My Beloved World (Sotomayor) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
[I]f the outlines of Justice Sotomayor's life are well known by now, her searching and emotionally intimate memoir…nonetheless has the power to surprise and move the reader…this account of her life is revealing, keenly observed and deeply felt. The book sheds little new light on how she views issues that might come before the Supreme Court…but it stands very much on its own—not unlike Barack Obama's first book, Dreams From My Father—as a compelling and powerfully written memoir about identity and coming of age…It's an eloquent and affecting testament to the triumph of brains and hard work over circumstance, of a childhood dream realized through extraordinary will and dedication
Michiko Kakutani - New York Times


I've spent my whole life learning how to do things that were hard for me," Sotomayor tells an acquaintance…when he asks whether becoming a judge will be difficult for her. Yes, she has. And by the time you close My Beloved World, you understand how she has mastered judging, too…this book delivers on its promise of intimacy in its depictions of Sotomayor's family, the corner of Puerto Rican immigrant New York where she was raised and the link she feels to the island where she spent childhood summers eating her fill of mangoes…This is a woman who knows where she comes from and has the force to bring you there.
Emily Bazelon - New York Times Book Review


Sotomayor turns out to be a writer of depth and literary flair…My Beloved World is steeped in vivid memories of New York City, and it is an exceptionally frank account of the challenges that she faced during her ascent from a public housing project to the court's marble palace on First Street.
Adam Liptak - New York Times


My Beloved World” is filled with inspiring, and surprisingly candid, stories about how the Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice overcame a troubled childhood to attend Princeton and Yale Law School, eventually earning a seat on the nation’s highest court.
Carla Main - Wall Street Journal


Big-hearted…A powerful defense of empathy…She has spent her life imagining her way into the hearts of everyone around her…Anyone wondering how a child raised in public housing, without speaking English, by an alcoholic father and a largely absent mother could become the first Latina on the Supreme Court will find the answer in these pages. It didn't take just a village: It took a country.
Dahlia Lithwick - Washington Post


With buoyant humor and thoughtful candor, she recounts her rise from a crime-infested neighborhood in the South Bronx to the nation's highest court. 'I will be judged as a human being by what readers find here,' Sotomayor writes. We, the jury in this case, find her irresistible.
John Wilwol - Washingtonian


In a refreshing conversational style, Sotomayor tells her fascinating life story with the hope of providing “comfort, perhaps even inspiration” to others, particularly children, who face hard times. “People who live in difficult circumstances,” Sotomayor writes in her preface, “need to know that happy endings are possible.
Jay Wexler - Boston Globe


You'll see in Sotomayor a surprising wealth of candor, wit, and affection. No topic is off limits, not her diabetes, her father's death, her divorce, or her cousin's death from AIDS. Put the kettle on, reader, it's time for some real talk with Titi Sonia…The author shines in her passages on childhood, family, and self-discovery. Her magical portraits of loved ones bring to mind Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street; both authors bring a sense of childlike wonder and empathy to a world rarely seen in books, a Latin-American and womancentric world.
Grace Bello - Christian Science Monitor


This is a page-turner, beautifully written and novelistic in its tale of family, love and triumph. It hums with hope and exhilaration. This is a story of human triumph.
Nina Totenberg - NPR


Classic Sotomayor: intelligent, gregarious and at times disarmingly personal…A portrait of an underprivileged but brilliant young woman who makes her way into the American elite and does her best to reform it from the inside…I certainly hope My Beloved World inspires readers to chase their dreams.
Jason Farago - NPR


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, born poor in the South Bronx and appointed to the federal bench as its first Hispanic justice, recounts numerous obstacles and remarkable achievements in this personal and inspiring autobiography..... Sotomayor is clear-eyed about the factors and people that helped her succeed, and she is open about her personal failures.... [R]eaders across the board will be moved by this intimate look at the life of a justice.
Publishers Weekly


(Starred review.) In this revealing memoir, Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor candidly and gracefully recounts her formative years growing up in the South Bronx in "a tiny microcosm of Hispanic New York City," among an extended family of Puerto Rican immigrants. Her descriptions of the neighborhoods, relatives, and routines of those years are vital, loving, and incisive, as she traces her growth into adulthood, and examines both strengths and failings.... [H]er memoir shows both her continued self-reliance and her passion for community. —Margaret Heilbrun
Library Journal


Graceful, authoritative memoir from the country 's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. As a child in South Bronx public housing, Sotomayor was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Her Puerto Rican parents' struggles included a father's battle with alcoholism that would claim his life when Sotomayor was 9, leaving her mother, a former Women's Army Corps soldier turned nurse, to raise her.... Mature, life-affirmative musings from a venerable life shaped by tenacity and pride.
Kirkus Reviews

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