The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library

Book - 2020
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"'Between life and death there is a library, 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?' A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time. 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 you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better? In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig's enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : Viking, 2020.
ISBN: 9780525559474
0525559477
Characteristics: 288 pages ; 22 cm

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ArapahoeTiegan Jan 24, 2021

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.

k
Kidbean
Jan 23, 2021

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
adanielle
Jan 21, 2021

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

d
Dee_BPL
Jan 18, 2021

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!

j
jdesetti
Jan 16, 2021

#1 book on Goodreads! Definitely a must read. Put on hold 1/16

ArapahoePaige Jan 15, 2021

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.

FPL_RachaelN Jan 08, 2021

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.

JessicaGma Jan 04, 2021

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.

LPL_LeahN Jan 02, 2021

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.

ArapahoeChristineS Dec 31, 2020

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.

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Quotes

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ellensix Dec 09, 2020

I'm feeling much better, generally," she lied. "It's not clinical. The doctor says it's situational depression. It's just that I keep on having new... situations."

LCPL_Krystyna Dec 08, 2020

"We only know what we perceive. Everything we experience is ultimately just our perception of it. It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

LCPL_Krystyna Dec 08, 2020

"Every book is a potential escape."

LCPL_Krystyna Dec 08, 2020

"When you stay too long in a place, you forget just how big an expanse the world is. You get no sense of the length of those longitudes and latitudes...it is hard to have a sense of the vastness inside any one person. But once you sense that vastness, once something reveals it, hope emerges, whether you want it to or not, and it clings to you as stubbornly as lichen clings to rock."

LCPL_Krystyna Dec 08, 2020

"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. Keep your head down. Keep your stamina. Keep swimming."

LCPL_Krystyna Dec 08, 2020

"The rook is my favorite piece. It's the one that you think you don't have to watch out for. It is straightforward. You keep your eye on the queen, and the knights, and the bishop, because they are the sneaky ones. But it's the rook that often gets you. The straightforward is never quite what it seems."

LCPL_Krystyna Dec 08, 2020

"Never underestimate the big importance of small things...You must always remember that."

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