The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library

A Novel

eBook - 2020
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New York Times bestseller | Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick!

"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.
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group


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From the critics

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Apr 13, 2021

“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!

Apr 12, 2021

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.

Apr 10, 2021

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.

Apr 05, 2021

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.

coffeebookie Apr 01, 2021

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.

Mar 27, 2021

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.

Mar 18, 2021

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?

WPL_JessB Mar 16, 2021

This was a beautifully written book. The story was at times heart breaking and uplifting, and the writing was positively cinematic.

Mar 15, 2021

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.

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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 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."


Add Notices
Feb 22, 2021

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Trigger warning for suicide

Jan 26, 2021

Frightening or Intense Scenes: A cat dies at the beginning of the novel and people who are uncomfortable with death may also be worried about the idea of parents dying. Sensitive groups such as those who become triggered by the loss of parents should also take caution.

Jan 26, 2021

Coarse Language: In some parts of the book, Nora seed tends to swear a little but nothing severe


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Jan 26, 2021

Brina_1704 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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