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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
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The Midnight Library (edition 2020)

by Matt Haig

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3981862,932 (3.87)150
Member:GlacioD
Title:The Midnight Library
Authors:Matt Haig
Info:Edinburgh : Canongate, 2020.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work Information

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

  1. 30
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (sparemethecensor)
  2. 10
    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (sparemethecensor)
  3. 00
    Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: These two books take different approaches at looking who we are versus how events shape us. Oona lives one life in different times, Nora sees her life at the same moment in different trajectories. Side by side they make for an interesting juxtaposition of our perceptions of our own life.… (more)
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» See also 150 mentions

English (183)  Dutch (3)  All languages (186)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
What booklover doesn't like the concept of a library full of books with endless possibilities for a life journey redo? However - all choices are connected and intertwined that even the smallest decision has the potential to change something else. I felt like the journey to arrive at the final destination, the number of books/lives visited, could have been less. Some were quick reads and others longer. Between 1/2 to 3/4 through the book, I started skimming the chapters to get to the ending climax. I feel like there were pockets of information that disconnected you from the story for a brief moment. For those who care to know before getting the book, there are episodes of foul language. I will say though.. I really liked the concept of the book and was able to connect to the main character's feelings. It was a very easy read. ( )
  lorimpalmer | Nov 28, 2021 |
I’d give this book 5 stars. It’s now one of my favorite books. Funny, because I bought one of the author’s other books and couldn’t get halfway through before I quit because I don’t waste my time on bad books. So I was skeptical about The Midnight Library. I borrowed the kindle version from the library but I’m going to have to buy my own hardback version. I love this book so much. Maybe because I’ve often wondered what would’ve happened if I had chosen different paths at different times in my lives. Nora in the book isn’t always the most likable character but the story is. Oh, the story. And don’t we all want a good story? Go, read. ( )
  relorenz1064 | Nov 21, 2021 |
https://www.instagram.com/p/CWijkVUFjyO/

Matt Haig - The Midnight Library: I mean, it’s a sweet book, with an obvious ending and a nice moral, but it’s lightweight. #cursorybookreviews #cursoryreviews ( )
  khage | Nov 21, 2021 |
Interesting read...drives you to look at your life and see the good. ( )
  jqs1029 | Nov 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
If you’ve never pondered life’s contingencies—like what might’ve happened if you’d skipped the party where you met your spouse—then Matt Haig’s novel The Midnight Library will be an eye-opening experience. This gentle but never cloying fable offers us a chance to weigh our regret over missed opportunities against our gratitude for the life we have.... [Haig's] allusions to multiverses, string theory and Erwin Schrödinger never detract from the emotional heart of this alluring novel.... Haig brings her story to a conclusion that’s both enlightening and deeply satisfying.
 
Few fantasies are more enduring than the idea that there might be a second chance at a life already lived, some sort of magical reset in which mistakes can be erased, regrets addressed, choices altered.... The narrative throughout has a slightly old-fashioned feel, like a bedtime story. It’s an absorbing but comfortable read, imaginative in the details if familiar in its outline. The invention of the library as the machinery through which different lives can be accessed is sure to please readers and has the advantage of being both magical and factual. Every library is a liminal space; the Midnight Library is different in scale, but not kind. And a vision of limitless possibility, of new roads taken, of new lives lived, of a whole different world available to us somehow, somewhere, might be exactly what’s wanted in these troubled and troubling times.
added by LondonLori76 | editNew York Times, Karen Joy Fowler (pay site) (Sep 29, 2020)
 
...“between life and death there is a midnight library,” a library that contains multiple volumes of the lives she could have had if she had made different choices.... Haig’s latest (after the nonfiction collection Notes on a Nervous Planet, 2019) is a stunning contemporary story that explores the choices that make up a life, and the regrets that can stifle it. A compelling novel that will resonate with readers.
 
An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.... This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable. A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.
added by LondonLori76 | editKirkus Reviews (Jul 14, 2020)
 

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Haig, Mattprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mulligan, CareyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
To all the health workers. And the care workers. Thank you.
First words
Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford.
Quotations
She knew she should be experiencing pity and despair for her feline friend – and she was – but she had to acknowledge something else. As she stared at Voltaire’s still and peaceful expression – that total absence of pain – there was an inescapable feeling brewing in the darkness. Envy.
The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.
Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three-parts dead’. Maybe that was her problem. Maybe she was just scared of living. But Bertrand Russell had more marriages and affairs than hot dinners, so perhaps he was no one to give advice.
A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.
‘Want,’ she told her, in a measured tone, ‘is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. Maybe there is a life that you really want to live.’
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Book description
"'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" - WorldCat
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