Required Reading: The Best Books for a Hangover


A few years ago, Inigo Thomas wrote in Slate: “If remorse is one part of the hangover, so is resolve — the refusal to give into the worst of it.” Shake off the excesses of St. Patrick’s Day by reading some selections from our list of hangover-themed books. From cookbooks to calamitous fiction, there’s an assortment of titles for the morning after a long night out. We’ve even arranged them in categories for your viewing pleasure.


The Great Hangover: 21 Tales of the New Recession from the Pages of Vanity Fair by Graydon Carter

This is a compilation of 21 stories by 15 different Vanity Fair authors on the economic crisis, ranging from Iceland’s bankruptcy woes to the man everyone loves to hate, Bernie Madoff. It’s business writing at its best, from the boys at 4 Times Square.

The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet by Garrett Peck

Peck tackles the modern history of alcohol use in the US, from end of Prohibition to today. He notes our vices and tallies the trends to come up with a sober view of our predilection for the Devil’s brew, an industry that makes roughly $190 billion a year.

Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch by Julie MacIntosh

In 2008, a Brazlian-owned Belgian company took over Anheuser-Busch, a company which began in St. Louis in the 1850s. MacIntosh details the internecine strife involved with one of America’s wealthiest families, resulting in a showdown between August Busch III and his son, August Busch IV. In an interview, MacIntosh says, “Some family members made hundreds of millions of dollars on this deal. They’re so rich now that it’s almost incomprehensible.” Did you just throw up again? I’m sorry.


The Hungover Cookbook by Milton Crawford

“A hangover is an opportunity to see and taste the world in a new way.” If this is the case, then Crawford believes that we must succumb to ingesting deviled kidneys on toast or snacking on a PB and banana sandwich. Well, it worked for Elvis.

The Hangover Survival Guide by David Sloan & Christopher Shultz

The authors of such fine books as Quit Your Job and Move to Key West, Key West 101, Don’t Do It! 101 Reasons Not To Marry Her, present an array of hangover cures for the discerning gentleman in the throes of misery.


The Paris Hangover by Kirsten Lobe

What happens when a fashionista from New York moves to Paris to find love? She finds a lot of men willing to date her, that’s what. The robot synopsis from Barnes and Noble says, “PARIS HANGOVER is a funny, fresh novel about trying on a new life for size — and about cherching le homme in the process.” Get ready for parenthetical asides and lots of French words in italics!

Love Hangover by Jessica N. Watkins

“Being a pregnant single mother has left Latrice lonely and in need.” Spurned by her lover, she turns to a former paramour named Blood, who just so happens to be an infamous drug lord. Bullets are dodged and the police are averted as Latrice figures out when to tell her former lover that the child is (wait for it)…HIS! If you are feeling slow and useless today, remind yourself that at least you aren’t pregnant and on the lam.


The Hair of the Dog and Other Scientific Surprises by Karl Sabbagh

In The Guardian , Steven Poole writes, “I’m not sure it’s a wise marketing move to design a book’s dustjacket so as to make the potential purchaser feel as though he has a raging hangover.” Reading on, however, we discover that Sabbagh is able to distill complex scientific concepts for the layperson with ease, while also paying attention to the nagging metaphysical questions that keep us up at night. Perhaps hangovers can be cured through an afternoon reading about the mysteries of the universe?


These books contains passages about hangovers that will undoubtedly make you feel better about your own:

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

“Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again.”

Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

“A beer would, in fact, be fine. Beer was practically a health-food drink, like chamomile tea. His hangover today wasn’t serious at all, no more than a thick fog. No pain; just the fog.”

Post Office by Charles Bukowski

“‘Mailman, you got any mail for me?”

And you felt like screaming, “Lady, how the hell do I know who you are or I am or anybody else is?”

The sweat dripping, the hangover, the impossibility of the schedule… The people. The people. And the dogs.”

In the end, we all managed to survive yesterday’s festivities relatively intact, which is a plus. So what are your hangover remedies? How did you manage to find your way to work after the harsh light of the morning after burnt your retinas? Please share your tips below.