Book Recommendations/Stories for Getting Through Big Life Moments?

First two things: You don't have to worry overmuch about me comfortwise (have got therapist and friends alerted, check), though anything you comment will indeed go a long way to getting my mind off of what's going on, and I'll appreciate it anyway. Next, I don't know if I'd get around to reading what you recommend (not immediately anyhow) because at times when life tosses stuff at you, it's often hellishly hard to actually concentrate on anything. Er, and then there's the fact that I'm making myself not impulse buy as I already did that and now have some random toys and a few video games that I didn't have at the start of the weekend.


But if I can't read, it's sometimes just as nice to talk/write about reading, you know?


So the sad part - my dad died a couple of days ago. (I am now blanking on exact day...ah, Thursday. Had to check. Brain is so not working well.) Had a heart attack earlier in the week and surgery that day. I have a plane ticket to go home and help out since he was sent home from the hospital a day or so later, seemingly fine. And then suddenly another heart attack while I was on the phone with mom, then an ambulance came, and he didn't make it out of the house. He did not have a heart problem and was not ill. He was in his mid 70s. I'm an only child, and working out of state where my folks live. (I was planning on moving there in another year.) So I've got the next three weeks to help out my mom, who's not lived without dad (and for dad and taking care of dad) in over 50 years. And that about sums up the moment.


So what I'd love to hear is a book that you fell into and that made you forget a bad time. Or at least made it pass a little easier. Doesn't have to be a time as bad as this, that bit doesn't matter. While humourous books help, sometimes more serious fiction or history also works - doesn't matter. I'm not a genre snob.


I actually have a book that worked for me from my divorce in 2013 - a new translation of Orlando Furioso - here's my review (that I still haven't moved from Goodreads, sigh.) Yeah you'd think that'd be overly academic - but it's all down to that translation that made it funny, because the translator felt that this was a combo of D&D and B movie fodder (and comedy romance, and battles, etc etc etc) that current students were missing out on. (My review ODs on quotes, be warned, it's long.) Now it's a fun and comforting book to look back on because dad - a one time college prof who studied Spenser, Shakespeare, etc. - was the first person I talked to about it and said "you'll LOVE this translation, I'll send you my copy when I'm done." But he couldn't wait and bought his own. And then we talked about it over the phone and enjoyed it even more. (And he started writing his own text version of Spenser's poem, Faerie Queene afterwards, but that's another post I should write.) That's one of the hard parts in this - one of many of course - but he's the last person I could geek out to in meatspace over this genre. All my other bookish friends aren't into this sort of book. I'm going to miss that so much. He and I always used to share book talks.


I'll be peeking in and out of this so can only answer as I have time. If you want to go full on blog post of your own and just link me to it in the comments that's cool too.


Now back to packing and ignoring laundry. I am so not into laundry right now. But then, I'm usually never into doing laundry, so that's kinda life as usual.