4 out of 4 stars
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Our lives are filled with what Newberry calls “burn zones” (periods of time that require extraordinary effort and separate winners and losers). Some burn zones are forces of nature that we just have to handle and do not expect while other burn zones are calculated feats and challenges that we impose onto ourselves with hopes that we will emerge to become better, more social, and more intelligent human beings. In his book, Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands, author Jorge P. Newberry gives an intimate look into his life and guides readers through all his burn zones, highlighting the valuable lessons and observations he made through these experiences.
Newberry’s organization of this book was clear and coherent. Newberry starts from when he was younger and shares his life up to his present day without any unnecessary references or confusing flashbacks. There are a total of ten chapters in this book and considering the number of pages, this number was a good fit because it didn’t make any of the chapters seem extraordinarily long or drawn out. Each of the chapters has sections within them that further divide the reading and make the reading process more manageable and enjoyable.
From reading this book, I didn’t feel like Newberry was hiding anything from me. It was a very candid and intimate writing style which made me feel like I was a spectator going through Newberry’s life. There wasn’t unnecessary fluff about minute details that didn’t matter. Rather, Newberry focused on his thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs in his experiences. This made the book seem more honest and I learned a great deal throughout, ranging from young Newberry roaming around the streets delivering newspapers to the older Newberry who was running large businesses.
I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was professionally edited and I have no complaints about how this book was written or what it contained. There were some occurrences of profanity but it did not deter my reading enjoyment. I found that I was flying through the chapters like I was watching a TV show, eagerly anticipating and wondering what would happen next. The aspect of the book that I liked the most was the writing style. Newberry writes with so much passion about his work but is humble in admitting where he made mistakes and could have been better. There is no noteworthy negative point that I can make about this book.
This book, because of its slight profanity, could be targeted for a slightly older age group (16+) but I think this book contains valuable knowledge and insights that can be applicable to anyone.
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