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The Midnight Library

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  39,052 ratings  ·  6,229 reviews
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Viking (first published August 13th 2020)
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Charlene Hardin I think it depends on the teen, but generally, I would say it is. Teens may, or may not, fully grasp the weight of regrets felt around the mid-way…moreI think it depends on the teen, but generally, I would say it is. Teens may, or may not, fully grasp the weight of regrets felt around the mid-way point in life. Even so, the book offers decent insight into how we become the choices we make and the stories we tell ourselves. I may pass this along to my daughter when I'm done with it.(less)
Cristian Costa Nora is 35, it says so at some point in the book.

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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(4.5?) After loving The Humans, I was very excited for this new release and I wasn't let down!

The main character is full of regrets after attempting suicide and ends up in a library where she gets to try all the other lives she could have lived.

This books was heartbreaking and unputdownable. My main regret is starting it late at night because I had to wait until the next day to finish it!

The writing was beautiful and hit almost too close for comfort. I can't recommend it enough!
Paromjit
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is no secret that Matt Haig has mental health issues, dogged by the darkness of depression that has taken its toll on his life. His acute observations and experience of his condition informs this exquisite, inspiring, compassionate and empathetic novel where he creates the concept of the midnight library, to be found in the spaces between life and death, to explore life, the issues that afflict our world, through philosophy and more, endeavouring to tease out what might make life worth living ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay! No more words! This is one of the best sci-fi dances with fantasy which carries additional philosophic vibes novel of the year! I LOVED IT! ( this is not kind of toasting for the book and raising your glass kind of loving it. This is more like climbing at the top of the roof and declaring your love by shouting and howling to the moon kind of love. If you read the song lyrics of Howl at the book you may probably understand why I feel so enthusiastic and why Im writing a high volume ...more
Meredith
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Magical

Lets be kind to the people in our own existence.

The Midnight Library is a book about choices, regrets, and embracing life.

Nora Seed is having a really bad day. She is mugged, loses her job, blamed for others peoples failures, and her cat is run over by a car. She is also seriously depressed. This day is one of many bad days that Nora has experienced over the last decade of her life. She cant take life anymore and attempts suicide.

Nora wakes up to discover that she is in the space
...more
jessica
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
'if you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail. aim to be you... the truest version of you.'

quietly profound and deeply meaningful.

very 'the five people you meet in heaven' with a magical, bookish feel. perfect for anyone who had ever wondered if their life is enough.

4 stars
Gabby
The only way to learn is to live
Fuck, this book hit me so hard. I finished this book a few days ago and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It has one of my favorite themes or tropes in a book, where we follow a main character who at the beginning of the story is very depressed and possible suicidal and doesn't see the point of life, but then slowly throughout the story begins to build an admiration toward humanity and life. This book was so beautifully written and I love the way this
...more
JanB
4.5 stars

Sylvia Plath Between life and death there is a library, she said. And within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

Nora is going through a terrible period in her life, where everything that could possibly go wrong, does. Shes consumed with regret over the paths not
...more
Danielle
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Its incredibly rare that I come across a book that ticks all my boxes. Good characters. Great setting. Wonderful story. This book really lived up to the hype! 🤗 Nora Seed has regrets. In a moment of absolute darkness she decides shes done with life. Trigger warning: suicide attempt. 😬 Shes pushed into The Midnight Library, where her school librarian greets her and explains the books of regret. Nora opens a book and lives a life had she done things differently. Book after book, life after life, ...more
David Putnam
Nov 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a quaint little book. A quick read that I enjoyed. It is another form of the Groundhog Day plots that I have read this year. The library in this book is an infinite number of lives not taken. The opening is a little depressing, but it has to be to establish the motivation for the rest of the story. Even so there is a continued darkness in the tone. With each life to which the character ventures she only has to not like it in order to move on to the next. She is in constant search of that ...more
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
My mind is blown; my soul is lit and I just came to realise I can get addicted to sci-fi.

"She realised, in that moment, that she was capable of a lot more than she had known."

(In one of her many lives)

.
.
.
"I think you might have lost your way a little bit."

"Isn't that why I came to the Midnight Library in the first place? Because I had lost my way?"

"Well, yes. But now you are lost within your lostness."


This story is so fascinating and one of the most amazing stories that look into life, dissect
...more
Swaroop Kanti
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Between life and death there is a library.

And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived.

To see how things would be different if you have made other choices."

In one word - fascinating!

"You see, doing one thing differently is very often the same as doing everything differently. Actions can`t be reversed within a lifetime, however much we try..."

I cannot help but compare The Midnight Library with another book Maybe In
...more
Emily B
This was cute and the concept was great but unfortunately it really lacked some depth for me!
Larry H
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, Matt Haig's newest novel, The Midnight Library , was absolutely beautiful.

...sometimes the only way to learn is to live.

Nora has decided she wants to die. Shes just so unhappy and doesnt feel like she or her life matter to anyone. She's disappointed everyone in her life, and she doesnt think her death will have an impact.

She finds herself in The Midnight Library, which is filled with books that each contains a life Nora could have lived had she made a different choice or picked a different
...more
Karen
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nora Seed is a young woman who is suffering from depression.
Her job at a music store has ended,, her cat died. her personal relationships with family are not the best.. and she tries to end her life.
Well, instead of her life ending.. she ends up in The Midnight Library where she chooses books that take her to different lives, parallel lives she may have lived...in these lives she is many different things.. there is a Nora who became a rock star, another who has won Olympic medals, another living
...more
Jenny Lawson
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I got this before it came out but I was in a bad place mentally and it would have been dangerous to read. I'm better now, in a different life as it were, and it was exactly what I needed to read.
PorshaJo
Loved it! I can't give it anything less than 5 stars. I'm quite stingy too with the 5 stars and one of the key factors for me is would I read this book again? Totally! I went into it a little blind and was rewarded with such a wonderful, thought provoking book.

The Midnight Library tells the story of Nora Seed. She appears to be at a cross roads in her life. Her cat has just died, she lost her job, and just doesn't have anyone in her life, no family. She has given up and begins the countdown to
...more
Jayme
Nov 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Unpopular opinion!

In between life and death is a library, The Midnight Library. With books curated just for you..

You will start with The book of Regrets your regrets, which could be not telling your father you loved him before he died, not marrying a certain sweetheart or not following a dream.

Select another volume and see how a different choice may have played out.

Discover that an alternate choices may not have necessarily led to a different outcome.

This is a MAGICAL premise!

But, I must be
...more
Hamad
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Pressure makes us, though. You start off as coal and the pressure makes you a diamond. She didnt correct his knowledge of diamonds. She didnt tell him that while coal and diamonds are both carbon, coal is too impure to be able, under whatever pressure, to become a diamond. According to science, you start off as coal and you end up as coal. Maybe that was the real-life lesson.


I was just so happy when I saw that this book is dedicated to all the
...more
Jenna
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Sweet Dreams Good Night GIF - SweetDreams GoodNight Sloth GIFs
Boring!

This sort of contemporary fiction is not something I normally read or like, so don't rely on my opinion for this book. I thought that with the slight (slighter than I thought) fantasy bent I might enjoy it.

Obviously I did not.
Dave
Between life and death there is a library , she said. And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be different if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

In a book that channels Friedrich Nietzsche, Jimmy Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life, and even Doctor Who and his amazing Tardis, we get a schmaltzy feel-good
...more
Nicole
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Everybody probably knows the premise of this book: a library with an infinite number of books. The books of regret. You open one and it transfers you to the life where you didnt make that particular regret. Was it marrying someone or traveling or maybe other little things.

While I admit I dont actively pursue parallel universes kind of books on one hand, and on the other, the main reason why I read this book is that I was choosing the most beloved fiction this year (to vote in the GR awards), I
...more
Mandy White
I really don't know how to put into words how much I loved my first Matt Haig book, The Midnight Library. I must be the only person who has never read one of his books and now I am seriously asking myself why. I had heard alot of good things about this book, and come on, it is set in a library! I had to read it.

The Midnight Library is a library like no other. It is located in a world between life and death. It holds an infinite number of books, each one the chance to change your life. Nora Seed
...more
L A
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Canongate and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

What if you could change the past? Take all those nasty regrets and make a different choice? Nora, the main character of this novel is given that chance to remake some of her past decisions.

I really like Matt Haig. He seems like an all round top bloke. Up till now I hadn't read any of his books but I'd heard about this one some months ago and the premise sounded intriguing.

I felt like this book read
...more
Blaine
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library, 2020
The only way to learn is to live.
...
Maybe there are no easy paths.
Nora Seed is deeply depressed, and feels that she wasnt made for this life. Every move had been a mistake, every decision a disaster, every day a retreat from who she imagined shed be. And just as she decides to take her own life, she finds herself in a library between life and death:
and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would
...more
amy ☂︎
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, favs
the therapy session i desperately needed right now. matt haig??? sir???? THANK YOU! bitch i am HEALED!!!
Catherine Woodward
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Magical, moving, and memorable!

Nora Seed has come to the end of the line: both mentally and emotionally. A particularly bad day and the loss of her beloved cat Voltaire (affectionately known as Volts) has left her feeling unloved, isolated, and grasping for any sense of connection. Feeling utterly broken, Nora decides she wants to end her life and after a brief post online takes to a bottle of wine and an overdose of pills. Surprisingly, Nora wakes, finding herself in a strange and glorious
...more
K. Elizabeth
Touching. Brilliant. Raw. Everyone needs to read this; you won't regret it. It really encourages you to look at your own life and to appreciate what you have ... phenomenal.
Lisa
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.5] Just the novel I needed. This could have been simplistic and silly but it worked for me. Burdened by regrets, Nora gets to experience various other choices in her life. Ultimately uplifting.
Candie
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Such a great book; I love Matt Haig's writing! His writing style is great and very readable. I loved the premise of getting to go back and change the decisions in your life that you regret making. I spent a lot of time wondering what I would change if I got to go to the midnight library. I'm a bit jealous that I can't go; there are no major things that I want to change in my life but I am definitely curious what would happen if I had made another choice at certain times. I flew through
...more
Cheri
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. -- Sylvia Plath

Between life and death there is a library, she said. And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other
...more
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10,439 followers
Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times has called him 'a novelist of great talent' whose writing is 'funny, ...more

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“It is easy to mourn the lives we aren't living. Easy to wish we'd developed other other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we'd worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga.
It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn't make and the work we didn't do the people we didn't do and the people we didn't marry and the children we didn't have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out.
But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It's the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people's worst enemy.
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“If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail. Aim to be you. Aim to look and act and think like you. Aim to be the truest version of you. Embrace that you-ness. Endorse it. Love it. Work hard at it. And don't give a second thought when people mock it or ridicule it. Most gossip is envy in disguise.” 76 likes
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