Biggest Book Hangovers

I recently read The Scandal/Beartown by Fredrik Backman. The book left me with all kinds of conflicting emotions. I was happy that I had read it but terribly sad when the story ended. I felt disappointed in myself for having read it fast instead of slowing down and prolonging the experience. I didn’t want to move on or read another book. I mean, what do you read after a book that takes such a toll on you? Simply put, the book gave me a massive hangover.

A book hangover is condition in which attachment to a book or series that has ended causes the reader traumatic emotional distress. It usually lasts for one to two weeks, or until a new book of higher-than-average quality enters the reader’s life.

In no particular order, below is a list of my worst book hangovers:


  • The Scandal/ Beartown by Fredrick Backman
  • The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • Wrecked by Maria Padian



  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- OMG, that final scene. Devastating!
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • When we danced at the end of the pier by Sandy Taylor
  • Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth



  • A Daughter’s Courage by Renita D’Silva
  • Blindness by Jose Saramago
  • The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden – I didn’t want this one to end. It was an emotional read but getting to the last page was difficult. I didn’t want my time with the book to end.
  • Stay with me by Adebayo Ayobami
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah


  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer- That twist and the mother in law, that cover. So much to say about this one.
  • It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover- What an emotional roller coaster.


When I first thought of writing this post, I had 5 books in mind. Then I decided to list 10 books because 10 is a good number, right? However, going through my blog, I ended up with 17 books read in the last year or so! These are the stories that stayed with me long after I turned the last page.

Have you read any of the books on my list?

Let me know the books that gave you hangovers.

63 thoughts on “Biggest Book Hangovers

    1. The Scandal is such an amazing read. I don’t know why I took weeks to read the book after getting it. It was so beautiful. I have heard only good things about The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Castle. I think I need to read it soon especially now that you mention that it had such an impact on you.

    1. Two very beautiful books. I recently read a nice review of Gabriel’s A Hundred Years of Solitude. I know it won’t be the same as Love in the Time of Cholera but I am definitely interested in reading it.

    1. What an amazing book. Certain scenes in the book still haunt me especially the ending and another one of Max and Liesel when the Jews were being matched down the streets. Have you watched the movie? I thought it was a great adaptation.

      1. The ending and the last scene with Rudy and Liesel (which are kinda the same I guess) will always live with me. I can just read a quote from it and sob.
        I have not but it’s on my list! I’m a little afraid because this book is my actual favorite, and I can’t have anything ruin it.

    1. Thanks Renee. I had fun writing it 🙂

      I got A Little Life because of what you said in one of your posts. I think it was in the list of books that made you cry. The book is big though, my eBook has 723 pages. I still can’t wait to read it soon.

      Thank you so much for The Scandal. That is the the book that inspired this post because of the wonderful hangover that it left me with 🙂

      1. Your so welcome Diana, I’m so happy you liked Beartown and it caused you a book hangover haha. I’m nervous and excited that you got A Little Life….it’s so heartbreaking yet so good….I’d love to chat with you about it when you get to read it!

  1. I haven’t read all of these, but a few of them also gave me quite the hangover. I’ll be thinking about this now. Thanks for posting.

    1. It Ends With Us made me cry and I was even more devastated when I read the author’s note at the end explaining her motivation for writing the book.

      I hope that you will like The Nightingale.Its a special read.

  2. The Nightingale has a special place in my heart. I dream day and night about my trip to France. I want to visit the places mentioned in the place so so bad! I quite love Born a Crime and i’m anticipating it’s movie. Stay With Me will definitely stay with me.

    1. Aah,I really want to visit France too although my wanderlust originated from a YA book called Anna and the French Kiss.I love what you said about Stay With Me.That book will also stay with me.I can’t forget all that happened to that couple.

    1. I don’t usually reread books but the three that you have mentioned are the ones I would love to read again. I have already reread A Thousand Splendid Suns. Its such a heartbreaking but beautiful read 🙂 I hope that you will enjoy the other titles on my list if you get a chance to read them 🙂

  3. It’s been a while since that’s happened to me, but I totally know what you mean. For me, it mostly happens with books that has a lot going on in it that I get really engrossed in the story and in trying to dissect it all because usually such stories draw inspiration from other books or art forms or world issues or mythology and I want to find and identify them all, like a puzzle.
    Thinking back, I think my last book hangover was with Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders books, a fantasy trilogy. My best and favorite word to describe those books is weighty. They felt heavy because of how much is packed into them and I had to take breaks after reading each. The world issues she chose to include was one of many things that kept my interest. It’s interesting how slavery is included in the story and who are identified as the conqueror and conquered. She shows how fragile power is and how powerful beings at the top can be vulnerable to the actions of those at the bottom.

    1. Mh, I get what you mean about heaviness. I would describe all these books as heavy because of the emotional connection with the story and the characters. Some of the stories are also quite sad and all do cover very heavy themes. I like the use of the word though in describing books that have so much going on. It fits the description perfectly.

      wow, I am curious about Liveship Traders. It sounds like quite an amazing read. I also like the themes and messages that you mentioned. I have just checked out the book’s blurb on goodreads. It does sound like a bit of a complex story(sort of like the puzzle that you mentioned) but I am glad to know that it provided you with such a reading experience.

      1. Liveship Traders was really good and I highly recommend it if you like fantasy or are curious about fantasy. However, it does start out slow because there is a lot of buildup. I also love it because there are characters questioning their beliefs and existence, so it gets kind of philosophical too, which I think is always awesome. So if that interests you, I suggest you give it a try.

        Also, I should mention the trilogy is part of a larger series and is actually the second trilogy in the series. But it’s okay to jump in with Liveship Traders and only read those books if you’re not interested in the series at large. (The series is totally great though!!)

    1. Thank you Dee.It was tough to limit my choices to 5 or 10. I still feel like I should have included some more books but then my list would have been too long. So many wonderful books out there though 🙂

    1. So glad to hear that you also love The Book Thief.

      I always think of The Book Thief as one of my all time favorite reads. I remember reading it on a long road trip and trying so hard not to sob at the end because I was in public. I am sure that I still attracted some confused stares though. It was such an amazing, heartbreaking read 🙂

  4. Let’s be honest here there are going to be some books that just stick in your mind forever no matter how many more you read. I can read a book and a month later have trouble remembering details in it but I can still clearly remember some stories I read 20+ years ago so really is there ever a time the book hangover goes away? 🙂

    1. haha I guess not. I have had similar experiences. I still remember books that I read years ago and can’t recall others that I read just weeks ago. Book hangovers do last long 🙂

  5. Loved this post Diana and I agree with so many of your choices! Especially The Book Thief, Memoirs Of A Geisha, The Book Of Negroes, A Thousand Splendid Suns and Stay With Me. All fantastic reads that have stayed with me.

    1. Thank you Beth.

      I am glad to know that you also loved those 5. I read Stay with Me in 2016 and again in January this year. I am still thinking about Yejide and Akin. I don’t know why it took me so long to read The Book of Negroes. I finally read it late last year and then watched the TV Series. Its certainly one special book 🙂

  6. Such a great list! Quite a few of the books I read above gave me a book hangover as well, including A Thousand Splendid Suns, Born A Crime, The Nightingale and It Ends With Us. Other titles that pop up in my mind are A Conjuring Of Light, Dark Matter and Killman Creek, although a lot of the 5 star reads in general gave me book hangovers. I guess it’s because I hardly ever give books the full 5 star rating in the first place; only the truly fantastic ones. 😉

    1. I have heard so much about Dark Matter though I am yet to read it. I also loved the Still house Lake series.

      I noticed that about your ratings so I always know that your 5 stars are a must read because they don’t come along too often 🙂 I have added Dark Matter and A Conjuring of Light on my TBR.

      1. I can highly recommend both! Although Dark Matter especially… I’m not really into sci-fi, but that book was absolutely brilliant. 🙂

  7. Great list! I agree with Memoirs of a Geisha. It stays on my mind for days after I read it 🙂 Good thing back then I didn’t read many books so I welcome to slump so I can take time to think about the read 🙂 I like what you say about reading a book slowly to prolong the experience of a good book. I remind myself everyday to do that now for all the books I read because if not, I feel like I have to race to finish so that I can read the next book. But there’s no time to re-read, so I just try to read it slowly the first time. I still have A Thousand Splendid Suns on my shelf to read. I recommended to my boss to read and she said she was sad and cry a lot when she read it.

    1. I really liked Memoirs of a Geisha. Both book and movie were so good. I hope that you will get a chance to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. It also made me cry and will probably make you cry too lol but its such a beautiful story.

      Prolonging a reading experience is usually great but not so easy to do especially with ARCs and deadlines for blog tours. However, I also still try to do it as much as I can 🙂

      1. I guess I can see why I’m sometimes late on ARC reviews hehe but for blog tour review, I try to read it earlier so I have time for it.

    1. Thank you. A Thousand Splendid Suns truly is an amazing books. I don’t usually reread books but I have read it a couple of times already.

  8. At the top of my head I would say Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent… It took me a while to get back to my proper reading rhythm.

    1. I remember reading Me Before You and watching the movie. I liked both, such a tragic twist at the end. I am yet to finish reading When Breath becomes air. It got too heavy for me so I set it aside. I hope to get back to it soon though.

      You have made me curious about Burial Rites. Adding that to my TBR now.

    1. Thank you Neve and thanks so much for visiting my blog.

      I still remember The Book Thief too.I loved both the book and movie.What a beautiful but heartbreaking read.Glad to hear that it was a memorable read for you too 🙂

    1. Glad you agree.The Book Thief is just special.I can still remember how I felt especially when I read the final chapter.Quite moving and memorable.Thanks for visiting my blog.

  9. I haven’t read any of these books but they are on my TBR list.. will read them soon. But I had read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    1. I hope that you will enjoy them when you get the chance. The Kite Runner is one of my most memorable reads though A Thousand Splendid Suns is my favourite one by Khaled.

  10. It’s funny, when you wrote Book hangover, I immediately knew what it was and I’ll admit I was never able to truly place the feeling into words. Now I can. Thanks! I can’t remember the last book series that did it to me, but I know that Patrick McClean’s How to succeed series was one of my more recent ones. It was so bad, I moved on to read everything he had ever published because I wanted more.

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