4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery is an autobiography and I don’t usually read autobiographies. However, this one I truly liked which in itself speaks volumes. It’s easy to read as if the author is sitting with you in front of the fireplace in a living room and telling you the story of his life. There is also an impressive amount of photos on almost every page which creates the illusion he’s also showing you his family album – a nice touch that I really appreciate.
The title comes from a sports term meaning to illustrate the moment during physical activity when your muscles start to burn and you feel like giving up. Of course, here the meaning is mostly metaphorical – getting tired mentally, “burning” emotionally and feeling like giving up on everything and everyone in your life.
The story begins in 1973 in Los Angeles. Back then, Jorge P. Newbery is an outstanding child with the genius, nearly mad-like mind of a born businessman, for whom there’s absolutely nothing impossible. Endlessly brave and driven, he begins earning his own money at barely seven years old. A few years later, at eleven, he’s already running his first business. I had to stop reading several times to remind myself that it’s not a fictional character I was reading about.
The main subject of the book, however, is how these same qualities can backfire on you, make you reckless and, ultimately, completely ruin you and everything you’ve worked for. To make you always feel greedy for challenges, easily bored and never satisfied with your achievements. The author himself goes from organizing concerts to Olympic cycling to a loan office worker and even though he does remarkably well everywhere, he always feels empty in the end. At one point, he even begins to close deals just for the thrill of it, overlooking potential disadvantages, and ends up getting sued for negligence.
Many “morals of the story” can be dug out of this thin-at-a-glance little book (115 PDF pages) and I highly recommend it to everyone. Especially to people like me, in their early twenties, when we’ve just started with the life of an adult, taking on greater challenges and earning a steady income of our own.
I didn't notice any typos, spelling or grammar errors. There aren’t any obscene scenes or profanity.
I wholeheartedly give it 4 stars out of 4. What an amazing little book!
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