This collection, based on the author's radio talks, is sometimes erudite, occasionally musing, but always delightful. The volume is divided into three sections. The first, on Music and Art, offers capsule views on Bach, the 16th century Dutch painters, Bosch and Bruegel, the advanced compositions of the American musician, Charles Ives, Etruscan burial scenes and the city of Venice. The section entitled Characters includes vignettes of Dylan Thomas, Socrates' trial, Baron Corvo, the emperor Hadrian and a particularly captivating glimpse of Colette. In Writing and Reading, are related thoughts, some whimsical, some profound, on the movies, language, the putting together of a book, reading tastes and variations, and Zen Buddhism. As in any collection, the reader may sample at random, but, here, it would be difficult to go wrong at any glance. Such a happy situation would make this worthwhile book ideal as a gift.