Whenever something bad happens, I generally respond by re-reading favorite novels...books I know end well, books in which good triumphs over evil, books that I read as a young person, books that are mass-market paperbacks with yellowing pages falling out of broken spines....
Books that tells stories of characters who become real for a time because my eyes are looking for them on the page.
Often, these comfort books are fantasy fiction. Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Percy Jackson are old friends. Anne with an e of Green Gables fame is a bosom friend, as are Darcy and Lizzie, Claire and Jamie.
Right now, I'm re-reading some of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, although the paperbacks are in such terrible shape that I did use birthday money to replace a few for my Nook. These books have dragons...nice, life-saving dragons who are big and powerful and kind. I want them to be real in the same way I want owls to deliver the mail, the way a child wants Santa to be a real man living with crafty little people at the North Pole and a reindeer whose nose lights up.
For a time, the worlds of imagination are real, and then we're better able to cope with the real reality out there. Stories help us heal.
What novels do you re-read for comfort? What stories soothe you? What stories transform your funk?