4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands by Jorge P. Newbery is an autobiographical account of one man’s journey through the many “burn zones” of his life. “Burn zones”, as explained in the book are, “relatively short periods of extraordinary effort that separated the winners and losers.” Newbery was an entrepreneur from a very young age and not one to stay idle for too long, he was constantly looking for a challenge, which he was typically able to surmount. He built up his fortune and his confidence, and eventually took on a challenge that was too great, leading to one of his greatest “burn zones”.
What I liked most about Burn Zones was the relationships Newbery built with others. The book has a human heart and is very relatable. Newbery is a person who grew up feeling like he didn’t belong, which many of us can understand. Even though he felt this way he often found a comradery with other misfits. I enjoyed reading about his different phases of entrepreneurship and the people that each phase brought into his life, from punks to businessmen and women to felons. Each person taught him valuable lessons and he seemed genuinely interested in improving their lives as well. His father seems to have had the greatest impact on Newbery and their relationship was a really beautiful highlight in a book that was already really good.
It was inspiring to me to read about the author’s spirit and his ability to overcome challenges and grow as a person and an entrepreneur. I enjoyed reading about his life and successes, and even more so, his comebacks from failure. Even in his darkest moments he was thinking about how to use his mistakes to improve his life and the lives of others with similar issues. There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like about this book!
I think that readers looking for entrepreneurial inspiration would love this book, as well as readers who enjoy autobiographies. Newbery is honest, reflective and unafraid to admit his failures. In fact, he seems to be on a quest to help others with the information he has gained from his experiences and this book has tidbits of advice sprinkled from start to finish. Although, it’s unclear if the author intended it to be taken that way.
Burn Zones is well organized, and spans the author’s life in chronological order. The book seems very well edited and this reviewer didn’t find any blaring typos or grammar mistakes in the text. I very much enjoyed reading about Newbery’s various adventures, the characters in his life and most of all his urge to help others and improve himself. For all these reasons I am giving the book 4 out of 4 stars.
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