There are books which claim to teach you how to write. This book is about the writing life: The business of writing. The day-to-day existence of a professional writer. The ways writers interact with other writers. The things writers do to help themselves out -- and the things they do to trip themselves up. Which is to say: This book is about what it's like to be a writer, right now. And what's it like to be a writer, right now? Well, it's fun. But it's also work. Coffee Shop shows the writing life as it is, from the perspective of novelist and writer John Scalzi, who in 15 years as a professional writer has written just about everything: critically acclaimed novels, best-selling humor books, nationally syndicated newspaper columns, magazine cover stories...and ad copy, corporate brochures and Web site headlines, too. His wide range of experience informs this collection of essays on writing and the writing life, taken from his popular personal Web site, The Whatever. Whether providing practical advice, discussing writing and writers or observing the state of the writing world, Scalzi lays it out in a sharp, no-nonsense way that assumes you want the lay of the land, without all the huggy-squeezy hand-holding. Notes on the writing life, unvarnished views of writers and books and (yes) even some practical advice: It's all here. Take this to the coffee shop instead of your laptop. You'll get more out of it -- and if you spill coffee on it, it'll be cheaper to replace. See? Practical.