This is a collection of brief, informal essays, selected from Herr's column in The Critic, a bi-monthly Catholic review of books. The subjects are often on some aspects of American Catholicism and the point of view might generally be described as ""independent"" -- if one were to accept the author's maverick posture. Actually there is nothing here that would irritate or sow the seeds of controversy. He thinks that teen-agers receive too much attention; protests the mania for surveys and statistics, and the ""confession"" story; he decries the mediocrity of the American novel; thinks the national craze for sports is an affliction; takes a jab at the women's magazines; and he has some good points in defense of that much-maligned creature -- the bachelor. Possibly what Mr. Herr has to say proves more provocative, periodically, in its original setting; taken at once, in a collection, the pieces seem too flimsy.