Sometimes, in the midst of an icy, cold winter, you find yourself looking for a super silly read, to lift your spirits and give you a good laugh. Well look no further! The brain, aka Theopilus Nero Hercule Sherlock Wimsey Father Brown Marlowe Spade Christie Edgar Allen Brain, is annoying, intriguing, and very effective. From the moment his sidekick, the introverted outcast Sheldon McGlone, finds a severed human leg and an enormous salt water crocodile barking like a dog in the Brain's bedroom you know that this is no ordinary mystery. Killer attack whales, thieving kangaroos, and stalking birds add to the zany nature of this beyond ridiculous story, and before you know it you will be laughing like a demented hyena yourself. Plus, the setting, Farrago Bay, Australia, will keep you warm and toasty, with it's crocodiles, surfers, and sunsets. And who doesn't need a little warmth this chilly winter?
Everyone has one, a fictional character SO real and vital that it is almost impossible to believe that they do not exist, that they are not out there somewhere, just waiting to befriend us. For me, that character is the
Djinn Bartimaeus from Jonathan Stroud’s novels. A few words to describe Bartimaeus would be: sarcastic, chatty, mischievous, mouthy, sardonic, amusing, boastful, narcissistic, and irreverent. Just to name a few!
Distrustful of authority and full of loathing for humans, Bartimaeus still manages to save rulers and peasants alike while simultaneously cracking wise. His humorous wit and world view make for a nonstop, hilarious commentary on whatever time in history the story is set. He is so charismatic and compelling that I cannot bear it when I am finished with a book he is in, and actually read it as slowly as I can, savoring each and every page. Sound interesting? Like laugh-out-loud humor? Check out the original trilogy, The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye, Ptolemy’s Gate, and the new prequel, The Ring of Solomon.
Ms.G is the librarian at the Malone Middle School in Malone, NY.