates in ways that other self-help books do not. . . . Through her stories, experiences and thoughts, we’re finding the light with her.”—The New York Times
“[Michelle Obama’s] clear-eyed confidence is a model for anyone searching for reason, strength, and optimism in tough times.”—Lucy Feldman, Time’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2022
“Miraculously, these self-help bromides don’t come across as cloying, mainly because Obama is so disarmingly honest about her fears, failures and all-too-human flaws. . . . You can’t argue with the hard-fought wisdom of such an accomplished woman.”—The Guardian
“Though Obama makes it clear she still struggles with plenty of self-doubt and doesn’t have all the answers, she provides a pretty thorough road map to living a fuller, kinder, better life.”—USA Today
“A heartening pep talk from the former first lady.”—Kirkus Reviews
“In The Light We Carry, Obama shares ideas for quelling what roils our stomachs and ways to move forward. She’s like a big sister whispering in my ear, ‘You are enough.’”—Philadelphia Inquirer
“Encouraging, sometimes funny, always chummy . . . The Light We Carry contains a multitude of other poignant, amusing anecdotes and helpful advice for all types of readers.”—BookPage
Praise for Michelle Obama’s Becoming
“A serious work of candid reflection by a singular figure of early-twenty-first-century America . . . Becoming is refined and forthright, gracefully written and at times laugh-out-loud funny.”—Isabel Wilkerson, The New York Times Book Review
“Becoming is inspirational without trying to be. From the first words, the very warmth that permeates its author emanates from the pages. . . . Becoming manages to be a coming-of-age tale, a love story and a family saga all in one. More importantly, this book is a reminder that America is still a work-in-progress, and that hope can be an action word if we allow it to be. Becoming is a balm that America needs, from a woman America does not yet deserve.”—Angie Thomas, Time
“Deeply personal and refreshingly honest . . . She’s thoughtful, humorous, bracingly revealing, and when it’s time, she does us all the favor of showing us the human side of a man worshipped by so many. . . . It’s human and genuine and welcoming to see the layers of humanity she holds open. . . . Michelle Obama’s story can maybe inspire you to find a path for your own story.”—Shonda Rhimes, Shondaland
“A complex, accomplished life recounted with confidence and candor . . . Every page sparkles with directness and grace.”—Douglas Brinkley, The Boston Globe