One of America’s beloved first ladies wants you to get in touch with your feelings and to do so, she's offering some literary assistance. Announced today, Oct. 7, Michelle Obama is set to release another book, which will be a companion journal to her wildly popular memoir, Becoming, that hit bookshelves in 2018.
Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice is scheduled to be released to the public on Nov. 19, 2019, according to Obama’s publisher, Penguin Random House, which added in a press release that the journal will be published in more than 20 countries.
Obama’s memoir released to critical and popular acclaim last year and kicked off a high-profile book tour that included celebrities like Stephen Colbert and Oprah in conversations with Obama, according to The Hill. And this upcoming journal is meant to help readers delve deeper into their own life and reflect on their journeys.
Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice "includes more than 150 inspiring questions and quotes that resonate with key themes in Mrs. Obama’s memoir and that are designed to help readers reflect on their personal and family history, their goals, challenges, and dreams, what moves them and brings them hope, and what future they imagine for themselves and their community,” Penguin Random House's press release reads.
In the forward to the journal, Obama looked back at what journaling has meant in her own life and her motivations for encouraging others to journal, according to People. While she journaled in her early 20s, Obama wrote that she "put it away and didn’t pick it up again until [she] began writing [her] memoir." The forward continued, "Instantly I was transported back to that earlier version of myself, with all the warmth, heartbreak and frustration flooding in. The experience left me asking myself, 'Why didn’t I journal more?'"
In the introduction, Obama encourages readers to use the journal to be transparent and honest with themselves. “I hope you’ll use this journal to write down your experiences, thoughts and feelings, in all their imperfections, and without judgement…We don’t have to remember everything. But everything we remember has value,” she wrote, according to the press release from Random House.
Becoming was an immediate bestseller when it hit stores in November 2018, according to USA Today. The book held the top spot on the USA Today 2018 top 100 best-selling books list. It gave an intimate look into the Obamas' early years, their journey to the White House, and the birth of their two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Publishing the memoir seemed to help Obama open up and become more transparent herself, even giving an interview on some of the difficult times in her marriage to Barack Obama. For example, she spoke with People in November 2018, saying: "Because we’re role moles, it’s important for us to be honest and say, if you’re in a marriage and there are times you want to leave, that’s normal – because I felt that way."
The Obamas have kept busy as a couple lately, launching a partnership with Netflix to create content that harnesses "the power of storytelling" and touches on issues of "race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more," according to The New York Times.
Before we see any of that, though, be sure to look for Becoming: A Guided Journal, on shelves Nov. 19. Or remember to add it to your holiday wish list.