Friday, November 16, 2007

The Gospel According to Starbucks

I don't know too many people who think Starbucks is alright. Most either really like it or really hate it. The title is somewhat deceiving but at least the disclaimer on the bottom of the cover and the brief on the back cover are honest.

The book was written by a Christian minister and professor of evangelism. Ultimately, it's goal revolves around religion and Christianity but along the way, Leonard Sweet offers through his passion for coffee and Starbucks insight into the corporate culture and philosophy of the company.

It was almost disturbing how much Starbucks was mentioned in the first four chapters, almost to the point of disturbing and leading me to a pet name for the author, "The Reverend Shill". Oddly, as chapter 5 really toned down the Starbucks mentions I began getting upset that there were so few references to the leader of lattes.

In the end, the book did provide some great points for a book discussion at church and I really enjoyed learning about Starbuck's philosophies. However, this is really something of a "self-help" book using Starbucks and their philosophies as a model for living our spiritual life.

This book quite franky is not for everyone. While it has its moments, I'd rather read a book specifically about Starbucks than one that uses that as a framework for a different purpose. While I did enjoy the book, I think what threw me most is that I kept wanting to separate the coffee talk from the rest and just read about the coffee talk in greater detail.

Added Saturday during a more coherent moment that when originally authored:
While I don't have a problem with books on spirituality or on books that like to use metaphorical references to pop-culture, in this particular case I did. I must admit there were several points that really were exceptional at geting one to stop and think. I don't want to give off the impression that there is nothing to be gained by reading this book because there can be. I do think it is important to be up front about who the author is and the context in which this book was written.

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