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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: My Beloved World

My Beloved World
Author: Sonia Sotomayor
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Audiobook: 12 hours and 27 minutes
Narrator:  Rita Moreno

Source: Purchased from
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Description
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.
 If this book was not picked by my book club, I don't think I would have read it at all.  It would have been on my list of books I would love to read once everything else is done.  That is sad but Memoirs are on the bottom of my "To Read" list.  But dang!  I am so glad I read this book.
First, Sonia Sotomayors' story is an inspiration.  As an Hispanic woman growing up in the South Bronx to a non-English speaking family, Sotomayor in bodies the traditional American Dream.  After the death of her father, the family struggled not just with cultural issues but financial as well.  Not unlike what a lot of families are dealing with today.  Sonya Sotomayor is completely unlike the other Supreme Court Justices.  In fact, she is completely unlike most of the members of Congress, the Senate and Capital Hill employees.  She was not groomed from birth to attend law school, she did not create a resume of ladder climbing moves.  Sonya Sotomayor was blessed with making heartfelt decisions that lead her to her seat on the Supreme Court.  I think it's amazing to hear a childhood dream come to fruition.  It's just so....inspiring!
There were some parts of the book that were simply captivating.  Listening to her memories of her family get togethers, school days, and trips to Puerto Rico were perfectly written and made me feel like I was listening to an aunt tell me stories of her past.  But then the law teacher of her life took hold here and there.  Sonya Sotomayor has the talent of switching between conversation of lawyers and law students and the every day people on the street.  There were times I felt smart because I was right there with her.  But then she would switch over to law student mode and I was left behind.  There were not many parts in the book where this happened and she always brought it back to regular conversation.  LOL!  Regular is the only word I can think of at the moment.
The narrator, actress Rita Moreno did an excellent job narrating this audiobook.  I don't think I could have cast a better person.  Sonya Sotomayor reads the intro and it's nice to hear her actual voice.
Excellent audiobook!
I feel smarter and wiser for having read this book.
Reviews by Other Bloggers
I recommend this book to young adults and older to the complex nature of the subject matter.

This book is number 6 in my Audiobook Challenge
This book is number 10 in my Books by Women Reading Challenge
This book is number 8 in my Genre Variety Reading Challenge
This book is number 12 in my Goodreads Challenge

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