A book like Taking Things Seriously could have gone badly pretty quickly. Invite a bunch of people you know to submit a story about an object that inspires you. Ask enough people and soon enough you have a book. If you’re into name dropping it gets to a point where you don’t follow the stories as much as seeing who was and wasn’t invited. The thing with this book is that it really doesn’t feel like that. The objects and stories come off geniuenly, not as a contrived “look at how clever I am” etc. story example.
The write ups are longer then a sound byte but less then a huge commitment of time to read. The intro explaining how submissions were accepted helped frame the context for deciding what got in and what unfortunately did not. Some pieces of inspiration are quite funny while others are moving for more somber reasons. If anything, it will make you look around your own surroundings and make you ask yourself what inspires you?