4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing life's bad hands
As a book lover who reads mostly for pleasure and since this is my first book review ever, it was only natural that i was a little anxious especially as i had chosen a non fiction book to review. I started to read and became so immersed that i forgot all about my initial trepidation and had to make a conscious effort to pace myself
Burn Zones is a true life story that aims to teach life lessons from Jorge's experiences. I liked Jorge, he seemed really honest and down to earth and he always tried to conduct his business, in a way that was beneficial to everyone, even though this idea is contrary to the way business is sometimes portrayed. The various photographs on display in the book helped bring to life some of the stories and it was a really nice touch. I liked seeing the photos. Jorge's courage and confidence in always reaching for new goals, learning and moving to the next thing is quite remarkable and i envied him a little
The story opens on an unexpected note (certainly didn't see it coming). We meet seven year old Jorge a shy but confident young boy in 1973, Los Angeles, asking a sceptical adult to give him a chance to become a newspaper delivery person. Jorge's confidence in making this request stems from the following quote.
"Besides the day was March !st and i had said "White Rabbits" that morning as soon as i woke up just like i did on the first of every month. My mother had taught me that the ritual empowered me with good luck".
Jorge's success as a delivery person propels him into other things; he buys a trike and becomes an ice cream vendor, this particular venture helps to build his legs for a future career as a bike racer, but not before his success in the punk music scene as a record mogul. He goes on to become a loan originator and from there to a career in real estate.
In each of his various ventures, Jorge finds that there are certain extra challenging situations which he labels "burn zones". With every burn zone Jorge overcomes, his confidence and optimism increases until he gets into the biggest burn zone of all, "Woodland Meadows after the ice storm". Unlike other burn zones he previously encountered this particular burn zone takes a lot more effort to recover from and Jorge picks up some very important life lessons.
Even though the story is centred on financial wins and losses, it is well crafted to include other topics such as; racism, being called spic by the other school kids; police riots, witnessed during the Sunset riots versus diplomatic policing during Occupy Cincinati and finally a loner from a loving family finding friendship among outcasts and eventually getting married.
The diversity of the writers experiences is one of the reasons Burn Zones is an interesting and thought provoking book to read. It aims to motivate and encourage and i was quite encouraged by it. I recommend it for everyone especially for any one who needs a little push. The language is pretty simple although a little technical in some areas. There are no erotic scenes (that strip club scene description is far from erotic), it is professionally edited and profanity was used in a descriptive context and kept to a minimum. I rate Burn Zones 4 out of 4. There was nothing i did not like about this book
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