4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The autobiography of Jorge P. Newbery, Burn Zones, is first and foremost a story of perseverance. While I read there were times that I had to stop and question, is this fiction? It’s hard to fathom a seven-year-old finding the motivation to start a paper delivery business. Most other kids spend their mornings watching cartoons, not earning an income. It’s also difficult to conceive of a teenager having the confidence to leave high school and successfully enter the punk rock record business. Most people avoid big risks and struggle asserting themselves in the workplace even as adults.
Jorge isn’t your typical child, though. Or Teenager. Or Adult. As we learn, time and time again, Jorge puts himself in precarious positions that could, and sometimes do, end in the loss of money, freedom, and friendships. His past decisions become lessons learned, though. They inform him how to better strategize in the future, rather than deterring him from trying again. This seems to be the driving force in Jorge Newbery’s life, and thus the title of his book, Burn Zones. He prides himself on leaping into difficult situations and rising above them, never letting the adversity dampen his willingness to get up and try again.
I found Burn Zones inspiring, well written and well edited. He paints a realistic vision of himself, which I admire. He isn’t afraid to admit to his flaws or his failures. He is poetic in his accounts of his family and is humble in his calls to humanitarian and political action. Jorge was unknown to me prior to my picking up his book. After reading it, I feel that I have an honest picture of who is and why he lives his life the way he does. This is the primary reason I am giving Burn Zones 4 out of 4 stars. We get to see Jorge rise to the top, fall to the bottom, and remain true to himself throughout.
Part of what I found compelling about Burn Zones was the insight it gave into the many sectors of business with which Jorge was involved. We learned of the ways in which insurance companies avoid paying out claims to property owners. We saw how litigious investing in the betterment of a low-income community can be. We experience an adversarial relationship between protesters and police departments, as well as a cooperative relationship between protesters and police departments. If I had to give the book any criticism it would be that it was slightly slow at times, which made it a longer read for me. It was slow because it was detailed, though, and I think it’s those details that will resonate with me.
I enjoyed reading Burn Zones and thought it contained a good balance of compelling story telling and insightful advice. I think this book will appeal to any reader interested in business investing, property management, psychology, sociology and humanitarianism. Whether you’re a casual reader or you’re someone needing to find the motivation to make it out of your own burn zone, I think you’ll find a little inspiration from Jorge.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon