I can't think of a book or collection of EB White's writing to which I wouldn't give high praise. Here, the writing is good (of course, it always is) but that the collection was put together by someone not in the writer's family or intimate (editorial) circle may explain why it seems a bit void of that quintessential EB White spirit. Understand, these are not essays or letters. These, for the most part, are very short pieces, most of which ran in The New Yorker as short, witty fillers or, as that genteel set liked to refer to them, "occasionals." Some, because they were written many decades ago ('30s and '40s) are dated. Some references or phrases are left unexplained, leaving this reader stumped. If you want to read classic EB White, aside form his children's classics, I recommend his "Essays" and "Letters," and "The Second Tree from the Corner." THESE are classics. This collection, on the other hand, demonstrates that, while EB White was always a top-notch writer, even the best have their mediocre days.