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My Beloved World

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  24,246 ratings  ·  3,247 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Vintage (first published January 15th 2013)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,246 ratings  ·  3,247 reviews

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Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ABSOLUTAMENT EXCELENTE! MUCHAS GRACIAS to the U.S. Supreme Court's third female Associate Justice and very first Hispanic A.J., for sharing her triumphant story. CINCO ESTRELLAS BRILLANTES, especially for including a glossary of Spanish words, Jose Gautier Benitez's poem "A PUERTO RICO (REGRESO)" and an English translation, AND the Spanish translation of the "Hail Mary" prayer. All this and stepping forward to face her juvenile diabetes and dare it to defeat or define her.

"'You'll get sick; you
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matt by: Mariah Roze
Shelves: audiobook, buddy-read
As the biography journey begins its final days, I returned to yet another female Justice of the US Supreme Court. I sought not only to learn about a strong woman, but also one who will lay out a strong memoir to shape her rise to judicial prominence. While some will remember my reviews of pieces by Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg during this biography binge, they proved highly informative, but lacked a true chronological build-up and left me wanting more. Justice Sonia Sotom ...more
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 feeli
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because I had heard Justice Sotomayor on NPR and found her so charming and so brilliant that I was curious about her biography. The woman knows how to tell a story! I was captured on the first page. From the moment when she teaches herself how to administer her own insulin shots at the age of 7, she reveals herself to be brave, determined and strong. Sonia's father was an alcoholic and her mother, while devoted to her children, was overburdened and overworked. As a young girl, S ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far the best political memoir I've read since Condoleezza Rice's Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family. It doesn't diminish these political women's careers that they write so intimately about their families or refuse to mythologize their minority rags-to-riches stories.

Sotomayor is immediately likable and increasingly admirable in this genuine working class hero's tale. It's about time women of accomplishment wrote classics about self-invention in the American landscape.

From an
I admire Sonia Sotomayor, born in 1954 of Puerto Rican lineage, she grew up in the Bronx. She shared the poverty and squalor off many of her Hispanic compatriots. Today she is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the first Hispanic Supreme Court Judge. She studied at Princeton, followed by graduate studies at Yale. Valedictorian of her high school class, she graduated summa cum laude at Princeton. This is a rag to riches story - except that she has never sought financi ...more
The Hook - Fourth Tuesday Book Group

The Line”I wouldn’t get to see California until my second summer at law school. I remember driving the freeways with palm trees in view and thinking of Gilmar, among other friends I’ve lost touch with who may never know what memories they’ve left behind in my keeping.” Sonia Sotomayor

The Sinker – One thing I love about our library’s non-fiction group is that it encourages me to read books I would never pick up on my own. There are times when I am reluctant
Connie G
Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic appointed to the United States Supreme Court, has written a candid memoir about her life leading up to that appointment in 2009. Her young life began in a Bronx housing project with an alcoholic father who died young, and a mother who worked long hours as a nurse. Sotomayer had a warm extended family who gathered at her paternal grandmother's home. She was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 7, and learned to give herself the insulin shots. She was self-reli ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. Sonia Sotomayor is a fascinating woman and I enjoyed reading about her life. There are several things that stood out for me. First and foremost is that she always found the smartest person she could and asked for help. How many women (and men) are too competetive, too shy, or too intimidated to do that? Second, she isn't acquisitive (i.e., she doesn't have a lot of stuff). And because of that she never seemed to be that interested in making a lot of money, therefore she to ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-clubs
This book just never caught fire for me. Way too much time spent on her childhood and catholic school upbringing. There were some interesting philosophical discussions, such as the value of Affirmative Action, but not enough to keep my interest. I think the problem is that the writing was very dry and lacked any sense of warmth.
Sonia Sotomayor is a remarkable woman: brilliant, determined, ambitious, with a high sense of morality, integrity, wanting to help improve people’s lives and do them justice.

She writes with candor about her upbringing in a poor but tight-knit Puerto Rican community in the Bronx; her father’s alcoholism, her mother’s hard work and integrity bringing the children up after her father died. Her memories of her childhood, and the stories of her mother’s upbringing in Puerto Rico, were my favorite par
Who is Sonia Sotomayor? She is a girl from the NY projects. She is a girl who grew up in a loving home led by a tough mother and an alcoholic father. How did this NYrican make it to the highest court in the land? Well, Sonia tells a story of a girl with a unique intellect, a mom who modeled hard work and good ethics and lastly many people along the way who supported a young talent. I love Justice Sotomayor's story. It is the story of America, of people who came from where ever and worked hard. S ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this biography, not because it tells us how to grow up to be a Supreme Court justice but rather, what it is like to start out poor in the South Bronx, speaking only Spanish, and make the transition to the power elite. Sotomayor descibes the journey from the lowest socio-economic class to the upper echelons of academia and the law; not that she always knew where she was heading. We talk about America as the land of opportunity, but so many of us are unaware that the opportunity exi ...more
Catina Martinez
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. As a Latina, I was certainly proud to have Sotomayor as a member of the Supreme Court, but admittedly knew nothing about her as a person or her life. She has a wonderful story, and is so very human in describing her struggles, her triumphs and insecurities. There were many times in reading her story that i wished I could sit down with her and a cup of coffee, and hear her tell her story in person. Sotomayor's honesty and sincerity have turned me into an ardent admirer.
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the good fortune to hear Sonia Sotomayor speak last week, and within hours I had downloaded her book. A warm and articulate speaker, she made me want to know where she came from. She is a remarkable woman, focused and driven from an early age.

As a sitting justice, she must steer clear of comments that can be construed as bearing on any case she may have to consider. This memoir is simply a reflection on her early life, influences, and experiences. It begins when she was soon to turn eight
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: NPR
edited to add -- Justice Sotomayor came to Seattle Town Hall tonight to two standing ovations. I jotted down a few things she said (or approximately said) tonight:

“Failure is such a wonderful teacher . . . I feel the same way about trauma.”

“It shocks me when I hear people say ‘I did it alone.’ No one does it alone.”

“I have spent my entire life not being afraid of admitting that I don’t know.. . . there is no shame in not knowing something. There should be shame in not asking.”

“I am very very
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tightly controlled and endlessly fascinating memoir reveals how Sonia Sotomayor wants us to see her world. She is caught between the desire to show us all where she came from and how she developed into the person who has earned a position as a Supreme Court justice. And it is clear that no one just accidentally ends up becoming a Supreme Court justice. At the same time readers just can’t help admiring the eight year-old girl who learns to take control of her own life and destiny by learning ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't the most fabulous memoir I've ever read, and there were some parts that felt a bit fragmented (especially toward the end, I felt like there was a section that was 'hey here were some other facts/stories I wanted to include but didn't know where to put them'), but I actually really liked it. I both encountered some experiences that were very unfamiliar to me and encountered some ways of living, feeling, and thinking about life that I really identified with. H ...more
The first half of the books is a wonderful and frank portrait of a large, complicated Puerto Rican family living in a very tough neighborhood in the Bronx in the 60s. You can smell the food and hear the music. The description of the years at Princeton and Yale are a very thoughtful and unapologetic defense of 'affirmative action' as policy and on the challenges and opportunities it offered the author. I found the decription of her life as a DA and corporate lawyer less interesting. She is a good ...more
Virginia Birks
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read. So inspiring. She offers much practical advice for everyday living. The country is fortunate to have her on the Supreme Court.
Rosemarie Donzanti
I am blessed. In this life I am truly blessed. These are the sentiments of Sonia Sotomayor as she reflects on her life. The daughter of an alcoholic, a type 1 diabetic, Puerto Rican, and raised in an extremely dangerous neighborhood, she is an unlikely candidate for unbelievably impressive success. But despite terrible odds, her grit, intelligence and a wee bit of luck land her in the highest court in the nation. A truly inspiring and entertaining read. Be sure to invest in two for ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most books take me some place outside my own life, but occasionally I'll read one that seems to spark only personal reactions. Sotomayor's memoir falls in that latter category. I had two main reactions to this book: (1) how much her professional education & legal experiences mirrored my own; and (2) how happy and positive a person she is, especially as compared to Justice Clarence Thomas.

It was hard not to think about Thomas while reading about Sotomayor. Both are members of minority groups
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sonia Sotomayor's new memoir, MY BELOVED WORLD, is absolutely fabulous, just outstanding. I started it late Saturday afternoon (26 Jan 2013) and finished it this morning, scarcely 36 hours later. It is heartwarming, gritty, tender, inspiring, authentic, eloquent--a celebration of family, work, and love in a world of despair, drugs, and disappointment. From an impoverished childhood in the South Bronx, she wrangled her way to a full scholarship at Princeton, from which she graduated at the top of ...more
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has never been intimidated by challenges. She’s a badass. This is her life story up until her appointment to the Federal District Court. I like that she stopped there, and hope that one day she, or a biographer, will tell the rest. I had the immense pleasure of meeting her last fall at the Southern Festival of Books. She’s gracious, warm and funny. PS. The picture book is wonderful for young readers.
Kressel Housman
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction, law
The face of Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been beckoning me from the library shelves for a while now, but what finally prompted me to read her book was Random Family, an in-depth study of the lives of another Latino family in the South Bronx. Nobody in that book even made it out of the middle class, much less to national prominence, so I wanted to know the secret of the Justice’s success. Apparently, she wrote the book to share it – not to boast, of course, but to educate and inspire.

For the writi
I'm going to straight-up tell you that if the Mary Sue persona, whether fictional or not, is an anathema to your reading sensibilities, there's a good chance you will not enjoy Sotomayor's memoir on becoming a Federal judge.

However, if you enjoying finding out how people, especially those who start out at a fairly severe disadvantage (poor, Puerto Rican, female), wind up on the Judicial bench, then you'll like this tale.

This isn't too different from A Fighting Chance in that neither woman was bo
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't generally read politician memoirs because I find them generally self-serving, like they are generating good will prior to a run for higher office. Of course, Sotomayor is not a politician and has already accomplished the highest position to which a lawyer can aspire. I believe she wrote this not to make herself better known to the public, which would not serve any positive purpose for a Supreme Court Justice, but for the very noble intention to inspire others. I had not paid attention to ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Rita Moreno did a good job with this narration, but the standout part of it is the story. Sotomayor did a beautiful job of writing about her life and positive outlook while still acknowledging the difficulties she has faced in getting to where she is now. I did go find a physical copy so I could see all of the photos, but otherwise the audio version was very good.
Emily Bazelon
Here's my NYT review of this one, which I do recommend if you're interested in how Sotomayor reached the Supreme Court.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very cool look into Sotomayor’s childhood, and everything that led her to the Supreme Court. She’s wise and gives good weight to her own faults and strengths. Her memoir reads like a good story, and the intricacies of law school, courtrooms, and cases are fascinating.

She doesn’t shy away from talking about her personal demons, from an alcoholic father and absent mother, to her imposter syndrome made worse by her minority status, and she shows true growth through her years. Her dedication to b
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Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attor ...more
“. . . But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire. That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward. And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you've closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you've done today.” 44 likes
“Although wisdom is built on life experiences, the mere accumulation of years guarantees nothing.” 32 likes
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