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“Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”
From many beautifully crafted thoughts and quotes to chose through out this 288 pages long read, I have carried this one in my mind and heart the longest!
This book is Ode to life and it’s travails. The most beautiful and inspirational chapter happens on page 277, “A Thing I have Learned, Written By A Nobody Who Has Been Everybody.”
Profound and mesmerizing journey to be on!
In the space between life and death, Nora slips in and out of the parallel universe versions of her life. The book is a reflection of the choices we've made in life, and whether our regrets are truly regrets, or if things happen just as they should have. Charming and sweet at times, the book is fairly predictable but worth your time.
I was struck by the diverse opinions expressed in the reviews here. After reading it myself, I reflect that the book made me think about my own life, for me its rare that a book would have such an impact. So I'm grateful to have read it.
Interesting idea but rather superficially explored. Never was interested enough in the main character to really care about her. And went from lives related to her past into basically any life is possible. I also disagree with the simplistic concept that, of course, your current life, no matter how bad it may be in actuality or in your mind, is the best life for you if you just appreciate it properly.
This is the book that would come to mind when asked which book had made a memorable impression on me. A unique plot with thoughts that made me stop reading to reflect on and worth writing down. How many of us own a Book of Regrets that we carry around and that takes so much of our physical and mental energy? Come to think of that for a minute - why do we keep it in our souls, sometimes dwelling on certain chapters feeling sorry for ourselves? I learned a lot from this book and I enjoyed reading it and that makes it fabulous.
This book started out interesting, but then became sort of repetitive and predictable. I was ready to be done about halfway through. Nuggets of little life lessons (albeit predictable as well) gave it a melancholy and sweet ending.
Nora's life seems out of control. She's situationally depressed and has just lost both of her jobs. Her parents are both dead, her brother won't speak to her, her best and only friend lives far away and seems to have ghosted her, and her cat, Volt, has just been found dead, so Nora decides that she doesn't want to live anymore. Instead of waking up in the hospital after she overdoses on antidepressants, Nora finds herself in someplace called The Midnight Library, and the former librarian from her school is the librarian there. She tells Nora that she can pick any book off of the shelf and live the life in that book that is based on decisions she regretted in the past. Nora doesn't believe it, but when she pulls one of the books, she finds herself in a time from the past.
The Midnight Library is an exploration of decisions, regrets, and the lives we make for ourselves. The character of Nora represents the "every man" in all of us. As the story progresses, Nora learns about herself and others until she makes an informed decision about her life. Overall, this is a good story with a very strong theme that comes across as a little preachy, but ultimately makes me think about my own life and choices.
The Midnight Library is about Nora's messy life, choices not taken and in no way memorable. Have no idea how it got on the best sellers lists?
This was a beautifully written book. The story was at times heart breaking and uplifting, and the writing was positively cinematic.
A great premise - there is a library of alternative lives to try out in the wisp of space between life and death. And a good beginning that grabbed me. But ultimately the premise and beginning were failed by a sappy and saccharine execution and an author that hammered his reader with self-help platitudes.
What an exceptional book! I have always had that feeling of "what if I would have done this differently", "what if I never dated that person", how would my life be different? IN Matt Haig's new novel The Midnight Library answers those questions for the main protagonist Nora Seed. Nora has decided to die, she feels as if this world isn't for her anymore. Then she ends up at The Midnight Library where she can choose from different books of her life and see how those life's would have turned out, if she did them differently. As long as Nora continues to stay alive in her 'root" life, the library will continue to exist. But what if when you can go back, you see that that life isn't for you either? Nora has tried many lives but is becoming discouraged with how she feels with each new life. Matt Haig is a wonderful writer that will captivate the reader of The Midnight library. Although this is a heavy book with heavy subject material, it is also a book about hope. About the hope that we have once we choose to live, and not just live until the time comes we are not alive anymore. But to actually live and love the life we are in. How we are the chooser of happiness and how we can't expect our life to be better without putting in that effort. Was very hard to put down this book once I got going. Was rich with characters and with life and hope.
This novel was all over Instagram last year, a 2020 Goodreads Winner, a Good Morning America book club pick, and I did not care for it. I found the story entertaining, light-hearted, and fast-paced which is not what I thought I was getting with this book. I believe the author I rented to write a meaning story that would pull at the readers’ heartstrings. Unfortunately I was not moved.
My library marked this book as science fiction which I don’t agree with. I would classify that as a contemporary novel with magical realism.
Read this for a book club sponsored by my college. Our discussion sounds like all the comments made here, from fantastic to critical. While the book is not perfect and does resemble “Life After Life” it is ultimately a hopeful book. Sort of a self help book disguised as fiction. For anyone who has struggled with regrets, I think it is a very worthwhile read.
Oprah says "Live your best life" and this book is practically an instruction manual on how to do exactly that (not that he quotes O...but the plot pretty much explores this question in detail.)
You've seen the number of reviews already so I'll just say to my friends...yes, read it, and NOT ENTIRELY because he loves Thoreau, either. For everyone who ever thought about regrets in any way other than Sinatras "too few to mention"...this book is worth reading. If you dream about your high school sweetheart with "if only" in your mind, this book is worth reading. If you want life to be a "do-over" as in the "Sliding Doors" or "On a Clear Day" movies, or in the "Communicating Doors" play, read it.
Every choice in life affects our trajectory. If you don't accept a coffee date, will you miss out on marrying your soulmate? What is happiness, in the end? Are there infinite multiverses where we are simultaneously living our best and worst lives?
Sliding Doors, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol... The concept of this book isn't new. But the story is undeniably enjoyable, nonetheless. I couldn't put it down!
Midnight Library is a pleasant, life-affirming book, but it doesn’t deserve all the hype. Ultimately it's another take on It's a Wonderful Life, done multiple times, with the same message at the end.
Typically, when I finish one book, I immediately pick up the next. However, on occasion I finish a book that is too meaningful or impactful to simply move on from; a book that lingers in my thoughts for a day, or two, or more; carving out a spot for itself and temporarily forbidding any new stories from taking root. The Midnight Library was just such a book.
Thanks to It’s a Wonderful Life, we’re all familiar with the trope of a suicidal character getting to experience what if their life had been lived differently. And thanks to the multi-billion-dollar grossing Marvel Avengers franchise, the concept of a multiverse is fairly mainstream. The Midnight Library takes this old trope and a multiverse of possibilities, and weaves together a powerful human tale of regret, connection and possibility. Both message and medium flow in harmony in this one, as a story expertly unfolds with profundity and creativity. Read at the risk of experiencing personal feelings of deep self-reflection and inspiration.
I came into it with a totally different idea of what the tone would be like, and honestly I was not prepared for the dismal first half. I was certainly invested in Nora's plight, but the author was rather heavy handed in the events leading to her despair and could have entertained some subtlety in the rendering of the library. The book became far more interesting to me in the second half when some of the library-world nuances were uncovered.
Its a quick and easy read so I finished it, but its not that good. The ending was predictable and quite cliche
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (2020), was not what I expected. At first I thought that I was reading a knock off of Atkinson's "Life After Life," but that was not the case. Nora Seed, the protagonist, wears her depression like an anchor. It weighs upon her every thought and feeling. It is the catalyst for her entry into the Midnight Library where she experiences the life possibilities she may have missed.
I liked the linear format of the story, and the message that anything and everything is possible. Ultimately, it is a very hopeful journey. I would have enjoyed a greater fleshing out of Nora's family and friends. Most of the time they are bit players with little change or growth. I also felt that the explanatory page at the end was probably not necessary.
I will remember this novel and give it 4.5 stars. This one is a good book club choice.
Loved this book at the beginning, not so much at the end. It got repetitive and the resolution became obvious.
Initially I thought this was going to be depressing but it quickly became intriguing. It would be a good book club discussion as people consider how decisions affect our trajectory through life and what choices have led them to now.
The concept of this story is what drew me in initially, and it started out quite compelling. The author is especially good at describing the depths of depression. However, by midway it was pretty clear how the story was going to end and it felt a bit more like a self-help book. Definitely a quick, "feel good" read.