RouechÃ‰'s choice articles, culled from 30 years of New Yorker writing, concentrate not on the medical detections he's skillfully mastered but on people, places, and foods. Like the apple: ""plain, honest, artless, and infinite in its homely variety."" Or garlic, a wonder of the ancient world, out of favor for centuries until gourmet cooks restored it to its rightful prominence. Or the humblest fruit: ""Everybody likes the banana but nobody takes it seriously."" RouechÃ‰ also introduces two Long Island winemakers, who operate their vineyard on the principles of Vergil's Georgics, and a county agent for the Idaho Agricultural Extension Service, who breezily exchanges cup-of-coffee intimacies on sandburs and seed broadcasting. There's a full view of the Sag Harbor Whalers' Presbyterian Church, including eyewitness memories of its storm-lost steeple, and an exultant tour of the Florissant, Colorado, fossil beds--""A Window on the Oligocene."" A genteel, tailored collection from the title entry--modern riverboat life--to a New Mexico GP's better-than-Welby daily practice.