Customer Reviews for

How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

Average Rating 3.5
( 110 )
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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 110 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 6
  • Posted December 22, 2009

    Loved It!!

    I absolutely loved this book!! I picked it up because the title caught my eye at Barnes & Noble and couldn't put it down once I started reading it. I heard that it's going to be made into a movie starring Tom Hanks...good choice Hollywood. I plan to read the book again and again until then ;)

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    I couldn't put it down.

    Great book from a man with his experience.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009


    I picked this up thinking it would be a feel-good book I might be able to give as a hostess gift. What I found was a story about learning lessons, finding hope, maximizing opportunity, recognizing good fortune, and contentment in life. A discussion group I am in is examining hope. I started circulating this book and several came back saying they "couldn't put it down".

    "Loving the life we have", not requiring we "have the life we love" is lost on many ... but not on this author.

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great little book

    this book keep me busy for a few days and was an inspiration,dosen'tmatter how bad things are in life if you want something,you can pull trough.
    Great book for inspiration, being humble is a good quality on a person.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Cheers for Michael G. Gill

    This book is refreshing and inspiring without being sappy and/or preachy.
    Michael did a wonderful job of taking us through his trails; his wins and his losses. He really gave us a good look into himself, writing both the dark side of his life and the good, bright side.
    Anyone who wants to know the why there are so many Starbucks regulars and fans like me. Michael really gets to the heart of it.
    This is a great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    An Easy Read filled with wonderful anecdotes!!

    I decided to read this book because I myself am a barista at Starbucks and was, at the time, feeling a little down in my career at Starbucks. I was really stressed out and didn't know if I could balance school and work. I picked up this book looking for some inspiration and I think I got it, in a way! It made me realize how much I LOVE my job. Yet, it also made me realize that I can't dwell on the past! I have to move on to newer and exciting things. Since reading the book, I have decided to leave Starbucks. It has been a great experience and I wouldn't change a thing. This book made me smile at my past and dream of my future. I highly recommend for other Starbucks employees. Even if you don't work at Starbucks- it's still a good read that can be applied to many people's lives. READ THIS =)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2009

    fun read

    This is a great book. I appreciate the soul-searching the writer shares with us. He realizes that what was important to him in his earlier life is not important once his life is turned upside down. Once he is forced to live a simpler life, he is happier and rich in ways other than having a large bank account. Keeping it simple works for many despite the pressures of society to do it all and have it all. Mike realizes that "keeping up with the Joneses" is not the way to live.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009


    It was great to see that he is a "real" person. It was a great read for me at this time, when jobs seem so unstable. It also helped me understand a little better what my parents are talking about, regarding the workforce, and prejudices for their age. The one thing that I loved most was that he spoke on his insecurities with other groups (class/race) and how he could come to terms with them. I hope it helps others. After reading this, minus the bathroom cleaning... I want a job at Star Bucks!!!! Great Book.

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  • Posted March 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    OBVIOUSLY, Michael Gates Gill is STILL well-connected.

    This book is the late-life autobiography of a man who "fell" from privilege, got a job at Starbucks, and encountered a paradigm shift that suddenly made him a more loving father figure/human.


    But the book isn't very well-written. Some of the sentences aren't even SENTENCES. Beyond that, Gill digresses so much from the story at hand that I often became frustrated and distracted from the point he was trying to make. I found myself thinking "Who edited this book?" on at least 10 different occasions.

    I continued reading (because I can't put down a book I have already begun), and I found out: he used one of his old connections from that former life of privilege to get his shoe in for a B&N featured "best seller."

    Kind of defeats the point there, doesn't it Mikey?

    If you're looking for a "feel good" read, this book is for you. If you're looking for expensive toilet paper, this book is also for you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    how starbucks saved my life

    This is an excellent book that a lot of people can relate to. I recommend it first to everyone that actually works for starbucks and to all major corporations in america. It touches all levels of life rich & poor alike to show that in the end we are actually the same. This book shows the reader that you can be just as happy cleaning a bathroom at a starbucks as being a top salesperson for a large company.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great biography!!

    This book is definitly a quick read. I was truly engaged in this book by the stories. The reader will laugh and tear up. This book is inspiring and makes you rethink of what truly is important in your life.<BR/><BR/>Michael Gates Gill tells his story of how we went from great to poor, and picked himself back up. His stories makes you realize that you're not better than everyone else. We should all take the time to get to know people around us, you never know how they can help or make you laugh. No matter how rich/poor, smart/slow, young/old someone is... you can always learn from them.<BR/><BR/>It's amazing the list of people he met... Hemmingway in Spain, Jackie Kennedy, etc. <BR/><BR/>My favorite part is the bull run he did in Spain to meet Hemmingway!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2009

    Good Read

    This was a pretty good book. I really appreciated the frank and self depreciating style of his book. It made me stop to think about how some people don't have the same kind of support as others. Not just financial support but emotional support to succeed. I think it was also a good reminder of work/family balance and what really matters at the end of the day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    New subtitle: You can't keep a son of privilege down for long

    Michael Gill tells a good story. But the more potent narrative is the one post-publication -- that Tom Hanks will star in the movie version, that Gill is the screenwriter, and that he's now represented by the Lanvin Agency for speaking engagements. In short, Gill is making six figures again. It's honest money, honestly earned, and I don't begrudge it to him. But it's only fair to notice that, despite his brief visit to life as most of us live it, he is still benefiting from his family name, privileged upbringing and literary contacts, which virtually ensured that his book would be published. Despite Gill's harrowing second act, the third act is, once again, a life of wealth, fame, and privilege. We are supposed to think that this is deserved, because Gill's time among the proles made him a better person. It may have. But the publishing contract came from his contacts, not his humility. The deck is stacked in Gill's favor. Can you blame his Starbucks 'Partner', Tawana, for resenting it?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    We are told a lot in this book we see very little of what we're told. For example, we are told that he was a great ad exec who was making in the mid six figures a year for a number of years. However, the one time his advertising skills are called on, he proves lame. Also, we never find out why he is not in advertising any more. He also loves to talk repeatedly about how he is so open minded that it does not bother him to work in an 'inner city' Starbucks and to take orders from black, female boss. Me thinks he doth protest too much. To be honest, this book has all the uplift of a Hallmark card.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2008

    Do you have dental?

    I love that this man who worked for a fortune 500 company never had dental or vision until he worked for starbucks. This book just highlights that the better the employer the better your life. Since very few of us wrk for ourselves its a caveat to teach our children. If you are working for a heartless scrooge--quit. This book is a wakeup call to look around you and see what kind of employers you support with your patronage. I always ask people if they have good benefits and if they have a good boss because I used to work in HR. You would be surprised at how forthcoming your grocery store clerk or dry cleaning, etc. employee is. There is no reason for an employer not to provided total health and educational benes to all employees to help them get a leg up in this hard cruel world. They can learn what starbucks knows--take care of your employees and they will take care of you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2008

    Decent story many digressions the name-dropping never ended

    The story of Mr. Gill's resurrection is indeed heartwarming, albeit mostly because of the way we learn he impacted the lives of his Starbucks 'Partners.' But it was tough to feel sympathy for him, knowing the privilege from which he came and knowing the callous, arrogant, solipsistic way he lived the first part of his life. When he wrote about the interactions at the store, the book was a fun read. But he was way too easily sent off on tangents about his childhood that reminded us of his silver-spoon upbringing. It was kind of hard to be a full cheerleader when every other paragraph was the mention of how he knew every socialite ever. I hope he is healthy and his life is back together. But moreso I hope he is donating some of the book's proceeds to help the co-workers in the store, who also needed their jobs at Starbucks, who don't have the networking and financial safety net on which to fall back, and without whom there would have been no story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    Having worked in the same profession for 30 year, I occasionally wonder what it would be like to do something entirely different, like working at Starbucks. I thoroughly enjoyed following the author's journey as he starts his entirely new career. His uneasiness at the cash register, his admiration for his young boss, his eventual love for his coworkers, his pride and improved quality of life compared to his previous executive jobs are all richly detailed and sympathetic. Though the style may occasionally be awkward, the book is always warm and enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007


    I first bought this book because I love coffee-and it had an interesting cover... When I read the sleeve-it seemed like a book that was easy to read and would possibly be somewhat enjoyable. I have to say---I love this book! It was very easy to read and very interesting. The book made you appreaciate everything that you have. I do not pity the writer, because he made his own decisions. He graduated from Yale---therefore he could have found another job. He had pity on himself-that is why he ended up in the position in which he ended up in. But I do have a respect for him. He fell into a 'world' which had never existed for him, and which he never appreciated. This books makes you think about everything and appreciate everything. I think everyone should read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2008

    A reviewer

    While this book will not teach anything new it is a compelling and thought provoking reminder that in all things in life we are to seek the opportunity to express gratitude. Michael Gates Gill was entertaining and candid it is refreshing to see someone get the second chance that we all need at some point in life. I was sad when I read the last page because I knew I would miss this book as it was as much a treat as a venti extra hot caramel macchiato with extra caramel!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    Corporate America - Listen Up

    Finally someone writes what we all feel. Corporate America Sucks. More people should just get a life and leave them behind to wallow in their stalags. Working for them is like being in a concentration camp. We don't need more stuff ... just a life. Hats off to Michael Gates Gill.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 110 Customer Reviews
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