4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge P. Newbery’s Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands is about the author’s life and what he calls the burn zones he encounters. To him, burn zones are what separates the winners from the losers and allow you to know your body and mind limitations. His story spans from his first job at the age of seven as a newspaper boy to becoming the founder of American Homeowner Preservation. During these years Jorge has several jobs after being a newspaper boy: selling ice cream, being a busboy, musician interviewer to developing his own music company, professional bike riding, real estate mogul, and owner of a real estate company. He does everything with the attitude to never look back as it is a sign of weakness. Everything appears to be at his fingertips and he succeeds at whatever he endeavors until an ice storm hits. After the storm, he has to overcome betrayal, humiliation, frustration, and anger.
Racism and police brutality is a small piece of the book but does show that the same issues we have today have been prevalent for a very long time. The general theme of the book is that if you want something, are willing to work for it, and take risks you will succeed. However, no matter how successful you are, things out of your control can happen. If individuals are not provided opportunities, due to race or other factors that stereotype them, it is more difficult for them to succeed.
I liked this book because Jorge demonstrates strong work ethics and throughout the book, there are motivational things to learn. One example is that lessons and positive outcomes can be found in failures. This tells individuals that it is okay to fail because they can benefit from the outcomes. The inclusion of his marriage and the death of his father was a nice touch to see that he was not just a businessman but also a family man. Normally I do not like autobiographies, but this one was interesting, flowed smoothly, and was well edited. The only thing I disliked about the book was that there is no page numbering.
This book is motivational and I would recommend it for any genre. There are many lessons to be learned in life and failure is only one of them. You may have to overcome obstacles, such as racism or poverty, before you can succeed.
I did not find any grammatical errors in the book. There were only a couple of instances of profanity in the book that may be bothersome to a few readers. This book deserves 4 out of 4 stars.
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