Pleasant publishing patter, this miscellany of small talk about publishing, about books and critics and allied celebrities from actors to presidents, told by one who knows the business on its lighter side. The material itself offers gossipy entertainment, some curiosity, some intellectual-snob appeal -- but Putnam's no born-to-the-purple writer. By and large, he seems to have been a Jack-of-all-trades,- trades,- before he entered the family firm -- and after he left it. He tucked in adventures of his own -- personalities in the adventure field (including his wife, Amella Earhart), Byrd, Beebe and Lindbergh. Finally, from publishing to Hollywood. So what!