Here we have two books brought to my attention because of coffee, but neither is really about coffee at all. The first, White Whine: A Study of First-World Problems by Streeter Seidell, is a comedy book that chronicles the unique complaints of people whining about their lives while simultaneously letting you know their lives are awesome. The book seemed ridiculously funny to me, but it was only about 70% as hilarious as I thought it would be. I was a little annoyed because a couple of the posts were repeated in the book, which I can only assume was bad editing because none of the posts were that funny. That being said, I did laugh out loud a few times and was thoroughly entertained for the lazy Saturday that I spent reading it. There were some funny, satiric gems.
“According to a recent study I just made up” made me tastefully chuckle while thinking of all the pretentious writing I’ve read.
Sometimes, his frankness was just funny: “Here it is, folks, the first glimpse at a future full of wonders that we’ll most certainly find really, really irritating.”
At other times, he just spoke to me: “It has to be difficult to maintain that level of annoyance day in and day out.” Preach.
The second book, How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill, was just as enjoyable of a read for a lazy day, but it was an entirely different sort of enjoyment. This book is a memoir of a man who was the definition of a privileged white rich male until he was fired from his advertising company and ended up working at Starbucks. There were many things to love and dislike about the story.
Gill has a rambling sort of style that I would find annoying in fiction but works really well for his memoir because it is distinctly his voice. Some parts sounded like a Starbucks advertisement, but he used to be an ad executive; that’s not so surprising. His writing wasn’t the best, but his story is. This memoir was incredibly honest. He doesn’t balk at discussing his own faults like so many other autobiography writers (looking at you, Ben Franklin). The book really felt personal. It was inspiring and hopeful. I highly recommend it.
I decided to read Gill’s memoir after White Whine because I thought I would be annoyed at people after reading the complaints. I was. This was a good pairing. I got to read some of the worst and best parts of everyday people.
Now I’ll leave you with one of my favorite lines from Gill:
“Just because you are wearing a green apron rather than a Brooks Brothers suit doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it!”