4 out of 4 stars
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The following is my review of Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newberry.
Jorge is the second of five children born to an Argentinian father and British mother, eclectic individuals who often did not meet with the approval of their neighbors. Jorge’s parents were supportive of his independent spirit. From a young age, he was filled with ideas and a desire to excel, but he also had a powerful desire to help others. Despite being shy by nature, he always pursued his dreams boldly and presented his ideas with confidence.
Jorge started working as a newspaper carrier when he was just seven years old. The supervisor was unsure that someone so young could handle the responsibility, but he liked Jorge’s can-do attitude and gave him a chance. A few years later, Jorge bought an ice cream wagon from a neighborhood teenager, and with help from his father, built his route into a thriving business.
After a time, Jorge created an independently published punk and alternative music fanzine. He earned the respect of many of the musicians and began setting up performances. Although many of the musicians he became acquainted with used drugs and alcohol to excess, Jorge steered clear of the sex, drugs, and booze aspect of the scene. His enjoyment of cycling eventually led him to become a competitive cyclist.
Following his time as a competitive cyclist, Jorge went on to become a real estate investor. Purchasing apartment buildings which were in such deplorable condition that no-one else wished to take them on was a challenge he relished. Unfortunately, a natural disaster and politicians hostile to his vision left Jorge broken both financially and spiritually.
Jorge speaks of “burn zones” throughout the book. As he explains, “When I raced bicycles, I looked at races as having “burn zones”, which were relatively short periods of extraordinary effort that separated the winners and losers.” He feels that these “burn zones” contributed to his success in the many projects he has taken on. He explains that he has always enjoyed finding the “burn zones” in life.
I give Burn Zones four out of four stars. The thing I like most about the book is Jorge Newberry himself. He writes with a refreshingly candid and modest voice. He is brutally honest about his own personality traits and any mistakes he has made along the way. He is kind and compassionate towards others regarding their own imperfections and any mistakes they may have made.
The thing I like least about the book is a very minor issue. I feel that the chapter headings should have been bigger and bolder. The book is professionally edited, and I found only one error.
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys biographies, particularly biographies where a person brought low finds a way to triumph. Jorge Newberry’s candor and perseverance are inspirational qualities. He can include authoring a very fine book on his list of triumphs.
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