Books To Nurse Your Hangover

It’s the Friday after our annual office Christmas party, and we must unfortunately report that we are feeling less than festive today. Christmas crackers were torn, jigs were danced, and wine was drunk into the wee hours of night — which all means we woke up needing water and hangover cures ASAP. While the internet and those around you all have their own kooky ways to get rid of a hangover (hair of the dog; long runs; bacon, egg and cheese bagel; etc.), we think there’s nothing that clears our foggy brains and sends the body aches running better than curling up with a book in seclusion.

So, here are some of the titles we reach for when we’re craving the literary version of fuzzy socks and a hot water bottle (which you should probably still incorporate into your hungover reading regimen anyway).

Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella 

If you’ve been a victim of getting a little too loose-lipped around a coworker after a glass of pinot, then this one’s for you. Main character Emma is so nervous about her flight that she starts spilling every secret she’s ever had to the man sitting next to her. The next day at work, she gets a visit from her company’s founder, which is, of course, the man from the plane. In that classic Sophie Kinsella way, Can You Keep A Secret is the feel-good novel we need to cheer us up after a night of excess.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Despite the title being everything you don’t wish for when you’re unwell, we still love Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for a lazy day. We get to go on a little adventure around New York City with a most peculiar and charming little boy. Along the way we laugh, we cry, we fear for his safety (really, children should not be left to their own devices in such a chaotic place!), but in the end we’re left heart-warmed by a story of family and community — what more could you want for some cure-all reading?

One Day by David Nicholls

Though getting rid of a hangover already feels a bit like living an entire lifetime, why not dive into someone else’s with One Day? Told over the course of one couple’s relationship by glimpsing into one day of every year, David Nicholls’ novel sweeps us away every time. Though you only experience little bursts, you feel every up, down, and intimacy of their world. It’s a bit voyeuristic, it’s a bit frustrating at times, but, ultimately, it’s a wonderful vignette of a complex and consuming relationship that we always find ourselves reaching for when we need a bit of comfort.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Sometimes the best distraction from your pain is to transport yourself to another time, another place, or another life (subscribe to Timeless Fiction if that’s your wish every day!), and Kate Morton is the master of historical fiction. As you’re curled up in your castle (bed), travel to Milderhurst Castle with Edie Burchill and dive into a world of secrets, war, and family drama — because it’s nice to peek in on other people’s issues for a change every now and then.


As always, thank you for reading, and be sure to tweet us @AgoraBooksLDN with your favourite comfort book!