I have no idea why he chose the title Dreams from My Father. I can't imagine what worthwhile dreams he could have inherited from a man who played virtually no role in his life. The only time he saw him after he was old enough to remember was for a few weeks when he was 10 years old, and that time together didn't go very well. His father was intelligent and well-educated, but he was also a blowhard, a drunk, and a failure at just about everything he did except get married multiple times (sometimes with more than one active wife) and father children. Worse, according to recent statements by Obama's half-brother, he was prone to beat his wife and kids. That only relates to the half-brother's mother (the white American woman Obama married after he left Barack Obama's mother) and their two sons. But that pathology generally indicates the way a man probably would have treated his other wives and children.
The best and most interesting part of Dreams, toward the end, deals with his trip to Kenya to meet relatives and explore his heritage before he went to Harvard. Also interesting is his brief account of how he came to join Trinity United Church of Christ, home of the now infamous Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and his relationship with Wright. His acceptance of the extremist, anti-American, anti-Semitic Wright as a spiritual mentor apparently began at that point. It's clear that Obama joined the church as a useful step to facilitate his community organizing efforts, but that doesn't excuse his continuing relationship of over 20 years with Wright.
There are things missing from the book, including details about his mother that one would expect. She married Barack Obama when she was only 18, and he left her by the time their son was two years old. It's not clear when they were actually divorced, and the book leaves room for lingering suspicions about the facts of their marriage and the timing of their divorce. Not long afterward, she married an Indonesian student and followed him to Indonesia, her young son in tow. For four years they lived in very poor conditions in Indonesia, amid serious political unrest. Obama writes of this as a stimulating and exciting time in his life, and perhaps it was for one so young. But it leaves a lot to ponder in terms of his mother's common sense and overall outlook on life.
The main title of The Audacity of Hope was, in fact, taken from the title of one of Reverend Wright's sermons. The book was written after Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, before Wright's extremism became known to the outside world and before the extent of Obama's relationship with him was of much significance. And frankly, I don't think Wright played a defining role in Obama's thinking or attitudes. As I said in an article elsewhere, Obama is something of a "faux golden boy," the kind of "modern man ... who is mostly image without accomplishment. ... Everything he touched somehow turned to gold just because he was himself." He joined Wright's church because it was the thing to do, and he maintained a personal relationship with Wright because it looked good to his primary constituency. When Wright became a liability, under the bus he went, and the golden boy was barely tarnished.