It hurts, I know. Your last clear memory from last night is chugging straight from that jug of Carlo Rossi (the trick is to rest it on your shoulder). Then you've got nothing but vague flashes: a belly dance, a borough you've never seen before, tripping on your own pants, and resting your spinning head on what you thought was your pillow, but now turns out was your roommate's Bernese Mountain Dog. Wipe that drool of your face, don't think about whether it belongs to you or to Goliath, and stagger toward your own room. You ain't going nowhere.
A grim day awaits you. Light hurts, talking hurts, somehow your teeth hurt. And all you can do is lie in bed until that glorious moment when the thought of a hamburger doesn't make your stomach attack your face. You can't read — words bad. You don't want to watch a movie — why are movies so bright and fast? And you smell like vodka and animal cracker puke so there's no chance of your roommates coming within a 30-foot distance to keep you company. So how to idle away the painful time?
Audiobooks. Audiobooks are like friends who cannot see or smell you, and therefore cannot judge you. Audiobooks whisper softly in your ear about pleasant things, quiet things. And audiobooks require only a quick download and a pair of headphones. None of that pesky leaving the house — you're not going anywhere. But since hangovers are like snowflakes in that no two are the same, it's important to match the right book to the right hangover. You picked your poisons, now here are the cures.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, read by the author
Hangover type: Does anyone have a horse tranquilizer?
Why this is the cure: Fifteen minutes of Mayes’ molasses-like southern drawl as she murmurs softly about Italian plumbing is a stronger sleep draught than a hot toddy and a Vicodin. You'll sleep right through that hangover. And when you wake, you’ll have seven home improvement ideas to transform your railroad apartment into a Tuscan villa.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, read by the author
Hangover type: I'm questioning my life choices.
Why this is the cure: No one made weirder life choices than David Sedaris. And he ended up living in Paris with the man he loves. Oh, and like, book deals for the rest of his life. So don't regret what you did last night. Remember it's all just fodder for your memoirs. Assuming that you actually remember.
Bossypants by Tina Fey, read by the author
Hangover type: Is it weird that I'm kind of enjoying this opportunity to eat cheeseburgers in bed?
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, read by Colin Firth
Hangover type: I just need some Colin Firth right now, is that okay?
Why this is the cure: Yes, it is. And when your eyeballs stop hating light, watch Pride and Prejudice , again and again and again.
The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde, read by James Marsters
Hangover type: Bugger off.
Why this is the cure: It's Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer reading mean jokes from Oscar Wilde. What doesn't that cure?
Persuasion by Jane Austen, read by Juliet Stevenson
Hangover type: Soothe me!
Why this is the cure: Um, promise not to hurt me, but I like this novel better than Pride and Prejudice. I know it's wrong, I just do. Trust me, this one is also very soothing and romantic.
The Hitchhikers’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, read by Stephen Fry
Hangover type: Panicking.
Why this is the cure: A nice reminder that you're not a Magrathean sperm whale plummeting to your doom, even though you may feel like one landed on your brain.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov, read by Jeremy Irons
Hangover type: I'm not so much hungover as embarrassed about whom I slept with last night.
Why this is the cure: Did you commit a crime? No? You're fine.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, read by Paul Scofield
Hangover type: Mom, tell me a story.
Why this is the cure: Once upon a time a lot of plucky British people did things that were either good, evil, secret, or silly. And they did them again and again until the wicked people were punished and the good people married each other. This is the story you want.
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry, read by Scott Brick
Hangover type: The world is disgusting. People are disgusting. My bathroom is disgusting.
Why this is the cure: Because you're right on all counts and this book about the Charles Manson murders will not try to coddle you. Clean your bathroom.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, read by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin
Hangover type: I got drunk on red wine with my friends, slurred a lecture on my doctoral dissertation for what might have been a couple hours.
Why this is the cure: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is about the cells pictured above, the woman they were stolen from, and all of the crazy science said cells made possible. This book will redeem your sense of intellectual superiority, big time.