new arrival The wholesale Midnight Library: outlet online sale A Novel online sale

new arrival The wholesale Midnight Library: outlet online sale A Novel online sale

new arrival The wholesale Midnight Library: outlet online sale A Novel online sale
new arrival The wholesale Midnight Library: outlet online sale A Novel online sale__right

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Product Description

The New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon

Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year

"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."—The Washington Post

The dazzling reader-favorite about the choices that go into a life well lived, from the acclaimed author of How To Stop Time and The Comfort Book.


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 blockbuster 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.

Amazon.com Review

When the death of her cat proves the final straw, Nora decides to check out on life, and finds herself at the Midnight Library. "Even death was something Nora couldn''t do properly, it seemed." But each book at this library tells the story of a life she could have had. Part It’s a Wonderful Life, part Oona Out of Order, this charming, funny, inventive novel is about regret, the choices we make, and taking the bitter with the sweet. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review

Review

An instant New York Times bestseller
Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick!
One of the LibraryReads 2020 Voter Favorites
Independent (London) One of Ten Best Books of the Year

Included in best-of-year and year-end roundups by The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, New York Public Library, Amazon, Boston Globe, PureWow, St. Louis Public Radio, She Reads, Lit Hub, The Mary Sue, and more


“Whimsical.” —Washington Post, named one of the 15 Feel-Good Books Guaranteed to Lift Your Spirits

"An absorbing but comfortable read...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.” — The New York Times

“Charming...a celebration of the ordinary: ordinary revelations, ordinary people, and the infinity of worlds seeded in ordinary choices.” —The Guardian

“A brilliant premise and great fun.” —Daily Mail


"I can''t describe how much his work means to me. So necessary...[Matt Haig is] the king of empathy." Jameela Jamil, actor and host of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil

“A beautiful fable, an It’s a Wonderful Life for the modern age – impossibly timely when we are all stuck in a world we wish could be different.” —Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister''s Keeper

“This brainy, captivating pleasure read feels like what you might get if TV’s The Good Place collided with Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” — People

Thanks to the storytelling chops of writer Matt Haig, The Midnight Library is an engaging read, full of gentle insights and soothing wisdom… This is a book about shedding regret by gaining perspective. It’s full of quirky plot lines, with glimpses of opportunities and potential in unexpected places and people. ” —Psychology Today

A charming book.” —Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter

“Although I don’t read fiction as much as I used to—because I’m always writing fiction—during these sad and difficult days in 2020 I broke that rule because I needed to ­escape into other people’s fictional worlds. One of my favorite books of the year was "The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig, a powerful and uplifting story about regrets and the choices we make.”—Alice Hoffman, author of Magic Lessons and Practical Magic

“Clever, emotional and thought-inspiring.” —Jenny Colgan, author of The Bookshop on the Corner

“Amazing and utterly beautiful, The Midnight Library is everything you''d expect from the genius storyteller who is Matt Haig.” —Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

“Nora’s life is burdened by regrets. Then she stumbles on a library with books that enable her to test out the lives she could have led, including as a glaciologist, Olympic swimmer, rock star, and more. Her discoveries ultimately prove life-affirming in Matt Haig’s dazzling fantasy.” — Christian Science Monitor

“Would we really make better choices if we could step back in time? Matt Haig’s thought-provoking, uplifting new book, The Midnight Library discusses just that, exploring our relationship with regret and what really makes a perfect life.” — Harper''s Bazaar (UK)

“British author Matt Haig is beloved in his home country, and he’s a champion of mental health, which makes him a great person to follow on Twitter. He’s best known for the novel How to Stop Time, but he has a new novel just out on September 29 called The Midnight Library, which sounds equally intriguing. In this library, Nora Seed finds endless books which contain different versions of the life she could have lived. This is a must-read for those of us given to endless what ifs.” — BookRiot

“Haig is one of the most inspirational popular writers on mental health of our age and, in his latest novel, he has taken a clever, engaging concept and created a heart-warming story that offers wisdom in the same deceptively simple way as Mitch Albom''s best tales.” —Independent (UK)

"Just beautiful . . . Such a gorgeous, gorgeous book.” —Fearne Cotton, host of the BBC Radio 1 Chart Show  

"A highly original, thought-provoking novel..." -- Independent (London)

"[The Midnight Library] will follow in the bestselling footsteps of Haig’s earlier books . . . Part Sliding Doors, part-philosophical quest, this is a moving novel with a powerful mental health message at its heart.” —Alice O’Keeffe, The Bookseller

“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.” — Booklist (starred review)

“Charming...[Matt Haig] will reward readers who take this book off the shelf.” — Publisher''s Weekly

About the Author

Matt Haig is the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, along with five novels, including How to Stop Time, and several award-winning children''s books. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A Conversation About Rain

 

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. She sat at a low table staring at a chess board.

 

''Nora dear, it''s natural to worry about your future,'' said the librarian, Mrs Elm, her eyes twinkling.

 

Mrs Elm made her first move. A knight hopping over the neat row of white pawns. ''Of course, you''re going to be worried about the exams. But you could be anything you want to be, Nora. Think of all that possibility. It''s exciting.''

 

''Yes. I suppose it is.''

 

''A whole life in front of you.''

 

''A whole life.''

 

''You could do anything, live anywhere. Somewhere a bit less cold and wet.''

 

Nora pushed a pawn forward two spaces.

 

It was hard not to compare Mrs Elm to her mother, who treated Nora like a mistake in need of correction. For instance, when she was a baby her mother had been so worried Nora''s left ear stuck out more than her right that she''d used sticky tape to address the situation, then disguised it beneath a woollen bonnet.

 

''I hate the cold and wet,'' added Mrs Elm, for emphasis.

 

Mrs Elm had short grey hair and a kind and mildly crinkled oval face sitting pale above her turtle-green polo neck. She was quite old. But she was also the person most on Nora''s wavelength in the entire school, and even on days when it wasn''t raining she would spend her afternoon break in the small library.

 

''Coldness and wetness don''t always go together,'' Nora told her. ''Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth. Technically, it''s a desert.''

 

''Well, that sounds up your street.''

 

''I don''t think it''s far enough away.''

 

''Well, maybe you should be an astronaut. Travel the galaxy.''

 

Nora smiled. ''The rain is even worse on other planets.''

 

''Worse than Bedfordshire?''

 

''On Venus it is pure acid.''

 

Mrs Elm pulled a paper tissue from her sleeve and delicately blew her nose. ''See? With a brain like yours you can do anything.''

 

A blond boy Nora recognised from a couple of years below her ran past outside the rain-speckled window. Either chasing someone or being chased. Since her brother had left, she''d felt a bit unguarded out there. The library was a little shelter of civilisation.

 

''Dad thinks I''ve thrown everything away. Now I''ve stopped swimming.''

 

''Well, far be it from me to say, but there is more to this world than swimming really fast. There are many different possible lives ahead of you. Like I said last week, you could be a glaciologist. I''ve been researching and the-''

 

And it was then that the phone rang.

 

''One minute,'' said Mrs Elm, softly. ''I''d better get that.''

 

A moment later, Nora watched Mrs Elm on the phone. ''Yes. She''s here now.'' The librarian''s face fell in shock. She turned away from Nora, but her words were audible across the hushed room: ''Oh no. No. Oh my God. Of course . . .''

 

 

Nineteen Years Later

The Man at the Door

 

Twenty-seven hours before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat on her dilapidated sofa scrolling through other people''s happy lives, waiting for something to happen. And then, out of nowhere, something actually did.

 

Someone, for whatever peculiar reason, rang her doorbell.

 

She wondered for a moment if she shouldn''t get the door at all. She was, after all, already in her night clothes even though it was only nine p.m. She felt self-conscious about her over-sized ECO WORRIER T-shirt and her tartan pyjama bottoms.

 

She put on her slippers, to be slightly more civilised, and discovered that the person at the door was a man, and one she recognised.

 

He was tall and gangly and boyish, with a kind face, but his eyes were sharp and bright, like they could see through things.

 

It was good to see him, if a little surprising, especially as he was wearing sports gear and he looked hot and sweaty despite the cold, rainy weather. The juxtaposition between them made her feel even more slovenly than she had done five seconds earlier.

 

But she''d been feeling lonely. And though she''d studied enough existential philosophy to believe loneliness was a fundamental part of being a human in an essentially meaningless universe, it was good to see him.

 

''Ash,'' she said, smiling. ''It''s Ash, isn''t it?''

 

''Yes. It is.''

 

''What are you doing here? It''s good to see you.''

 

A few weeks ago she''d been sat playing her electric piano and he''d run down Bancroft Avenue and had seen her in the window here at 33A and given her a little wave. He had once - years ago - asked her out for a coffee. Maybe he was about to do that again.

 

''It''s good to see you too,'' he said, but his tense forehead didn''t show it.

 

When she''d spoken to him in the shop, he''d always sounded breezy, but now his voice contained something heavy. He scratched his brow. Made another sound but didn''t quite manage a full word.

 

''You running?'' A pointless question. He was clearly out for a run. But he seemed relieved, momentarily, to have something trivial to say.

 

''Yeah. I''m doing the Bedford Half. It''s this Sunday.''

 

''Oh right. Great. I was thinking of doing a half-marathon and then I remembered I hate running.''

 

This had sounded funnier in her head than it did as actual words being vocalised out of her mouth. She didn''t even hate running. But still, she was perturbed to see the seriousness of his expression. The silence went beyond awkward into something else.

 

''You told me you had a cat,'' he said eventually.

 

''Yes. I have a cat.''

 

''I remembered his name. Voltaire. A ginger tabby?''

 

''Yeah. I call him Volts. He finds Voltaire a bit pretentious. It turns out he''s not massively into eighteenth-century French philosophy and literature. He''s quite down-to-earth. You know. For a cat.''

 

Ash looked down at her slippers.

 

''I''m afraid I think he''s dead.''

 

''What?''

 

''He''s lying very still by the side of the road. I saw the name on the collar, I think a car might have hit him. I''m sorry, Nora.''

 

She was so scared of her sudden switch in emotions right then that she kept smiling, as if the smile could keep her in the world she had just been in, the one where Volts was alive and where this man she''d sold guitar songbooks to had rung her doorbell for another reason.

 

Ash, she remembered, was a surgeon. Not a veterinary one, a general human one. If he said something was dead it was, in all probability, dead.

 

''I''m so sorry.''

 

Nora had a familiar sense of grief. Only the sertraline stopped her crying. ''Oh God.''

 

She stepped out onto the wet cracked paving slabs of Bancroft Avenue, hardly breathing, and saw the poor ginger-furred creature lying on the rain-glossed tarmac beside the kerb. His head grazed the side of the pavement and his legs were back as if in mid-gallop, chasing some imaginary bird.

 

''Oh Volts. Oh no. Oh God.''

 

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.

 

 

String Theory

 

Nine and a half hours before she decided to die, Nora arrived late for her afternoon shift at String Theory.

 

''I''m sorry,'' she told Neil, in the scruffy little windowless box of an office. ''My cat died. Last night. And I had to bury him. Well, someone helped me bury him. But then I was left alone in my flat and I couldn''t sleep and forgot to set the alarm and didn''t wake up till midday and then had to rush.''

 

This was all true, and she imagined her appearance - including make-up-free face, loose makeshift ponytail and the same second-hand green corduroy pinafore dress she had worn to work all week, garnished with a general air of tired despair - would back her up.

 

Neil looked up from his computer and leaned back in his chair. He joined his hands together and made a steeple of his index fingers, which he placed under his chin, as if he was Confucius contemplating a deep philosophical truth about the universe rather than the boss of a musical equipment shop dealing with a late employee. There was a massive Fleetwood Mac poster on the wall behind him, the top right corner of which had come unstuck and flopped down like a puppy''s ear.

 

''Listen, Nora, I like you.''

 

Neil was harmless. A fifty-something guitar aficionado who liked cracking bad jokes and playing passable old Dylan covers live in the store.

 

''And I know you''ve got mental-health stuff.''

 

''Everyone''s got mental-health stuff.''

 

''You know what I mean.''

 

''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. But I haven''t taken a day off sick for it all. Apart from when my mum . . . Yeah. Apart from that.''

 

Neil sighed. When he did so he made a whistling sound out of his nose. An ominous B flat. ''Nora, how long have you worked here?''

 

''Twelve years and . . .'' - she knew this too well - ''. . . eleven months and three days. On and off.''

 

''That''s a long time. I feel like you are made for better things. You''re in your late thirties.''

 

''I''m thirty-five.''

 

''You''ve got so much going for you. You teach people piano . . .''

 

''One person.''

 

He brushed a crumb off his sweater.

 

''Did you picture yourself stuck in your hometown working in a shop? You know, when you were fourteen? What did you picture yourself as?''

 

''At fourteen? A swimmer.'' She''d been the fastest fourteen-year-old girl in the country at breaststroke and second-fastest at freestyle. She remembered standing on a podium at the National Swimming Championships.

 

''So, what happened?''

 

She gave the short version. ''It was a lot of pressure.''

 

''Pressure makes us, though. You start off as coal and the pressure makes you a diamond.''

 

She didn''t correct his knowledge of diamonds. She didn''t tell him that while coal and diamonds are both carbon, coal is too impure to be able, under whatever pressure, to become a diamond. According to science, you start off as coal and you end up as coal. Maybe that was the real-life lesson.

 

She smoothed a stray strand of her coal-black hair up towards her ponytail.

 

''What are you saying, Neil?''

 

''It''s never too late to pursue a dream.''

 

''Pretty sure it''s too late to pursue that one.''

 

''You''re a very well qualified person, Nora. Degree in Philosophy . . .''

 

Nora stared down at the small mole on her left hand. That mole had been through everything she''d been through. And it just stayed there, not caring. Just being a mole. ''Not a massive demand for philosophers in Bedford, if I''m honest, Neil.''

 

''You went to uni, had a year in London, then came back.''

 

''I didn''t have much of a choice.''

 

Nora didn''t want a conversation about her dead mum. Or even Dan. Because Neil had found Nora''s backing out of a wedding with two days'' notice the most fascinating love story since Kurt and Courtney.

 

''We all have choices, Nora. There''s such a thing as free will.''

 

''Well, not if you subscribe to a deterministic view of the universe.''

 

''But why here?''

 

''It was either here or the Animal Rescue Centre. This paid better. Plus, you know, music.''

 

''You were in a band. With your brother.''

 

''I was. The Labyrinths. We weren''t really going anywhere.''

 

''Your brother tells a different story.''

 

This took Nora by surprise. ''Joe? How do you-''

 

''He bought an amp. Marshall DSL40.''

 

''When?''

 

''Friday.''

 

''He was in Bedford?''

 

''Unless it was a hologram. Like Tupac.''

 

He was probably visiting Ravi, Nora thought. Ravi was her brother''s best friend. While Joe had given up the guitar and moved to London, for a crap IT job he hated, Ravi had stuck to Bedford. He played in a covers band now, called Slaughterhouse Four, doing pub gigs around town.

 

''Right. That''s interesting.''

 

Nora was pretty certain her brother knew Friday was her day off. The fact prodded her from inside.

 

''I''m happy here.''

 

''Except you aren''t.''

 

He was right. A soul-sickness festered within her. Her mind was throwing itself up. She widened her smile.

 

''I mean, I am happy with the job. Happy as in, you know, satisfied. Neil, I need this job.''

 

''You are a good person. You worry about the world. The homeless, the environment.''

 

''I need a job.''

 

He was back in his Confucius pose. ''You need freedom.''

 

''I don''t want freedom.''

 

''This isn''t a non-profit organisation. Though I have to say it is rapidly becoming one.''

 

''Look, Neil, is this about what I said the other week? About you needing to modernise things? I''ve got some ideas of how to get younger peo-''

 

''No,'' he said, defensively. ''This place used to just be guitars. String Theory, get it? I diversified. Made this work. It''s just that when times are tough I can''t pay you to put off customers with your face looking like a wet weekend.''

 

''What?''

 

''I''m afraid, Nora'' - he paused for a moment, about the time it takes to lift an axe into the air - ''I''m going to have to let you go.''

 

 

To Live Is to Suffer

 

Nine hours before she decided to die, Nora wandered around Bedford aimlessly. The town was a conveyor belt of despair. The pebble-dashed sports centre where her dead dad once watched her swim lengths of the pool, the Mexican restaurant where she''d taken Dan for fajitas, the hospital where her mum had her treatment.

 

Dan had texted her yesterday.

 

Nora, I miss your voice. Can we talk? D x

 

She''d said she was stupidly hectic (big lol). Yet it was impossible to text anything else. Not because she didn''t still feel for him, but because she did. And couldn''t risk hurting him again. She''d ruined his life. My life is chaos, he''d told her, via drunk texts, shortly after the would-be wedding she''d pulled out of two days before.

 

The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.

 

You lose your job, then more shit happens.

 

The wind whispered through the trees.

 

It began to rain.

 

She headed towards the shelter of a newsagent''s, with the deep - and, as it happened, correct - sense that things were about to get worse.

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4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Patrick F
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Predictable, Simple, Ultimately Pretty Boring
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2020
Disappointingly trite. I was looking forward to this book. In fact, it’s the first book in years that I actually pre-ordered. The premise is interesting enough: there is an ethereal library that exists between life and death. You are permitted to choose any book... See more
Disappointingly trite.

I was looking forward to this book. In fact, it’s the first book in years that I actually pre-ordered. The premise is interesting enough: there is an ethereal library that exists between life and death. You are permitted to choose any book from the shelves and each book contains an alternative life. Each life is what would have resulted if you changed a single decision you regretted. Interesting, right? Like you could see what would have happened if you’d gone for that coffee date or pursued that master’s degree or kept playing piano. In the midst of each new life, if the life-hopper finds herself disappointed, she winds up back at the library to try again. Eventually, you’ll either find a life that is the best possible outcome or your “root life” blinks you away into death.

Unfortunately, the premise is played out in the most expected way possible. Nora Seed reverses her regrets and realizes that even the best alternate universes have uncertainties and pain and sadness and disappointment. Even when she winds up with her dream job and a great family, she can’t stay to play this life out. Why? Well, because it isn’t really “hers.” So, surprise, surprise, she ends up waking up from her suicide attempt with a new appreciation for the life she once had and longed to depart.

If you read the first 30-40 pages of this book, you’ll probably be able to write the rest of it in your mind. It’s supposedly an opportunity to explore infinite universes, so why choose the most predictable course of actions? To get across the point that you ought to realize the beauty of the life we have around us? Just write a greeting card to convey the message; an entire book is unnecessary. Additionally, it seems like the author either doesn’t understand or chose not to really explore the idea of infinite options. In all her lives, the most remarkably unique one is granted one sentence of exploration, “In one life she only ate toast” (212). Every other life is just variations on themes of work, friends, romantic partners, and family. Of the infinite possibilities available to explore, nothing unexpected happens. It’s maddening as the author keeps smashing his readers over the head with ideas that anything might happen while never delivering on the promise.

The writing style is difficult to evaluate. It just feels there. Sentence after sentence slowly moving the predictable story forward. It’s utilitarian prose lacking poetry and depth--seemingly at odds with a book that is attempting to spelunk the internal caverns of a deeply depressed person. The author constantly quotes philosophers but doesn’t seem to have any real interest in engaging seriously with philosophical ideas. It’s a novel in form but a cheesy self-help book in content. This novel is a seed of an interesting idea which was never cared for and died below ground. Unfortunate.

D-
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Abby Wynne
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Predictable and preachy but a nice way to spend the time.
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2020
I think the title says it all. Some interesting ideas but nothing earth shattering for me. A nice novel for when you need to wait for a train.
361 people found this helpful
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lindaluane
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Learn to love being you
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2020
I really loved this book! Highly recommended for anyone who might need to learn to appreciate the importance of little things in life and how they are just as important as the big ones - and how we impact the people around us in little ways that make a difference .... See more
I really loved this book!
Highly recommended for anyone who might need to learn to appreciate the importance of little things in life and how they are just as important as the big ones - and how we impact the people around us in little ways that make a difference . About learning to love who you are instead of being upset that you are not who others wanted you to be
I try to teach my students that only "they" know the best how to be "them" - this elaborates on that. I love Matt Haig as a writer anyway
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Schizanthus Nerd
4.0 out of 5 stars
‘Never underestimate the big importance of small things.’
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2020
‘Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?’ This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. It had me at ‘library that contains an infinite number of books’. Then there’s my mild obsession with all things... See more
‘Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?’

This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. It had me at ‘library that contains an infinite number of books’. Then there’s my mild obsession with all things multiverse and my knowing that there isn’t a version of me that doesn’t end up reading this book. I was so hyped up about this book that I preordered three different versions of it. (Sorry, bank account …)

What I didn’t expect was to come to the realisation that I didn’t actually like Nora. It took almost no time at all for me to begin resenting her for squandering her potential. She was intelligent and gifted in various disciplines but she bailed on multiple opportunities that most people could only dream of having. Even though I also acknowledged and empathised with the pain she’d experienced, it still took a long time for me to stop being distracted by the privilege she took for granted.

‘Never underestimate the big importance of small things.’

I loved the idea of being able to test drive different versions of the life that could have been, although it did raise some questions for me. Some were addressed in this book but others are still ticking over in my mind.

Nora inhabits the bodies of a number of different versions of herself, all living lives that could potentially have been hers. When she returns to the library the other Noras resume their lives. Nora’s actions in a borrowed life could easily result in consequences that would derail an aspect of the life of the Nora that lives there, and I wondered if I would chance that if I was in her place. I’d hate to think that me acting in an unintentionally careless way could have real world consequences for another version of me.

If someone who has their own version of the Midnight Library chooses to stay in one of the lives they visit, what happens to the version of themselves who lived there first? Do they die? Swap existences with the interloper? Or is their existence undone entirely? Also, if you remain in another version of your life, could you ever truly feel like you belong or would you constantly feel like you need to fake knowing people that weren’t a part of your original life?

I did eventually get over my initial resentment/envy of Nora’s many opportunities and settled into exploring each new possible life with her. There were some lives I wanted to visit longer and others I wanted to escape from almost immediately. It seemed obvious from early on where Nora’s story was leading.

One thing that I hadn’t given much thought to in the context of this story prior to reading it was the impact that Nora’s choices in life, big and small, would have on the other people in her life. In this respect it reminded me of ‘The Butterfly Effect’, although Nora’s story is nowhere near as dark as Evan’s. Paulo Coelho’s ‘Veronika Decides to Die’ and Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ also popped into my mind as I was reading.

I wound up thinking a lot about who my Mrs Elm would be and the form that my Midnight Library would take. While my Library would have books (obviously!), I’m still not entirely sure who my Mrs Elm is.

I don’t know if it’s possible to read this book without thinking about your own regrets. Equally, I don’t know if it’s possible to read this book without considering the changes you could make in your life to erase them.

The story is told quite simply. It seemed to me to be part cautionary tale, part self help book and part Philosophy 101.

‘Now go on, live, while you still have the chance.’

Content warnings are included on my blog.
304 people found this helpful
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Abraxas
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Touching and important
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2020
Suicide is a difficult subject to tackle, but Matt Haig does it brilliantly and sensitively in this book. His language is simple but efficient. The text seeps beneath the skin, and tugs at every emotion. I cried lots.
225 people found this helpful
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Mercedes J.
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
3.5 Stars...Slightly Disappointing...
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2020
I was reeeeeeeally looking forward to this book. Every time I needed a new book to read I came first to this one, constantly forgetting that it wasn''t coming out till the end of the month. As soon as it came out, I bought it. Whelp, it was a bit of a... See more
I was reeeeeeeally looking forward to this book. Every time I needed a new book to read I came first to this one, constantly forgetting that it wasn''t coming out till the end of the month. As soon as it came out, I bought it.

Whelp, it was a bit of a disappointment. I did enjoy it, and I loved the idea of it, but it was kind of a letdown in some aspects. I won''t synopsize this book as it''s already been done here numerous times, but here are some of my thoughts on this story...

~ I didn''t really like Nora. I have a very...we''ll say...''full'' personality and I have trouble dealing with/relating to people who are ''poor me'' all the time. The only person who can make positive changes in our own lives is US. WE are the masters of our own destinies, so Nora''s depression over the life she was leading based on all the choices SHE made was difficult for me to handle. She had some amazing opportunities that people would kill for, and she blew Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

Now, I understand anxiety. I have family members who suffer from awful anxiety and without the proper medication, I myself would be on the nightly news every time I have to get on an aeroplane (I hate them they''re the devils'' transport), but I deal with it. You see a doctor, you find what works for you and you try your best to go about your life. (I understand not everyone can do that, but that''s how *I* deal with it). I just couldn''t relate at all to Nora''s depression and her inability to try and do better for herself when she clearly had so much to offer.

~ I REALLY didn''t like the fact that every time Nora entered a new life, she was a complete stranger to it. Why? What was the point of making it that way? It was incredibly jarring and uncomfortable to sit through Nora trying to figure out where she was, who everyone was, and what she did for a living and knowing NOTHING about her life. Why make her go through all that each time?

How could she get possibly get comfortable in any particular life when within the first 15 minutes she could SERIOUSLY screw it all up by saying or doing the wrong thing? I didn''t like it and it kind of gave me anxiety every time I had to read about her floundering and flustering her way through a new life (I know, I know...hush).

~ The ending could be seen from space. This wasn''t necessarily a bad thing, but just know that there are no surprises here. What you think is going to happen is exactly what''s going t happen. While I knew it was coming, I was still happy with the end result.

~ I LOVED the Midnight Library. I thought that entire segment of the book was brilliant and I loved the time we spent in there.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, but I didn''t love it. I think my expectations were a bit too high and it didn''t help that I didn''t get on that well with Nora. That said though, I would still recommend it. If you''re interested in Matt Haig, I REALLY recommend ''How to Stop Time''! I absolutely loved that book. It''s still one of my favorites.
144 people found this helpful
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C. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A gorgeous, hopeful read
Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2020
This book is an absolutely gorgeous read! It came to me highly recommended, and I will do the same for you. Read it. It left me feeling hopeful— as if every regret I’ve ever had means less than the next choice I might make. I’m not doing it justice at all — just sit down... See more
This book is an absolutely gorgeous read! It came to me highly recommended, and I will do the same for you. Read it. It left me feeling hopeful— as if every regret I’ve ever had means less than the next choice I might make. I’m not doing it justice at all — just sit down with this book and read it.
106 people found this helpful
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jahutcherson
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Like the main character''s life, this book is many things. Unfortunately none of them are great.
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2020
First things first, this is listed in "Post Apocalyptic SciFi", and while reality itself might fit into that category right now, this book has none of those elements. It is at its core a self-help novel, then chick lit (which I usually have a soft spot for), and then... See more
First things first, this is listed in "Post Apocalyptic SciFi", and while reality itself might fit into that category right now, this book has none of those elements. It is at its core a self-help novel, then chick lit (which I usually have a soft spot for), and then speculative/psuedo-spiritual fiction. Nothing post-apocalyptic or scifi about it at all. Which was disappointing.
As many many other reviewers have said, the book was so very predictable. It was also lacking entirely in conflict. Perhaps it was the author''s heavy heavy use of foreshadowing. Perhaps it was the subject and plot. Either way, there''s nothing at all exciting, challenging, or novel about the story. It was simply a drawn-out retelling of the Three Ghosts of Relationship Past Present and Future. Ho hum pigs bum.
95 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

BTPBookClub
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Life changing. Powerful. Amazing. Beautiful. Uplifting. A must read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2020
I don''t think I can do this book/review enough justice but I''m going to give it my best shot... If there is one book I would urge you and shout at you to buy it would be this on. Go do it. Treat yourself You will not regret it. I promise. This is going straight into my top...See more
I don''t think I can do this book/review enough justice but I''m going to give it my best shot... If there is one book I would urge you and shout at you to buy it would be this on. Go do it. Treat yourself You will not regret it. I promise. This is going straight into my top twenty of the year reads. I''ve awarded it five stars and I''d award more if I could! How do I start? I must admit it''s not what I expected at all. But I feel it was just what I needed right now honestly. This book is going to be huge. This book for me was amazing, outstanding, life changing, powerful and thought provoking. Honestly have you ever felt so low you wanted to die? Then this book is for you. It will change your whole perspective on life. It has for me. It''s taught me A LOT of life lessons and how I see my life. I actually have fallen in love with this book and I don''t say that lightly. I don''t want to ruin this for anyone but if you could view every possible outcome of your life would you? Would you ever be happy? Just wow. It''s taught me to open my eyes, appreciate what I have not what I want. Life is life. Life is beautiful. I loved it all. I devoured it in a day. Beautifully told. An easy read for me done in a day but one I felt I NEEDED to read right at this moment in my life. Now this is my review others may feel differently about this book and some may hate it. But I cant explain how much I loved, enjoyed and needed this book. One I can always go back too when I''m feeling low. Uplifting. So thank you Matt. Absolutely brilliant. Grateful. It''s really made me think and I miss it already. Perfection.
564 people found this helpful
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alifabw
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Really disppointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2020
I bought this based on all the 5-star reviews and having read and enjoyed Matt Haig''s children''s books. It was an interesting premise and I found that I was thinking about the story a lot, but not in a good way! I felt that it treated a serious subject (suicide) in a very...See more
I bought this based on all the 5-star reviews and having read and enjoyed Matt Haig''s children''s books. It was an interesting premise and I found that I was thinking about the story a lot, but not in a good way! I felt that it treated a serious subject (suicide) in a very trite way and I was left feeling that I had just been preached at/lectured about the important things in life. Although I could accept the idea of parallel universes I found it unbelievable that Nora could be a world-class performer in so many different fields and the book actually left me feeling angry at the ease with which everything was resolved at the end.
344 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Bleedin brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2020
I f****** love this book. Matt haig is the most reassuring and comforting author i have ever read. Once I nearly died and after I realised my issue was not with life but with being alive and not living, this book captures so much of that. I read it all today and ironically...See more
I f****** love this book. Matt haig is the most reassuring and comforting author i have ever read. Once I nearly died and after I realised my issue was not with life but with being alive and not living, this book captures so much of that. I read it all today and ironically it is nearly midnight.
267 people found this helpful
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dandelion
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great idea, poor execution
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2020
After reading the sample I had downloaded, I was completely hooked and bought the book immediately. I found the description of the state of mind of the heroin compelling and convincing. However, 2 chapters later, it was already clear what the morale of the story was going...See more
After reading the sample I had downloaded, I was completely hooked and bought the book immediately. I found the description of the state of mind of the heroin compelling and convincing. However, 2 chapters later, it was already clear what the morale of the story was going to be, and unfortunately, it was conventional and lazy writing. ***SPOILER ALERT*** The heroin goes from one life to the next realising slowly that, after all, she is important and her life is good and that she does want to live. Admirable sentiment but has been done tons of times before. What could have been a nuanced story about the human condition became a predictable, boring plot. It''s a shame, it could have been a fascinating story.
179 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A journey into the suicidal mind
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2020
A huge fan of Matt Haig and this book didn''t disappoint...expect it could have been longer! As someone who suffers from depression and the feeling I could have done things differently, this book resonated with me. We can''t go back and choose a new beginning but we can...See more
A huge fan of Matt Haig and this book didn''t disappoint...expect it could have been longer! As someone who suffers from depression and the feeling I could have done things differently, this book resonated with me. We can''t go back and choose a new beginning but we can choose how the story ends.....
157 people found this helpful
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How to Stop Time Notes on a Nervous Planet Reasons to Stay Alive The Comfort Book

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