These essays by a New Yorker writer are deceptively casual and (apparently) slight in theme, being mostly civilized, witty, conversational and appealing reminiscences and stray notions. But, using the unabashedly personal (a Chicago boyhood, time in the Air Force, a happy adult life in New York), the author evokes a wide-ranging, delicately troubling sense of the city world and mind. There are apt observations about city improvements, modern teaching by machines, and the habits of New York City buses; fine brief character sketches; an imaginative appeal for city versus country life; and an airy but disturbing piece about the images city people create for themselves. Under this oharm and gaiety is a deft, firm ability to keep past, present, and so-called reality in a meaningful suspension, so that the specifically personal and funny alter into generic comments on the personality in a changing time and culture. Wholly delightful, highly skilled.