Welcome to the second issue of Finnegan Farms Retirement Community’s literary supplement, where we share some of our residents’ thoughts on recently released audiobooks and large-print editions picked up from our library’s lending box. As your new director, I want to quell any rumors that this is the last issue. It is my belief that this interesting intellectual activity represents Finnegan Farms’ commitment to build “a community of the gracious, living into the sunrise of tomorrow.” Therefore, it will continue as a one-page appendix to the cafeteria menu, and we are attempting to locate unburned copies of issue no. 1. However, Sheila has stepped down as editor owing to the uncanny prediction of Simpson, the resident cat.
Editor’s note (Gertha): I’m proud to serve as your new editor! I know we’re all sorry that the Lord called Sheila away to her final page about typography. I know she’s in a better place, because this place is pretty bad. Thank you all for your contributions. They have been lightly edited for length and Edsel’s swear words.
Rat Race, by Dick Francis: Did you know that Mr. Francis has written an entire series of murder mysteries involving jockeys and racing culture? This is without a doubt the best and only one I’ve read. In it, a British or perhaps Canadian pilot tracks down the person trying to sabotage his plane, but it turns out they were targeting someone else. Whoopsies! I hope I didn’t give away too much! I enjoyed it a great deal, although I’m still perplexed as to exactly how one flies a plane. An occasional illustration that’s not a horse would be helpful. Three stars.
H is for Hawk, by Helen MacDonald: What a deliberately wondrous and mesmerizing spell this book casts over the minds of its patient devotees! I marveled at the author’s sumptuous language and the rich description of her self-important inner life. The writing demands attention for its florid demonstration of angelic English and its apostolic commitment to self-presumption. The author’s recollection of herself suffuses every page. Even its cover seemed to be made out of a kind of silky and indulgent rubber—a small detail that those of us who have had our brain gently washed by her inspiring words will never forget. I remain amazed, many hours after completing it, at how few other details I retain, yet the power of its prose reverberates through the core my being and calls me to worship at her feet. Kudos, author, wherever you are demanding attention. I beg to be made worthy of pledging myself to your personal cause and avenging your grievous injuries. I look forward to your inspiring sequel, I is for I. Three stars.
Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys. This was the worst #$%^ book I’ve ever $^%& read. I can’t believe some puffed-up ^$#@ Yankee publishing house decided to print this #%^$ and #$%#! This book was not what I was *#^% expecting! I will never read anything by Mr. or Mrs. *$#^% Ruta Sepetys again. Three stars.
Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman: To be honest, this was hard for me to read. I didn’t care for the violence or the language or the frankly incredible sex scenes. Three stars.
Clymer’s Honda 350-550cc Fours: This was a re-read. I didn’t actually get it from the lending library, and you can’t have it. The Honda ’72 CB350F was my third motorcycle, and I’m surprised at how much I remember about carburetors. I can’t really recommend this book, however, as I already mentioned that you can’t have it, plus the fact that there are few Honda CB350Fs left, just like there are few of us anymore. Good night, Honda CB350F. We will miss you. I hope you will miss us. Three stars.
Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman: I’ve been informed that I was reading an entirely different book before. It can be hard to see what you’re selecting on your e-reader. In fact, I’m not sure how it got on my Kindle. Edsel, did you do that? If you did, I must talk to you about it privately. Anyway, I glanced at this Thinking book, but it was pretty boring. Three stars.