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Archive for October, 2008

First, I would like to thank Mary at work for recommending this book to me. It was a charming read. It tells the story of Michael Gates, a high powered ad exec who loses his job and in an effort to make ends meet, ends up taking a job at Starbucks. This is the story of how he succeeded in his roll at Starbucks Barista. It is interesting because it reminded me of Punching In by Alex Frankel.  In Punching In, Frankel works at a Starbucks and is very derogatory about the whole experience.  However, Gates’s story is completely different.  I think it must have taken a lot of courage to write a book about your failures and how you had to stop being so prideful.  Gates tells the story of how the team at Starbucks welcomed and supported him as he learned the job.  He did not try to sugar coat things too much, but told it much like I imagine it really happened.  What is interesting to note is that anytime you read a story like this you assume that the entire organization is like that.  Having worked in bookstores, I know that even the same store can have a vastly different tone and meaning.  I was thrilled for Gates that he found such a great fit for himself, but I don’t believe that every Starbucks store runs the same way.  Anytime you have a large organization, you will have some stores that “get it” and others that don’t.  It depends on the individuals you have running the store and how committed they are to the organization’s goals.  All in all though, I think this is a book well worth reading (I imagine it may be more insightful than the Last Lecture, though I must admit that I have not read it yet)

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In the 3rd Companions Quartet, Connie Lionheart is once again faced with opposition due to some weird powers she exhibits as a companion to all animals.  The book deals with mythical creatures and their companions.  Connie is a Universal which means she can talk to any companion.  In any event, this was not as exciting as the first one.  There is a dark force on the loose, but no plans are being made to catch and put a stop to it.  Connie is persecuted against and almost kicked out of the Society.  Though I think the books have an interesting premise, I would like to see more plot development.  There are lots of little pieces that have been introduced, but I kind of wish Golding would get to the point.  I think that she is pussyfooting around a bit and wish that things would hurry up and happen.  Maybe because I am rereading all the Harry Potter books, I saw the lacks in this one more clearly.  I wonder how many books she is planning on writing in the series?

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