Every time I think of the terrible mess caused by the recent oil spills and the depressing state of the economy, I think it's a good time to be be immersed in beautifully mysterious and interwoven fantasy worlds. I definitely recommend the book Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke. Some patience is required to get into it. However, I was eventually taken completely in by the depth and credibility of the universe she created. Clarke's language and subtlety are charming and enthralling.