4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge P. Newbery’s Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands is an exceptionally well-written work of nonfiction. The author’s tone and voice are compelling and conversational, which keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end. I particularly appreciated how Newbery unhesitatingly provided retrospectives on different scenarios to show that time often changed his perceptions; this shift in perspective based on age is something we should all bear in mind. I heartily give Burn Zones a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
In Burn Zones, Newbery takes the reader through a very inspirational life story full of hard work, success, and risk taking. Newbery coined the term “Burn Zone” to denote a trial in life that pushed him out of his comfort zone, required all his focus and determination, and had the potential to change his life or perspective. In Burn Zones, Newbery shares his personal Burn Zones in everything from athletics to family to business, and the story is very motivating.
Newbery took the road less traveled as a teenager and left school early to pursue life lessons experientially through entrepreneurship. A series of small investments and a dedication to living a spartan lifestyle generated the capital Newbery needed to take on bigger projects. Newbery amassed a sizeable real estate portfolio that he managed with the belief that he could do well personally while also doing good for the community. As you might imagine, Newbery faces some massive Burn Zones while in business, but he always manages to pick himself back up.
In the best possible sense, Newbery’s writing does not read like nonfiction. He keeps the story moving and eschews unnecessary minutiae in favor of telling the basic facts of his experiences and his feelings about each of those experiences. Rather than being dry (as I find a lot of nonfiction to be), this work is colorful and engaging. The messages Newbery shares about doing well while doing good and about always finding the inner strength to pick one’s self up are appropriate for any audience. Similarly, Newbery’s writing style and word choices make the text accessible to readers of nearly any age.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a little motivation or has a personal challenge to undertake. The content of Burn Zones is informative and instructional, while the delivery is warm, human, and personal. Newbery’s honest, no-nonsense telling of his own tale is well worth the time to read it and the purchase price.
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