4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands, a book by Jorge Newbery, is an autobiography about one individual's approach to creating and maintaining success using an entrepreneurial philosophy that he began developing as a child.
Newbery merges his success story and his life story by sharing with us a lesson he picked up during a time in his life where he was competing with renowned elite cyclists. The burn zone is a time of unprecedented stress mitigation that if you prepare for, will be the thing that decides if you succeed or fail. Throughout the entire book Jorge paints an image of himself that is relentlessly hardworking and unable to see or accept failure, even as a ten year old child.
The book is very well written, the sentences are strung together pleasantly and his vocabulary is not over-reaching despite some of the subject matter being uncommon knowledge. He involves music by adding the lyrics of his favorite songs and he recreates the memories of his past with a dramatic spin that allows you to root for his former self. I also personally appreciated that although he possessed tens of millions of dollars, he didn't speak about other people like they were less deserving of anything.
If Jorge Newbery really did all of the things he said he did in this book, including experiencing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions he shared, then I would say that he is unlike most other people. I am grateful for his ability to share that fact with us, as it is often the case that the things that make us unique can also make us great.
Newbery also brings a refreshing perspective to the housing crisis in the early 2000s. If you read this book you may come to the realization that the only people who really understand how all the "default swaps" and "mortgage loans" work are people, who on a regular basis are leveraging the funds that pay for the living conditions of Americans. This book gives a first person perspective on dealing with a crisis that was often seen as a national problem, affecting millions.
This man, Jorge Newbery is a problem solver before he is anything else. That is seen most clearly with how he spends his earnings, it's like this man was born to be rich and successful in order to help all the people that he did. The book advocates for strong willed individuals to take action so that others won't suffer. It also advocates for entrepreneurial-ism as that is the key that allows Newbery to make final decisions based on his own personal experiences, thus drawing his own 'line in the sand' for what is acceptable. His biggest revelation ends up being how much of a reality it was that no one was going to save him but himself, a lesson he learned after wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorneys and lobbyists.
The wedding scene made me cry.
The themes, imagery and lessons from this book are strong and well-delivered.
4 out of 4
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