4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands is an inspirational memoir detailing Jorge. P. Newberry’s life. It’s written in first-person perspective. The title is metaphoric and the cover illustration displays the author during his cycling career. Burn zones are the challenging hurdles which arise in life, prompting one to exert extra effort in order to endure. In burn zones, many people choose to give up instead of confronting the situation. It is a period that determines winners and losers. This book provides advice on how to tackle problematic situations.
Jorge started working when he was seven-years-old. He believed that every dollar saved is worth more than every dollar earned. Consequently, he invested his savings to advance himself. He rose to prosperity at a young age, from newspaper delivery, to real estate. Despite being financially stable, he lived a straight life, free of alcohol, drugs and women. He encountered numerous burn zones, but one particular burn zone brought him to his knees. The Woodland Meadows complex was a venture he had invested heavily in, which came tumbling down due to a conspiracy. He was left with a 26-million-dollar debt. Friends and business associates deserted him. The media maligned him mercilessly. The book explains how Jorge turned his life around against all odds.
Entrepreneurship, resilience and endurance are themes that stand out prominently. The tone portrays a risk-taking, anti-racist author, who has mastered the art of listening to others. He considers it noble to help the marginalized of the society. He always sees the good in people irrespective of their outward appearance. However, his support of African-Americans was considered as treachery by racist Americans.
The book is structured chronologically. It begins by itemizing the author’s strengths and weaknesses. Each chapter contains photographs of his undertakings. The language is modest and has a forcefulness that positively influences the reader and compels them to embrace the message that the author is passing across. Therefore, this book is recommendable to those who wish to understand how to tackle challenges, and those who need inspiration to scale the heights. Jorge finds inspiration from past world icons like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
I most love the positivity laden into the story. Jorge believed there are no problems, only challenges. With due discipline, he navigated his life to success while enduring the pressures he encountered. He tested the limits of his mind and body. He was always optimistic, like his Argentinian father, who bore the woes of skin cancer and lived longer than doctors anticipated. I did not like anything least and did not see anything to be improved.
The book contains no profanities and no erotic scenes. I came across four errors. I will not rate this book 3 stars due to the author’s thoroughness, and because the book is effective in convincing readers on positivity. The errors are not enough to warrant the deduction of a star. Therefore, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
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