4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands by Jorge P. Newbery, is a non-fiction book, an autobiography in which the author tells the most outstanding characteristics of his life, highlighting the moments in which he had to face events that required great efforts to overcome them. He called these situations "burn zones", and explains that a burning zone is a cycling term, a time when a great demand is required and that one can succeed with concentration, a clear mind, determination, and maximum effort. He relates this term to real life and makes analogies with his own experiences in his professional life. Through the book, Newbery motivates readers to apply it in their struggles.
The book is organized in ten chapters, titled as episodes, each one narrates important events that marked his life. The book focuses more on his professional career. From the time he was a child until his late 40´s, he was hardworking even at eight when he started with his first job as a newspaper delivery boy. Later he went on to sell ice creams, interview rock bands, promote concerts, ride bikes, and then he became a real-estate entrepreneur and in this field, he lives the most shocking experiences in his life.
It was inspiring to read about how Newbery took on the challenge of improving deteriorated properties that had horrible records. Not only he did physically repair these challenged communities; he also improved the living conditions of the tenants by providing job opportunities for those who would not otherwise be hired due to their past.
I liked the family approach, especially the experiences he had with his father were very moving. I think this book is encouraging because it shows the author as a person who strives to try to make his dreams come true, without showing himself as a hero, since he talks about both his successes and his failures, just like in the real world, that was what I liked most about this book.
I only disliked that Newbery always showed himself as a non-typical child who preferred to earn money instead of playing or doing other social activities like most children want to do, even in his teens and as an adult, he never showed aspects in which he enjoyed leisure. I think it is necessary to have fun even once in a while.
The book is well-edited, so I didn't find any spelling or grammar mistakes. Considering that I liked the book very much and that it is quite well done, I give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
I think this is a great book for those who are looking for or need some inspiration. Newbery tried several times to face difficult situations and most of the time he passed the tests he faced. While not all of his choices were the best, he learned from his mistakes and the experiences he lived formed him as a human being. So, I recommend this book for those who like inspiring stories and self-help through real-life examples.
Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands
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