Speaking of extraordinary stylists, one of the books Pup & I read on our day without electricity was by an acquaintance of many NYC years: Laurie Stone’s “My Life As an Animal.” it’s a book filled with magic tricks & sleights of the writing hand. Slants in from every direction, yet manages to tell not all, definitely not all (that’s one aspect of the brilliance of it) but definitely all you need to understand where it comes from while also understanding that you will never really know: That the narrator, who is possibly Laurie Stone, sort of Laurie Stone but not Laurie Stone and possibly trustworthy but never reliably trustworthy is the best kind of womanfriend: there but not there. A bit of a chimera, to call up an animal. Sage but not controlling. So nimble she tricks you into getting it: how life works, how her mind works. If this sounds way too Triquarterly clever, don’t worry. It is Triquarterly clever, but that’s not how it reads unless that’s what you want. If you want the story of a mother and daughter, if you want the story of a fresh relationship that starts up well after reason suggests it should & is held in Hepburn-Tracy-like suspense, if you want to know how to bargain, if you want to know about a lost friendship, that’s what you’ll get. And I don’t know about you but that’s what I always want.