It is a tough time of the year! Everyone everywhere is stressed and bitter and kind of depressed. This is 100% true --- I have it on very good (anecdotal) authority.
Really, all anyone wants to do right now is wallow. So here are some things that are good for wallowing. More to come.
1. Don't Point That Thing at Me, Kyril Bonfiglioli (Rec. #31): Channel that bitter, slightly violent streak you have been nurturing lately.
2. Northern Exposure, seasons 1 and 2 (Rec. #35 and Rec. #161): It is TV, which is restful, but it is fairly smart TV, so you don't have to feel guilty.
3. The Princess and the Warrior (Rec. #71): If you don't speak German, you can always tune out the subtitles and just enjoy the pretty pictures. Even if you do choose to pay attention, you won't have to work too hard. The pace is generally brisk, but the plot is not complex.
4. The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup, Susan Orlean (Rec. #126): Are you sick of your own life? Here, have a look at some others.
5. Bad Machinery, John Allison (Rec. #138): It is a comic on the internet. You are practically reading it right now already.
[Continue with Part 2 here.]