4 out of 4 stars
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"Everyone's life is full of burn zones, which test the limits of our bodies and minds", says Jorge P. Newbery in his autobiography, Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands.
In this narrative, the author shares his journey from being poor to becoming rich and poor again. He apprised that he started working at a tender age of seven as a newspaper delivery boy. He dropped school at the age of 16 and since then he ran several businesses like owning a recording studio, real estate managing etc. which made him a successful entrepreneur. Then, a natural disaster in 2004 destroyed everything and left him 26 million dollars in debt. This was the burn zone of his life where he had to struggle and overcome the catastrophe.
First and foremost, it is very difficult for an entrepreneur, who is not trained in writing, to write a book like professional authors. I truly appreciate the writing style of Newbery. His book is full of brilliant quotes which helped a lot in understanding the author's perspective towards hardship. The title is also well-justified. Newbery learnt about burn zones in his cycling career. According to him, burn zones are relatively short periods of extraordinary effort that separate winners and losers. In short, the book teaches that no matter how the time is, it will eventually pass. Endurance is the key to success.
The author has shared his life story with much sincerity with the motive to inspire his readers. Though at some points, I felt that the detailing was irrelevant. The author tried to include every possible issue in this book. For example, he brought up racial issues of those times but failed to conclude the topic. Furthermore, he tried to delineate situations of his personal life, his emotional connection with his father, blending it with his professional life which made the book unnecessarily lengthy. Had those parts been omitted, the book would have been even more impactful.
Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands is one of those books which must be there in everyone's reading list. I would award this book four out of four stars for inspiring me with the story and for an overall captivating read. Also, the book did not have errors and seemed professionally edited. I recommend this book to all those who need strength to face situations. For all those who are on the verge of giving up, just remember Newbery's wise words, "Stay relaxed, others around you are hurting just as much as you. Focus on enduring the pain until the pace slows. The effort will get easier soon."
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