Did you miss your chance to see former first lady Michelle Obama talk about her best-selling memoir “Becoming” in the flesh on her extensive speaking tour?
Now BookTube is letting you watch her talk about her autobiography from the comfort of your own home. And instead of one moderator, she’s interviewed by a bunch of famous bookworms who ask a lot of good questions. It’s kind of like getting an invite to the hippest new book club.*
That’s the experience BookTube (the collective term for book-related YouTube channels) is going for. The YouTube learning special features Obama in conversation with a panel of top YouTube creators and bookworms, hosted by “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green, who also operates the channels Vlogbrothers and Crash Course with his sibling and fellow novelist, Hank.
Other YouTube on the panel: Franchesca Ramsey (aka Chescaleigh), author of “Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist“; vlogger and culture commentator Jouelzy, of #SmartBrownGirl fame; Canadian writer and book enthusiast Ariel Bissett; Jesse George, aka Jesse the Reader, self-professed book warrior; and Kat O’Keeffe, aka Katytastic.
“My story is the American story. It just happened that I’m Michelle Obama, the former First Lady, that people may pick it up,” Obama says in one of the videos about the book’s appeal. “But maybe why the finish it is because they see themselves in it.”
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She continues, “Do you know how rare it is that a living African-American woman from a working-class community gets to write her story in a way that will be read? That doesn’t happen. So the stories that we read that tell us what it means to be human, what it means to be American, they all have looked like a white male that comes from a wealthy background and becomes successful, so all of us start to think that, ‘Well, my little story doesn’t mean anything.’ But that’s what makes us all connected to each other.”
“Becoming” has spent 17 weeks on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list. According to stats NPD BookScan shared in Publisher’s Weekly, “Becoming” was the top-selling book of 2018; it went on sale in November of that year and sold 3.4 million copies by its close. Her live book tour continues through May 12, wrapping in Nashville.
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