My final selection for Carl's Once Upon a Time II challenge, Big Fish by Daniel Wallace, was probably the perfect book for my current state of mind. It's fanciful and mythic, full of tall tales and exaggerations.
The story is narrated by William Bloom, son of the "big fish" himself, Edward Bloom. While Edward is largely absent during William's formative years, William builds his perception of his father on magnificent adventure tales that his father tells about his life experiences. While it's mostly a load of crap, William sees his father as that "big fish in a big pond." Interspersed with the myths and legends about his father are four chapters that reveal his death. Each one takes us a little closer to that fateful moment when his father will no longer live to tell another tale.
This was the perfect book at the perfect time because it's an easy read, a quick read, and the ending is just lovely. As I read, I wasn't exactly sure what I thought about it. I wanted William's dad to BE SERIOUS for once and stop all his trash talk. But, by the end, I sort of made peace with the old man, as does William.
If you haven't already, give Big Fish a try, especially if you're stressed out and just need a getaway.
In related book news, my "Currently Reading" portion of the sidebar is far from accurate. I put Galatea 2.2 aside because it just requires way too much brain power at the moment. I've read Preludes and Noctures and now Big Fish without ever changing the images. So, truthfully, I'm now reading The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly. I think I love this book already, and I'm only on page 50'ish. I feel sure it'll be a wild ride.