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My Beloved World Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 15, 2013


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Amazon's editors selected this title as a Best Book of the Month in biography & memoir. See our current Editors' Picks.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307594882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307594884
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,651 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013: Happily, it is becoming a familiar story: The young, smart, and very hardworking son or daughter of immigrants rises to the top of American professional life. But already knowing the arc of Sonia Sotomayor’s biography doesn’t adequately prepare you for the sound of her voice in this winning memoir that ends, interestingly, before the Yale Law School grad was sworn in as the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Hers is a voice that lands squarely between self-deprecating and proud, grateful and defiant; a voice lilted with bits of Puerto Rican poetry; a voice full of anger, sadness, ambition, and love. My Beloved World is one resonant, glorious tale of struggle and triumph. --Sara Nelson

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When Sotomayor joined the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009, she made history as the first Hispanic on the high court. She’d also achieved the highest dream of a Puerto Rican girl growing up in a Bronx housing project longing to someday become a judge. In this amazingly candid memoir, Sotomayor recalls a tumultuous childhood: alcoholic father, emotionally distant mother, aggravating little brother, and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins, all overseen by her loving, domineering paternal grandmother. When she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at eight years of age, she knew she had to learn to give herself the insulin shots. That determination saw her through Catholic high school, Princeton, and Yale Law School, at each step struggling to reconcile the poverty of her childhood with the privileges she was beginning to enjoy. No rabble-rouser, she nonetheless was active in student groups supporting minorities. At Yale, she learned how to think about jurisprudence, but readers looking for clues to her judicial thinking will be disappointed as she deliberately demurs. She recounts complicated feelings toward her parents and her failed marriage as she advanced to the DA’s office, private practice, the district court, and, triumphantly, the Supreme Court. Sotomayor offers an intimate and honest look at her extraordinary life and the support and blessings that propelled her forward. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A media blitz will attend the release of this already newsworthy memoir by the Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice. --Vanessa Bush

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Customer Reviews

This is a well written book, easy to read and very enjoyable.
Mary Cassidy
What I liked most is that she inspired young woman that they can achieve great success with hard work and perseverance.
VIVIAN
This is a fascinating look at the early life and coming-of-age story of Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice.
L. Diebert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Chic VINE VOICE on February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure, I am a lawyer, so I have perhaps an above average interest in Sonia Sotomayor. Prior to reading this book, I did not know much about her, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn more. On the whole, I enjoyed this book. I was not a fan of the writing style. I suppose it was meant to be conversational, but I found it a bit stilted at times and overly formal. I find any reviews that this book is not heavy enough on Justice Sotomayor's legal doctrine laughable. One, it is a memoir. Two, she is clear in her preface that she will not be covering that topic. Three, the books stops when she is appointed to the federal bench in 1992. If you want to know a Supreme Court Justice's doctrine, read through their opinions, concurrences and dissents. Don't look to a memoir that focuses mostly on her coming of age and early years as an attorney.

The book was engaging, and really demonstrates what hard work can accomplish. As she notes, she may not have been qualified when she made it to certain points in her life, but she worked her tail off to show that she was more than deserving, which can be seen by all types of objective achievements. I particularly enjoyed the sections of the book that discussed her work at the DA's office. If I had one major complaint, it would be that she was a tad bit too self-congratulatory. That could be my own stereotypes speaking, however! I have to push myself to decide whether I would feel the same way if she were a man. The fact is that she has accomplished more than most people can dream of, with far fewer tools. That can only come from intelligence, hard work and savvy, which she certainly should feel proud about. Good, quick read for anyone looking to learn more about Justice Sotomayor.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on January 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not quite know what to expect regarding this memoir by Justice Sotomayor of her pre-judicial life. As a student of the Court for 40 years or so, a lawyer for 35 years, and a trained political scientist, I have found judicial biographies and the few judicial memoirs highly insightful into the character and actions of particular Justices. Justice Sotomayor is certainly the least known of the current Court, at least to me, and I was pleasantly surprised how absolutely candid her book is. It tells one a great deal about her, her background, and her character. The only other candid and insightful memoir that compares with this one is Justice Thomas' "My Grandfather's Son," distinctive for its remarkable honesty and perspective on his thinking and the factors that shaped it. A number of her topics stand out:

First, she affords the reader a remarkable perspective on affirmative action, which she readily admits touched upon her own life in terms of Princeton, Yale Law, and her selection as a U.S. District Judge. Her attitude is much more supportive of the concept than Thomas was in his sometimes angry discussion of the issue in his book. Sotomayor places emphasis upon affirmative action as providing an opportunity to work very hard, unbelievably hard, and to demonstrate what your true capabilities are. She discusses this concept several times at different stages of her book, and I am very appreciative for helping to develop my thinking on this important issue.

Second, I found her story most fascinating because it is, in microcosm, the story of Puerto Rican challenges in Hispanic New York. I knew very little about this culture before reading the book.
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131 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Robert Taylor Brewer on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Memoirs today come out of a black hole, many of them tainted by allusions to fact later revealed to be the heady stuff of fiction. It has happened so often the genre, it seems, doesn't know what it wants to be. So it is refreshing right out of the box to run into the preface of Justice Sotomayor, who lays down her rules for writing...rules of engagement, as it were. She takes as firm a stand as we are likely to read against blended characters, and a reader gets the impression there isn't going to be a recall of this book, a retraction, let alone a major scandal involving facts that turn out to be chimera. Considering the disasters we've come to expect from memoir, it's a great start.

I winced when the Justice gave herself an insulin injection on 60 Minutes; the incident repeats itself in the opening chapter, one that it reads more like a Dennis Lehane sequence, and the only thing keeping it from continuing on in this manner are the interjections, the lessons of a lived life, that every so often bubble up and infuse the text with didactic mannerisms. But even with them, the text flows easily, readers are engulfed in the lustrous prose because the language is steeped in verisimilitude with its seances, Abuelita and bisabuela, the neuropathy of a father bathed in alcoholism - the characters all alive, vivid, and brilliantly real. At some moments, you could be in the magical world of Marquez, as in: "vines snaked under iron fences and up balustrades. Chickens scrabbled under hibiscus bushes and bright yellow canario flowers. I watched the afternoon rains pour down like a curtain...". In other places, the regret of Joan Didion: "ballet class was a brief torture.
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