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The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

Here is the story of a precarious childhood, with an alcoholic father (who would die when she was nine) and a devoted but overburdened mother, and of the refuge a little girl took from the turmoil at home with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. But it was when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes that the precocious Sonia recognized she must ultimately depend on herself.  She would learn to give herself the insulin shots she needed to survive and soon imagined a path to a different life. With only television characters for her professional role models, and little understanding of what was involved, she determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney’s office, private practice, and appointment to the Federal District Court before the age of forty. Along the way we see how she was shaped by her invaluable mentors, a failed marriage, and the modern version of extended family she has created from cherished friends and their children. Through her still-astonished eyes, America’s infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-invention and self-discovery.

Published: Random House Publishing Group on Jan 15, 2013
ISBN: 9780307962164
List price: $11.99
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This is such a pleasant read from such a down-to-earth author. Gives a fine view of a childhood surrounded by a large loving family, despite the black cloud of the early death of a beloved alcoholic father.Some highlights are of Justice Sotomayor's undergrad years at Princeton and her visits to her Puerto Rico family.Actually, the whole book is a highlight. One doesn't even miss her Supreme Court tenure, which I'm sure will come eventually and should only be as enjoyable as this one.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
How did the Saturday Night Live Point – Counter Point skits of the 1970’s, where each view point started with a personal insult grenade “Jane you ignorant slut!”, somehow take the place of real political dialogue in this country? What kind of insane CGI wizardry has morphed Walter Cronkite into Jon Stewart? How far down the sociological self-sabotage scale do you have reach to reach the point where men and women of great achievement – astronauts, writers, artists, that guy at Wham-o who invented the giant bubble set, Frisbees, the hula hoop, and the Frisbee – are replace as idols by Paris Hilton and a gaggle of mean girls?All these questions rattled through my mind as I read Justice Sonia Sotomayor memoir “My Beloved World”. She is an incredible lady whose life path, driven by excellence, is the personification of the opportunities possible through America’s freedom. The difficulty and obstruction of her journey took many forms, but even with all those walls that had to be scaled she never doubted the path’ existence. Justice Sotomayor recognized that America’s greatness and power was not due to it’s achievements such as men on the moon, defeating fascism, military might, or technological invention. America’s greatness is born out the ideals to which she aspires. Even when our country was nowhere near living up to these ideals, as is seen in the huge percentage of delegates to the Continental Congress who were slave owners, they remained her compass.I was also struck by how similar Justice Sotomayor’s life is to that of Condoleezza Rice. Clearly these women are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. This leads me back to Point – Counterpoint. It seems to me that while we often disagree with one another’s understanding our ideals, each philosophy is strengthened by the necessity to compete with differing viewpoints. It is often a messy or even horrifying process, as with the Civil War. Ultimately it is a process that continues to find ways to liberate from darkness those who do not yet share the full measure of freedom.My fifteen year old daughter answered the Facebook profile question about her political views by saying “Politics are corrupt”. I believe this level of cynicism, especially from those so young, is the greatest threat to our continued freedom. This is why Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, like that of Dr. Rice and so many others, is an important inspiration in the ever present fight for liberty.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It is a rare event for any political memoir to exhibit anything like true honesty, feeling, and candor. This book was a pleasure to read. I'd even pass it along to my mother.

Justice Sotomayor's legal opinions and courtroom style are a tough, 'just-the-facts' approach, and it is easy enough to see the roots of this toughness in her own upbringing. South Bronx, juvenile diabetes, Catholic education, father died young. Yet instead of becoming wholly cynical from this or her later trials, this feeling of personal drive and self-reliance continues to the present day.

Perhaps another sign of the book's quality is that it is not too political (with the exception of a whole-hearted defense of affirmative action, but this is entirely understandable). Instead, it is more empathetic and personal, offering courtroom banter and the stories of friends and family as a more background look at her view of life. Empathy is a quality which is only too rare in the higher echelons of power and law these days. In "su mundo adorado", perhaps those who have been at the very darkest valley can be fit to judge at the top of the highest mountain.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

This is such a pleasant read from such a down-to-earth author. Gives a fine view of a childhood surrounded by a large loving family, despite the black cloud of the early death of a beloved alcoholic father.Some highlights are of Justice Sotomayor's undergrad years at Princeton and her visits to her Puerto Rico family.Actually, the whole book is a highlight. One doesn't even miss her Supreme Court tenure, which I'm sure will come eventually and should only be as enjoyable as this one.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
How did the Saturday Night Live Point – Counter Point skits of the 1970’s, where each view point started with a personal insult grenade “Jane you ignorant slut!”, somehow take the place of real political dialogue in this country? What kind of insane CGI wizardry has morphed Walter Cronkite into Jon Stewart? How far down the sociological self-sabotage scale do you have reach to reach the point where men and women of great achievement – astronauts, writers, artists, that guy at Wham-o who invented the giant bubble set, Frisbees, the hula hoop, and the Frisbee – are replace as idols by Paris Hilton and a gaggle of mean girls?All these questions rattled through my mind as I read Justice Sonia Sotomayor memoir “My Beloved World”. She is an incredible lady whose life path, driven by excellence, is the personification of the opportunities possible through America’s freedom. The difficulty and obstruction of her journey took many forms, but even with all those walls that had to be scaled she never doubted the path’ existence. Justice Sotomayor recognized that America’s greatness and power was not due to it’s achievements such as men on the moon, defeating fascism, military might, or technological invention. America’s greatness is born out the ideals to which she aspires. Even when our country was nowhere near living up to these ideals, as is seen in the huge percentage of delegates to the Continental Congress who were slave owners, they remained her compass.I was also struck by how similar Justice Sotomayor’s life is to that of Condoleezza Rice. Clearly these women are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. This leads me back to Point – Counterpoint. It seems to me that while we often disagree with one another’s understanding our ideals, each philosophy is strengthened by the necessity to compete with differing viewpoints. It is often a messy or even horrifying process, as with the Civil War. Ultimately it is a process that continues to find ways to liberate from darkness those who do not yet share the full measure of freedom.My fifteen year old daughter answered the Facebook profile question about her political views by saying “Politics are corrupt”. I believe this level of cynicism, especially from those so young, is the greatest threat to our continued freedom. This is why Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, like that of Dr. Rice and so many others, is an important inspiration in the ever present fight for liberty.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It is a rare event for any political memoir to exhibit anything like true honesty, feeling, and candor. This book was a pleasure to read. I'd even pass it along to my mother.

Justice Sotomayor's legal opinions and courtroom style are a tough, 'just-the-facts' approach, and it is easy enough to see the roots of this toughness in her own upbringing. South Bronx, juvenile diabetes, Catholic education, father died young. Yet instead of becoming wholly cynical from this or her later trials, this feeling of personal drive and self-reliance continues to the present day.

Perhaps another sign of the book's quality is that it is not too political (with the exception of a whole-hearted defense of affirmative action, but this is entirely understandable). Instead, it is more empathetic and personal, offering courtroom banter and the stories of friends and family as a more background look at her view of life. Empathy is a quality which is only too rare in the higher echelons of power and law these days. In "su mundo adorado", perhaps those who have been at the very darkest valley can be fit to judge at the top of the highest mountain.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Another library audiobook serendipity, not a book I would have considered otherwise, My Beloved World was engrossing, and exceptionally well-written. I can picture so easily Sonia's apartment in the projects, her grandmother's parties, their vacations to Puerto Rico. Even when her life moves beyond all that, she weaves in memories of her extended family throughout the narrative, so you never forget how her past forms her present. I feel like I really know her now, and can trust her, and be proud she serves our country on the Supreme Court. Her outlook -- to look for the good in people, to search for connections instead of differences, to serve who you can how you can -- is inspiring and refreshing.The saddest part of the book, from my perspective, was her divorce. She and Kevin met in high school, spent every weekend in college together (studying!), lived a happy life together as a married couple for three years in New Haven, and then as soon as Sonia starts working, it all falls apart. She doesn't tell us what becomes of Kevin -- does he get married, have a big family? I respect her discretion and her respect for his privacy -- but the memoir seems incomplete without a better understanding not so much of what went wrong, but of how she feels about it now. Is her life better off without him? Could she have even lived her life the way she wanted if she were married? This is the key question. She clearly revels in a wide network of close friends: Could that network have been created and maintained if she were devoting that energy to her marriage? This omission is only a slight drawback, however, in a memoir where she's surprisingly open about so many things.
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I'm sure this is going to be my favorite book of the year and it's only the middle of February! What an inspiration she is. I feel as though I know Sonia Sotomayor better than many of the people I have as family and friends. It's difficult to absorb the incredible extent of her knowledge of herself and her place in this world---just tremendous accomplishments and yet she is so generous but honest with the appreciation of all the people and experiences that have happened to her along the way. I could not be happier that she is sitting as a Supreme Court Justice---I feel much better knowing that she is there with her wisdom.
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Exceptionally well written biography, or memoir, of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She ends her book before she become a Supreme Court Justice so it does not include insights into that position; however, she does an very good job of describing the difficulties she faced as a child, and the struggles and accomplishments she was able to complete. Her writing is very engaging and friendly, and this would make an excellent book for anyone ages 14-99. Inspiring!
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