Welcome to an exciting journey beyond the realms of The Midnight Library. If you’ve just turned the last page of Matt Haig’s thought-provoking novel and find yourself yearning for more, you’re in the right place.
In this post, we’re going to explore a list of books that, like The Midnight Library, weave intriguing tales of parallel universes, life choices, regret, and the value of life. Each novel is unique in its narrative style and thematic undertones, offering a fresh perspective for readers.
So, if you’re ready for a new literary adventure, grab your bookmark and let’s dive into the list!
Understanding the Appeal of “The Midnight Library”
The Midnight Library has captivated a wide array of readers, but what exactly is it about this novel that has such a profound appeal? The answer lies in its exploration of universal human themes and its unique narrative style.
The concept of parallel universes is one that has fascinated science fiction and fantasy fans for decades. The Midnight Library brings this idea to life in a grounded, relatable way, allowing readers to follow the protagonist, Nora, through numerous different lives she could have led.
Life Choices and Regret
Throughout the book, Nora is faced with the outcomes of her past decisions and must grapple with feelings of regret. This exploration of life choices — both made and missed — has struck a chord with many readers, who see reflections of their own experiences and wonderings.
The Value of Life
One of the most poignant aspects of The Midnight Library is its focus on the intrinsic value of life, regardless of success, failures, or mistakes. As Nora explores her parallel lives, she learns to appreciate her own life — a powerful message that resonates deeply with readers.
Unique Narrative Style
The way Haig presents this amalgamation of themes — through the metaphor of a library housing countless versions of one’s life — is both unique and captivating. This fresh approach to storytelling sets the book apart and adds another layer to its appeal.
In the sections that follow, we’ll be exploring books that capture these themes and narrative styles. Whether you loved The Midnight Library for its exploration of parallel universes, its focus on life choices and regret, its celebration of the value of life, or its innovative narrative style, there’s a book on this list for you.
Books Exploring Parallel Universes and Alternate Realities
If the concept of parallel universes piqued your curiosity in The Midnight Library, these books are a great next read. Each of these novels explores the fascinating idea of alternate realities in its own unique way.
“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch
Dark Matter explores the concept of the multiverse through the lens of a protagonist who, like Nora, gets a glimpse into the lives he could have led. Crouch weaves a thrilling tale of quantum physics and suspense that will keep you captivated from start to finish.
“The Space Between Worlds” by Micaiah Johnson
In The Space Between Worlds, parallel universes are not a theoretical concept but a reality that humanity has learned to traverse. The protagonist, Cara, is a “traverser” able to visit parallel Earths. This science fiction novel combines elements of dystopia and personal introspection, making it a compelling follow-up to The Midnight Library.
“Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson
Life After Life takes a slightly different approach to the idea of alternate realities. The protagonist, Ursula Todd, is born and dies repeatedly, living different versions of her life each time. Atkinson’s novel is a meditation on fate, free will, and the intricate tapestry of life, and is a great choice for those fascinated by the exploration of parallel lives in The Midnight Library.
Books About Life Choices and Regret
If the theme of life choices and their resulting regrets in The Midnight Library resonated with you, the following novels provide similar introspective journeys. Each explores the impact of choices and the weight of regret in unique and thought-provoking ways.
“Oona Out of Order” by Margarita Montimore
In Oona Out of Order, the titular character time-travels unpredictably each New Year’s Eve, living her life out of order. This premise presents a unique exploration of life choices and regrets, as Oona grapples with the decisions she’s made, the opportunities she’s missed, and the enigma of her future.
“The Book of Two Ways” by Jodi Picoult
Picoult’s The Book of Two Ways dives into the realm of Egyptology and quantum physics, intertwined with the story of Dawn, a woman who questions her life choices following a near-death experience. Like Nora in The Midnight Library, Dawn gets a chance to explore the paths not taken and confronts her regrets head-on.
“Replay” by Ken Grimwood
Replay is a gripping tale of a man who repeatedly relives his life, each time with all the memories of his previous lives. This allows him to make different choices and experience varying degrees of success, failure, and regret. The exploration of the butterfly effect and the opportunity for do-overs makes Replay an excellent choice for fans of The Midnight Library.
Books Focusing on the Value of Life
One of the central themes of The Midnight Library is the inherent value of life, despite its hardships and disappointments. The following books echo this theme, each emphasizing the beauty, worth, and potential inherent in every life.
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini
Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a heartfelt and often humorous exploration of the protagonist’s, Craig, journey through mental illness. Despite the struggles Craig faces, the book underlines the importance of appreciating life, its ups and downs, and our connections with others.
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
Coelho’s The Alchemist is a beautifully crafted allegory about following one’s dreams and listening to one’s heart. Although the protagonist Santiago’s journey is external, it mirrors the internal journey that many of us go through in finding the value and meaning in our lives.
“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
In A Man Called Ove, Backman presents us with a grumpy yet lovable protagonist who, much like Nora, is disillusioned with his life. As the story unfolds, Ove rediscovers the joy and value in life through unexpected friendships and heartwarming moments.
Each of these books offers a unique perspective on the value of life, much like The Midnight Library, making them excellent choices for those seeking further exploration of this theme.
A Mix of All: Books with a Blend of All These Themes
If you loved The Midnight Library for its composite of themes – parallel universes, life choices, regret, and the value of life – these books are for you. Each one incorporates a blend of these themes in their narrative, offering readers a well-rounded and thought-provoking experience.
“A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki
A Tale for the Time Being interweaves the stories of two characters: Nao, a 16-year-old in Tokyo who’s decided to document the life of her 104-year-old great grandmother, and Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island in Canada who finds Nao’s diary washed up on shore. The novel explores themes of time, alternate realities, life choices, and the interconnectedness of all beings.
“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce
In The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, the protagonist embarks on a spontaneous cross-country walk to deliver a letter to a dying friend. Throughout his journey, Harold contemplates his life, his choices, and his regrets, while discovering the value of life and human connections. Much like The Midnight Library, Joyce’s novel provides a profound exploration of life’s meaning and purpose.
If you’ve exhausted the above list and are still looking for more books to satisfy your The Midnight Library-shaped void, here are ten additional recommendations. Each carries elements that echo the themes of Matt Haig’s novel, making them excellent choices for your next read.
“The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” by Claire North
This book revolves around Harry August, who lives his life over and over again with the memory of his past lives intact. A thrilling exploration of time, choices, and the ripple effects of our actions, it’s a great choice for fans of The Midnight Library.
“Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver
In Before I Fall, Samantha Kingston relives the last day of her life seven times. This novel takes the reader through an emotional journey of redemption, choice, and the value of life, echoing the themes present in The Midnight Library.
“Maybe in Another Life” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book presents two parallel universes based on the protagonist’s decision to leave a party. A thought-provoking exploration of fate and choice, this novel aligns well with the themes of The Midnight Library.
“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab
Addie LaRue makes a deal to live forever but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. As a meditation on time, existence, and the value of life, this novel is a fitting recommendation for fans of Matt Haig.
“How to Stop Time” by Matt Haig
Another novel by Matt Haig, How to Stop Time, features a protagonist who ages extremely slowly. It’s a heartfelt examination of time, life, and the human condition.
“Elsewhere” by Gabrielle Zevin
This novel is about a girl who wakes up in the afterlife after a tragic accident. It’s a profound exploration of life, death, and the possibility of an afterlife, resonating with some of the metaphysical questions raised in The Midnight Library.
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
This love story with a time-travel twist is a compelling exploration of fate, love, and life’s unexpected moments, touching on some of the themes seen in The Midnight Library.
“The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton
In this book, the protagonist awakens in a new body each day to solve a murder. This unique take on mystery and existential themes echoes some of the philosophical questions posed in The Midnight Library.
“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor’s story of social misfit and loneliness, leading to self-discovery and transformation, underscores the inherent value and potential of life, making it a relevant recommendation.
“The Things We Cannot Say” by Kelly Rimmer
This dual timeline novel explores the power of love, the resiliency of humanity, and the value of life during the direst of circumstances. It’s an excellent pick for fans of Haig’s contemplative storytelling style.
From exploring parallel universes and pondering life choices to tackling the concept of regret and celebrating the value of life, we’ve journeyed through a selection of novels that capture the spirit of The Midnight Library. Whether you connected with one theme in particular or enjoyed the unique blend of all, there’s a book in this list waiting to be your next great read.
While this journey ends here, remember, every reader’s journey is unique. So, if you have books that you feel capture the essence of The Midnight Library that aren’t on this list, we’d love to hear about them. Share your recommendations in the comments section below or on our social media platforms.