Marie Beynon Ray has written about everything from fatigue to Five Minute Desserts Now, graciously grazing in and among the Great Books and snitching from Great Lives, she also reprimands our vulgarisms while dropping French phrases: (""Words such as beatnik (should never have become) comme il faut""); she corrects our pronunciation (""do we need to say mo'mma and po'ppa instead of mamma' and papa'""); and she trounces our backwardness, commercialism, and general lack of Culture which anybody with an ""instinct for beauty"" and a desire for ""self-improvement"" can acquire. This come-with-me-cicerone while never guilty of those dreadful colloquialisms is still pretty chatty and she can leap from a gossip column to the dialogues of Socrates. Nothing intimidates her and she has made up her own bibliographies.... ""Reading is a sine qua non of culture."" Reading what, Mrs. Ray? Instant aesthetics?