Browse any ranking of 2019 travel destinations and Japan is sure to be up there. The mix of ancient etiquette—think tea ceremonies and samurai history—and trailblazing futuristic culture—think robots that can hug you or serve you drinks in a bar—makes for a thrilling travel experience. Pair a city break in Tokyo with a trip to the five lakes region, and tee off at the Fuji Golf Course at Lake Yamanaka. Golf with Mount Fuji in the background? Yes please.

Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish, famously brought to life on the big screen in Tim Burton’s adaptation starring Ewan McGregor, reframes the life of a modern man as a series of myths. Edward Bloom, the story’s protagonist, is no Hercules or Odysseus from the famous Greek myths. He’s an advertising salesman from Alabama. Nonetheless, Wallace shows how the arc of a contemporary life and the quest for personal fulfillment–navigating adolescence, work, romance, parenthood, and ultimately, death–is no less epic of a journey.