A personal narrative -- lively reporting, without very profound interpretation or commentary -- telling of a trip made last summer to Russia, Germany, Italy, Czechoslavakia. Part of the material is in the form of personal reminiscences. The rest is the repetition of conversations overhead or shared. In this way evidence of various kinds is introduced. Primarily, however, it is a travel tale written by people who are intelligent -- and who are having a good time. They do not offer conclusions -- they put that up to their readers. And anyone who is familiar with Irina Skariatina's previous books knows that there is sparkle and vitality in everything she writes. She is scheduled for a lecture tour again, so find out from your local bureau or club when -- and if -- she is speaking near by, and play up the books at that time particularly.