Michelle Obama’s “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times” (Crown, 336 pp.) debuts at No. 1 this week on the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books list. This is not the first time the former first lady has debuted at the top spot on the list. Her first book, the memoir “Becoming,” debuted at No. 1 in 2018 and stayed there for six consecutive weeks. “Becoming,” which sold more than 17 million editions, would go on to become USA TODAY’s bestselling book of 2018. It remained on the list for more than two years, returning to the No. 1 spot when the paperback edition was released the following year.
In her latest book, Obama reflects on navigating an increasingly stressful world. “We become bolder in brightness. If you know your light, you know yourself,” Obama writes in the introduction.
“I never thought I would be the author of one book, let alone two. But I’ve found that writing this has been a way for me to gather my thoughts and find more clarity during this time. So, I hope this book means as much to you as it does to me,” Obama wrote on Instagram.
Obama kicked off a six-city tour for her new book on Nov. 15 where she joined moderator Ellen DeGeneres. Obama credited her ability to overcome hateful comments to her upbringing and the mantra that her parents instilled in her: she was enough just as she was.
“That helped me create a protective layer around my life,” Obama said. “I understood that I and I alone could protect my light. I had to protect it with how I reacted to what people said to me. I had to practice that time and again and tell myself, ‘this is where empathy comes in.’ Empathy is an important tool, especially in the White House. I had to ask myself, ‘for the people throwing the arrows, what is going on in your world? Because this isn’t about me – you clearly don’t even know me.’ ”
More:Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres on facing hate comments: ‘I know what it feels like to be attacked’
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Mike Pence tells his truth in ‘So Help Me God’
The former vice president is finally having his say in his autobiography “So Help Me God” (Simon & Schuster, 560 pp.,) which debuted at No. 9 on the list. Pence reflects on his life and the events and people who forged his character, including his former boss, Donald Trump.
Readers will garner some insight into understanding this political odd couple: the brash, rules-breaking, thrice-married New Yorker paired with the affable Hoosier who has long described himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican – in that order.”
Pence also tackles the headlines – and memes – he generated as vice president. No, Mike Pence didn’t know there was a fly on his head during the 2020 vice presidential debate. Yes, he’s aware he was mocked as an “Elf on the Shelf” during the Trump administration. No, Dan Quayle didn’t have to convince him he lacked the authority to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
More:‘No regrets’: Pence memoir describes his unlikely partnership with Trump that fractured on Jan. 6
More:What Mike Pence thinks about that fly and other viral moments from his vice presidency
Contributing: Barbara Vandenburgh, Hannah Yasharoff, Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY
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