I read a great deal of spec fic. Fantasy in particular, but some sci fi, and some horror (less blood and guts, more psychological thriller). And in those books, people die all the time. It's just a fact of the genres - in order to make it clear to the readers that this is a dangerous world, somebody's got to bite it, even if it's just a red shirt or three. Of course, it means more if we've had a chance to get to know the characters more, but in the end, there's a pretty high body count in spec fic. And in general, while I'm not hugely thrilled about it, I can deal. I may shed a tear or two (looking at you, Deathly Hollows), but I can usually get by and be my normal self after reading it.
Zombies, however...zombies are different. I generally enjoy reading zombie books (which I realized when I read World War Z), but they always leave me feeling drained and vaguely depressed. I still keep coming back, but they're the kinds of books where I think about a pivotal moment or death, and I start to cry again. I realized that a big part of this is how the characters in zombie books tend to die. In other forms of fiction, characters are killed by demons, evil wizards, ravaged by werewolves, whatever. Basically, attack, dead, everybody mourns. Zombies, though, tend to be different - unless the character is swarmed and completely devoured, they die and turn into the thing that killed them, and then have to be killed again by someone else. I think that's what gets me - zombie victims don't just die, they get put down, usually by someone who knew them well/are close to them in the plot of the book (if it's the big, pivotal death, at any rate). Their deaths are premeditated, and are kill or be killed situations, and because things change so quickly between living character and zombie, it's hard to make the transition in my head.
Thus, the zombie ramblings of the day. I think I need to take a break before I read Deadline, and I'll probably hit some Pratchett to do so - he's very good for getting me out of a funk. What about you guys? What do you read to get out of a funk?