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The most unique sci-fi novel I’ve read in years.

What happens when the world gets too optimized? Joel E. Lorentzen, the author, answers that question in his unique, inventive and thought-provoking novel, Proles - a novel about 2084. In the not too distant future, the gap between the have’s and the have nots is as wide as it has ever been, but not for the reason you may think. Money is not the cause in the future, optimization more 

Book By Author:  Jorge P. Newbery

Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands
 Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands
 Community Books

Life was good for Jorge Newbery. A high school dropout and serial entrepreneur, he had built a real estate empire of over 4,000 apartments across the USA. Taking risks and working tirelessly were the ingredients to his rise. But, he took one risk too many. 


As he struggled to regain his footing, he spent what he could to get others to lift him up. But no one did. He discovered that there was only one person who could build him back up. To move forward, he crafted a new life’s purpose: to help others crushed by unaffordable debts rebuild themselves 


Burn Zones is a story of playing life’s bad hands and overcoming adversity against the greatest of challenges. It’s an inspirational story of a man who was pushed to his mental and physical limits, and came out the other side even stronger. 


And, most of all, it’s a lesson that you can do the same.

Date Reviewed:   



The ultimate burn - lose it all, come out fighting, and then share those valuable lessons with the world.


Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands is the autobiography of Jorge P. Newbery.  He is one of those anomalies that comes along every once in a while. He was an entrepreneur from the very beginning with no fear of taking a risk.  Jorge began as a paperboy and quickly grew into a record mogul.  He had some humorous moments throughout, and one of the times I had to laugh was when he stated his favourite music genre.  You will have to read the book to find out what it was!

A common theme throughout the book was his motivation to make it through the burn zones.  Jorge described a burn zone as, “relatively short periods of extraordinary effort that separated the winners and losers.” That is at the core of this book.  Hitting a rough patch and making it through the burn zones.  The relationship of Jorge’s mindset in business, sports and his personal life show a single minded consistency; however,  we also see an empathy for people who were different or didn’t have as much as everyone else.  Perhaps because Jorge could understand what it was like to be different.  He had a personal drive but also the support from a strong family with deep roots that he could draw on. 

Jorge moved quickly through his life’s story.  I found that there was a richness that was missing from this novel because it was so short.  The author certainly could have gone into more detail about his life, delving into deeper emotions and giving us more description of the key points in his life.  It has not been a boring life for him so far!  We saw him rise from the paperboy to owning 4,000 apartments across the US and then lose it all (26 million dollars) - the ultimate burn zone.  What struck me at this point was how Jorge described what happened.  How he lost it all, did not declare bankruptcy and came through the burn zone intact.  Jorge shares his valuable lessons throughout.  The thing about Jorge is that he did not give up and it was fascinating to read what he did after losing the last bad hand. 

The quick snapshot of Jorge’s life and fascinating journey is a story of hard work and perseverance that is inspiring and paves the way for the next novel , Debt Cleanse: How to Settle Your Debts For Pennies On The Dollar (And Not Pay Some At All).  The autobiography was an excellent intro and the next book is a natural progression.  I am curious to see what secrets he shares next.


Author Details

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Jorge Newbery Author:  Jorge P. Newbery


Jorge P. Newbery is a successful entrepreneur, distressed debt and real estate investor, endurance athlete, and author. He turned around some of the country's most troubled housing complexes in amassing a portfolio of 4,000 apartments across the USA from 1992 - 2005. However, a natural disaster triggered a financial collapse in which he lost everything and emerged over $26 million in debt. He never filed bankruptcy. Instead he developed strategies to gain leverage over creditors to settle debts at huge discounts, or simply did not pay them at all. He is a veteran of dozens of court battles, once fighting a creditor to the Missouri Court of Appeals. The entire debt (over $5,800,000!) was inadvertently extinguished due to sloppy legal work. As an athlete, Newbery raced bicycles for a living from 1986 - 1990 as a Category 1. He competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials and was 4th in the Spenco 500, a nonstop 500-mile bike race televised on ESPN. He also raced for the Costa Rican National Team in the Tour of Mexico, was 2nd in the 1987 Southern California State Championship Road Race, plus held the Green Jersey in the 1987 Vulcan Tour. Newbery also runs and has completed over 70 marathons and ultramarathons. In 2012, he was the overall winner of the Chicago Lakefront 50K. At 46-years-old, he was double the age of the 24-year-old second-place finisher. Today, Newbery helps others crushed by unaffordable debts to rebuild their lives. Jorge is Founder and CEO of American Homeowner Preservation (AHP), a socially responsible hedge fund which purchases nonperforming mortgages from banks at big discounts, then shares the discounts with families to settle their mortgages at terms many borrowers find "too good to be true." Jorge's response to the nation's mortgage crisis creates meaningful social and financial returns for investors, while keeping families in their homes. AHP's mission is to facilitate win-win-win solutions for homeowners, investors and lenders. "Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands" is Jorge's autobiographical account of how he was pushed to his physical and mental limits during his time of strife, and how he overcame the challenges he faced. Jorge's upcoming book is: "Debt Cleanse: How To Settle Your Unaffordable Debts For Pennies On The Dollar (And Not Pay Some At All)." Jorge is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and other publications, and speaks regularly on debt, investing, finance and housing issues.