Comments (78)Add a Comment
The premise for this book is very interesting. What if you had the opportunity to explore how your life might be different if you'd made different choices? I really liked the exploration of the obvious choices. However, I did not really like the smaller choices that lead to some weird lives in which we only really got snapshots (we didn't even get the explanation of choices made to lead there). I did really appreciate the ending and how Nora decided to live with the original choices she had made and still had to work through all the issues she'd had at the start of the book. Nothing ended up picture perfect, but there was a sense of hope. Overall, I think it was an interesting look into depression that was also a bit uplifting.
At first I thought it was written for children. As the adult voice emerged I enjoyed it more. A “what if” book written with all the social issues of the day; mental health, gender issues... which were not really necessary for a good read. It did plod in these areas a bit, it felt like the author was forced to expand on these social issues or inserted them into an otherwise enjoyable romp through time and space.
a nice short read that will really get you thinking. would be 5 stars if it didn't take place in the modern day. i don't need to read the words "podcast" "instagram" and "mansplaining" when I hear enough about that already in daily life. i don't know about you, but i read novels for escapism, not to be reminded about the stupidity of the 21st century
If you've ever carried around a "book of regrets" in your life - this book is for you! Through the Midnight Library Nora explores all the roads not taken. Loved it!
Nora lived a failed, lonely life but when she tries to end it, she winds up in the Midnight Library. The library is full of story lines she could have taken, and the librarian encourages her to try every plot. Nora explores regret, success - but whose? - and living a life on her own terms.
Okay, the start of this book is a REALLY tough read, especially to anyone with depression and should really come with a trigger warning.
This books exploration of regret really appeals to me. It shows how even though there are these amazing alternate lives out there where we did amazing things it wasn't really us but that doesn't mean we can't. It just means we haven't done it yet.
I like the hopeful ending and the openness of it. This is another reminder that we all have so much potential and that it's never too late to change things. I think I, along with many others, need this reminder. While the book acknowledges some things can't change its reminds us to focus on the things we can.
It also shows how we matter more than we might know. The little things that we do matter. Our existence is not insignificant. I think some people with depression know this and it may not be as significant as the potential to change but it is definitely an important reminder.
I think this book has an excellent mental health message and wonder if it could have done more for moving through depression because it can be hard to remove yourself from those dark thoughts. The reminders of potential and the importance of our existence is excellent but I'm wondering if it could have gone into more practical details. I like that it validated the use of medication.
What would you do if you could take back all your regrets and live another life? This eye-opening narrative shows that we shouldn't live for anyone other than ourselves.
It's a little stressful - what would you do in you could go back and redo things you regret in your life?? Nora gains this chance, and well, it's an interesting read. I can definitely see why it's a popular read for 2020 - it's a good one to read and give you something to mull over.
All of the best books I read this year were recommended to me by librarians, just saying. Including this one that I am SO GLAD I am ending this year on because it is such a high note.
On the day Nora decides to die, she is in the deep end of a mental health crisis that too many can relate to. She thinks she's meeting death with her eyes wide open and that her regrets are an impossible burden to carry on. But instead of arriving in the hereafter, she finds herself in the Midnight Library, a purgatory of sorts where every possible life she could have lived based on every path she didn't choose is bound in a book.
The journey that follows, as she makes her way through every life she thought she wanted, as every misstep she thought she made was undone, was truly unforgettable. Full of philosophical wisdom, a candor that both unsettles and soothes, and a most satisfying, amazing, PERFECT conclusion, this is one that will stay with me forever and ever.
Regrets, we all have them. Would you walk out of the Midnight Library or start opening the books? I love fiction where you get a chance to think about what road you would take if given the option. This novel was beautifully written, introspective, and full of wonder. I did start to get frustrated with the protagonist, but I still enjoyed the story very much.
A fabulous story! Something I think we all wonder about - what if? - but that doesn't necessarily mean a better or worse life, just different. It's what we do with what we have and being open to possibilities. Loved this book!
What really makes a life worth living? It isn't only about success and achievement, notoriety, marriage, parenting, and those things many of us think matter the most. If we could see how any number of those reasons to live played out in our life, if we had a window open to those different choices would we still think they were what mattered most? The story takes on a metaphysical look at one person, Nora who has taken an overdose and is in the between place called The Midnight Library. Nora is like many of us full of regret, self loathing, that old not good enough script running through and through. She gets to step back into the stories of her life and when she does we the reader get to find out along with Nora what maybe really matters in the long run. An inventive and compassionate look at being human, being yourself.
What a beautiful story about life! I thoroughly enjoyed following Nora along on her journey through the books of the midnight library. A genius concept about how we can live our lives and focus on what's important. It even got me thinking of what other books might be on my midnight library shelf! I definitely recommend this book.
If you love It's a Wonderful Life this is probably your jam. Haig is a talented writer, and I have to say that after some stilted language at the beginning of The Midnight Library, the story of Nora Seed is well-paced, with a well-developed protagonist. While the author took a couple of cheap shots with the deaths of other characters, what really kept The Midnight Library from leaping from "good" to "great" is that it was obvious how it would end from the first chapter. These obvious feel-good stories just aren't doing it for me right now.
This book is fantastic. It's a beautiful story with phenomenal writing. It digs into the human heart and exposes everything: the good, the bad, and everything in between. It's a story about life and appreciating the life that you have (similar to It's a Wonderful Life). Loved this. Highly recommend.
I was thrown by single quotes and odd spellings but then realized this was a British publisher. Fabulous storyline and very thought-provoking as I'm trying to figure out what my OWN life is all about. For anyone wondering about the path not chosen. It reminded me of Sliding Doors (Gwyneth Paltrow film) and made me want to find and read any comparable titles.
Loved this! When you think about the fact everything you do in life is a choice, and that any choice you make could change the path of your life, then that means there are thousands of different lives we could each have lived, but we didn't. In between life and death, when she visits the Midnight Library, Nora Seed gets to live some of her different lives.
Even during the course of one day, we make numerous choices (salad or sandwich? news show or movie? water or beer?) so imagine how many choices we make over the span of our lives. Some of those choices we may come to regret over time. What if we had the opportunity to go back and re-do those regrets? Will we be any happier? Will there be unforeseen consequences? This intriguing book explores the idea of multiple universes where we can do just that. It is heavy on philosophy and not a quick read, but does offer new perspectives.
Nora is about to commit suicide when she is taken to a kind of library purgatory where she gets to make alternate choices to those made in her past. Disappointment brings her back in order to try again. The story structure and narrative may seem straightforward but there is power in the message. “There is no right way to play (chess); there are many ways. In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living.”
I felt all the feels while reading this book. Matt Haig knows how to knock the wind out of you and make you wonder all the what if's. An uplifting book for 2020 that I needed in my life.
"But it is not the 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."
Interesting plotline with some science theory to make you wonder what might really be happening parallel to our lives. Definitely had me reflecting on life and the effects of choices and regret. Lots of great little nuggets throughout to provoke thought and reflection.
Absolutely lovely, well written and thoughtful story. Although, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for readers who haven't hit their midlife crisis yet, as it contains spoilers
This novel uses a fascinating premise to explore themes around mental health, family, regrets, and the power of choices in life. It was a fast moving and easy read which seemed to lack depth or nuance and ultimately felt unsatisfying.