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How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else Paperback – 2 Sep 2008
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"A great lesson in finding your highest self in the unlikeliest of places-- proof positive that there is no way to happiness-- rather, happiness is the way."
Wayne Dyer, author of "Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling"
"I like my Starbucks, but I loved this book. It hit me emotionally and intellectually, right in the gut. The message, what the world needs to embrace most, made my cup runneth over!
Dr. Denis Waitley, author of "The Seeds of Greatness"
""How Starbucks Saved My Life" is based on the simple idea that down-to-earth, humbling labor can help you re-orient your values and priorities and give you new life. It will speak to anyone in need of radical surgery on their worldview, and that includes most of us. Sit down with a cup of coffee and this book and entertain yourself toward enlightenment."
Thomas Moore, author of "Care of the Soul, Dark Nights of the Soul," and "The Worth of Our Work"
aIn the best tradition of "The New Yorker," "How Starbucks Saved My Life" is one great read.a
a"The Wall Street Journal"
aAn intriguing look behind the counter of one of the worldas most recognizable brands.a
a"The Christian Science Monitor"
a"How Starbucks Saved My Life" works as an interesting memoir of one manas transformation. But it could also work as a wake-up call to corporate America.a
a"Minneapolis Star Tribune"
?In the best tradition of "The New Yorker", "How Starbucks Saved My Life" is one great read.?
?"The Wall Street Journal"
?An intriguing look behind the counter of one of the world's most recognizable brands.?
?"The Christian Science Monitor"
?"How Starbucks Saved My Life" works as an interesting memoir of one man's transformation. But it could also work as a wake-up call to corporate America.?
?"Minneapolis Star Tribune"
From the Inside Flap
Michael Gates Gill was born with all the material advantages that America can offer, with an acclaimed New Yorker staff writer for a father, and spent his childhood surrounded by famous intellectuals and socially connected people.
After graduating from Yale he was given a job with the help of a classmate as a Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson, the most successful and largest advertising agency in the world. Then after 25 years of devoting his life to work, he was suddenly fired and his life at the top of the American establishment became derailed.
He found himself broke, his marriage dissolving, learned he needed a brain operation, and was deperately looking for work to help support his five children.
Then he found a job at Starbucks where he still works as a barista. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
A book I really enjoyed about a man's personal journey at the late stages of his life. Unlike the other reviewers I couldn't put it down and it was extremely moving how Mike changed from a successful, shallow man to a person who whilst not as materially as rich - certainly is happier in life.
Wow this man has met some people Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Ernest Hemingway - and how much more interesting his work colleagues in Starbucks are.
A recommended read - especially if you are feeling down - this story will inspire you.
This heart-warming little book would be the perfect read if condensed into a Readers Digest magazine. At its full length (which is still comparatively short), it becomes tiresome. There is far too much information about how great Starbucks is: we are told numerous times about the employee medical benefits, how Starbucks will put you through college, how Starbucks cares about its partners (employees) and so forth. We get a very comprehensive description of how Starbucks toilets should be cleaned and how to balance a Starbucks till. The book is also padded with frequent flashbacks and stories from Gill's previous life - unfortunately, very few of these are interesting and inevitably they interrupt the story just when something was about to happen.
But the biggest flaw for me was the writing, which felt like a sample from a grade school creative writing class. Here's just one example: "I liked their laughter. I remembered that Crystal had told me that the original vision of Starbucks had been based on an Italian Cafe. I imagined there would be a lot of laughter in that kind of place."
While it is apparent that Gill's life changed dramatically over the year, that he grew in confidence and as a person, we never really get a concrete sense of how that happened. In the same way that we are told (frequently) how funny everyone thinks he is, without ever getting a sample of that humour, we are left to extrapolate the personal growth that he has gone through. There is far too much here about what Starbucks is like as a place to work, and not nearly enough about the transformation that it led to. A book that covers similar territory but is much better overall is Cliff Walk: a Job Lost and a Life.
The facts of Michael Gill's rise and fall are fascinating, but what makes this a compelling and heartwarming tale of redemption is his brutal frankness and humility. If he had been a detestable character before, he became someone profoundly changed and worthy of respect despite the lowliness of his subsequent position. This book reminds me in many ways of Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" except that this is no fiction.
It is being turned into a movie with Tom Hanks. If it is half as good as this book, it may get an Oscar.
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