The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library

Book - 2020
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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: [New York, New York] : Viking, 2020.
ISBN: 9780525559474
Characteristics: 288 pages ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

“At a seminal moment in her life, Nora visits a unique library. Every book she chooses is one that she becomes part of and is a possible life she might have led. There are adventures, close calls, and joy. Give this totally engrossing page turner to fans of Here and Now and Then (Chen) and Life a... Read More »

At a seminal moment in her life, Nora visits a unique library. Every book she chooses is one that she becomes part of and is a possible life she might have led. There are adventures, close calls, and joy. Give this totally engrossing page turner to fans of Here and Now and Then (Chen) and Life af... Read More »

From the critics

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Feb 26, 2021

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.

AndreaG_KCMO Feb 24, 2021

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.

Feb 22, 2021

Its a quick and easy read so I finished it, but its not that good. The ending was predictable and quite cliche

CCCL_TeresaR Feb 18, 2021

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.

Feb 12, 2021

Loved this book at the beginning, not so much at the end. It got repetitive and the resolution became obvious.

ontherideau Feb 11, 2021

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.

Feb 11, 2021

D/l audio

Feb 09, 2021

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.
**TW Suicide**

Feb 03, 2021

Especially in an age where nearly everyone compares their "success" in life against their peers, I found this book very compelling. Most of us know what it's like to struggle with happiness and what that means to us, as well as all the perceived wrong choices we may have made over the years and how that influences where our lives end up. This book was well written and very visual for me, giving me lots to think about. I loved it.

Feb 01, 2021

This was a struggle to get through.
The highlight being that Haig did a reasonable job of tying up the ending with a positive vibe, I just wish that I had the same emotion through out the rest of the book.
Even Haig appeared bored by the concept by the halfway mark and that flowed through to this reader.
As I don't have any influence of his earlier work to be persuaded by, The Midnight Library is great concept that had it's appeal crippled by underlying concepts and overthought.
I am fascinated that this won the readers votes in 2020.....but not in a good way 2.5/5.

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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


Add Age Suitability
Jan 26, 2021

Brina_1704 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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