There is a huge, gaping hole in Michael Gates Gill's memoir How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns To Live Like Everyone Else: Gill never explains how a 25-year-long career making over $100K at one of New York's most prestigious advertising firms would leave him without any savings to rely on after the firm's new management "lets him go." He has kids, he says, and kids are expensive. Sorry Gill, that answer is not sufficient. Nor is his explanation for why a native New Yorker would have no idea where the Upper West Side is, or how crowded Grand Central Terminal can be. The pre-Starbucks Gill was like a well-paid, well groomed Labrador puppy--and then he went broke. And got a job at Starbucks because it offered health insurance. And he learned about the real world, and how to live in it. The result is a book that--if you can get over Gill's almost unbelievable level of ignorance--will remind you that your problems, whatever they are, aren't that bad. And if you don't like your life, it's up to you to make it better. Gill functions as a real-life Mitch Albom character, and these are the five people he met in Starbucks.
Wed., Sept. 24, 7 p.m., 2008