Book Review: “How Starbucks Saved My Life” by Michael Gates Gill


Title:  How Starbucks Saved My Life

Author:  Michael Gates Gill

Synopsis (from

In his fifties, Michael Gates Gill had it all: a mansion in the suburbs, a wife and loving children, a six-figure salary, and an Ivy League education. But in a few short years, he lost his job, got divorced, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. With no money or health insurance, he was forced to get a job at Starbucks. Having gone from power lunches to scrubbing toilets, from being served to serving, Michael was a true fish out of water.

But fate brings an unexpected teacher into his life who opens his eyes to what living well really looks like. The two seem to have nothing in common: She is a young African American, the daughter of a drug addict; he is used to being the boss but reports to her now. For the first time in his life he experiences being a member of a minority trying hard to survive in a challenging new job. He learns the value of hard work and humility, as well as what it truly means to respect another person.

Behind the scenes at one of America’s most intriguing businesses, an inspiring friendship is born, a family begins to heal, and, thanks to his unlikely mentor, Michael Gill at last experiences a sense of self-worth and happiness he has never known before.


My thoughts:  I just love how book suggestions come about in life.  I frankly would have never known about this wonderful little book had a friend not suggested it to me after one of my Facebook posts that went something like this: “You know the thought of being a full time Starbucks barista is looking better and better by the day.”  And hence my journey with the wonderful, inspirational story began.

The premise is simple, a high-tech advertising executive with plenty of money, all the right friends, the beautiful home, the perfect family finds his true happiness after losing it all and becoming a barista at Starbucks.  An absolutely wonderful riches to rags story that serves as an inspiration to all of us who strive to live the “perfect” life.

I truly enjoyed the authors style of mixing in the details of his “past” life with his current life at Starbucks and in doing so not focusing too much on the past life.  If he had focused too much on that “past” life inclusive of, let’s face it a lot of name dropping (having met Ernest Hemingway, Jackie Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, and the list goes on), it would have seemed that the author was ultimately quite cocky and hadn’t really learned from his new experience.

I also really enjoyed the simplicity of the book.  It is a super fast read (I finished it in 2 days) that merely shares one man’s journey from rich and successful to poor but extremely happy.

I highly recommend this book to anyone.  It is full of wonderful kernels of truth if you will that inspire, motivate, and set priorities straight.

And remember,

Books Are Life,


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Non-fiction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s