When I realized that the second volume of Writers on Writing existed I immediately put it on my wish list. When it finally arrived I couldn't wait to read it. The essays in this New York Times collection aren't selected to compliment each other in voice, theme or subject. It's pretty much authors talking about whatever strikes them, as long as it has something to do with their present life as writers. Some remember their childhood and making up stories, some reflect on their children's childhood and their struggles with their first book. Some talk about book signings, interviews, impact of current events, music, loneliness, workday schedule, depression and their Selectric typewriter. You name it, it's there. That's what I love about these books - they show the writerly world as it is - diverse and unscripted and un-carefully-selected to match something.
What I like most about these books though is that they make me want to DO things. They make me want to go find the books mentioned on the pages, listen to the music credited with inspiration, write something, anything at all. This is definitely a must-read and I highly recommend it, even if you have no ambition to become one of the writerly world.