Thought Leadership


By Colin Walls

I am an avid reader and always have a book on the go. I tend to read contemporary fiction, biography and other non-fiction in various fields. I try to swap between the genres when I choose a new book. Although I do write notes elsewhere, documenting my reading activity, I rarely discuss the topic here, except when a book is really exceptional. I just finished an exceptional book: Becoming by Michelle Obama, and wanted to share my thoughts …

As I am interested in people’s lives, I always enjoy reading biographies and autobiographies in particular. I am wary of autobiographies that are ghost written – I think it is usually possible to tell. In this case, I really feel that I am hearing the author’s voice; somehow it just seems genuine.

The book is extremely well written, with a good pace. I realized that it reminded me of the Apollo 13 movie. With the movie, I knew what the outcome would be, as it was firmly based on actual events, but I was still on the edge of my seat. This book had the same vibe and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I am very much a facts person, so feelings tend to need some explanation for me. Michelle Obama’s style is to write about how she felt about some event that was to take place. Then should would describe the event in factual terms. Then she would say how she felt about it. At a certain level, I now feel that I know the author just a bit. She comes over as very thoughtful, intelligent and eloquent and she takes pleasure in small – sometimes very ordinary – things, which is exactly what I endeavour to do myself. The book is inspiring and quite emotional.

The story ends when she and Barack hand over the White House to the Trumps. She does not hide her opinions and concerns about the new POTUS.

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