Book Review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

About the Book:

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Between life and death there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

My Thoughts:

The Midnight Library is a story with an interesting concept addressing the question of “what is the best way to live?” The story is written in a simple manner and is easy to follow. In this, we follow Nora Seed as she falls into a depression so deep that she wants to end her life. She believes that the world and everyone who knows her is better off without her. Nora ends up in the Midnight Library, a kind of in between state and concept where she has the choice to experience different lives, answering the question of what if my life was like….?

This very question and Nora’s state of mind before entering the Midnight Library are interesting and very well handled by the author. The best part about this book is that I am sure many will find it to be quite relatable. Everyday we make choices, whether big or small, that lead us to the next stage or a new situation. Learning to live in the moment and accepting one’s decisions for what they are is quite important. The book talks about regret, choices, consequences of said choices, making or taking decisions and the different paths life can take based on all this.

It was quite interesting to read about the various paths in life that Nora could choose and how each life affected her. The book does not preach to us in any way, it merely brings out various scenarios that help the protagonist and thus the reader arrive at a set of conclusions and perhaps discover the will to live. This entire story was well-written and handled in a way that the reader enjoys the story and also learns something out of it.

In my opinion, life is too short to live with regrets! Live in the moment and accept the path one’s decisions take them on. This is a beautiful story that I recommend whole heartedly to everyone!

Note: I read this book as a part of the BTS Readathon hosted by some wonderful fellow book bloggers on Instagram.

Book Blitz: Whose Country is it anyway? by A.P.S Kumar

About the Book:
India’s rich diversity, both in its physical and natural aspects, is widely known. India has had a great past with achievements in literature, the arts, medicine and mathematics.

Indians were sea-faring and they spread their influence through their philosophy, religion and military conquest too. But Like a cosmic phenomenon, decline is every civilization is inevitable. Indian civilization too declined.

When a civilization rises, people are driven by idealism; when people are possessed of greed, it declines and falls.

Indians today are possessed of excessive, abominable, putrefying greed.

The author tells it all in an honest, engaging manner. He holds a mirror unto ourselves.

Book Link:
About the Author:
I hail from a middle class family. Son of a soldier, I did my studies in Bengaluru obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (from St. Joseph’s College) in Science and then in Law from a different college.
Though not very serious about studies, I took to books with keen interest in social sciences history in particular, literature and natural sciences (in general) and current affairs. I am drawn wittingly towards that abstract thinking – that is, philosophy.
Worked in a Government-owned Insurance Company – United India Insurance Co Ltd – as a Salesman (designated as Development Officer) and retired voluntarily a decade ago.
I spend time reading and writing, travelling both within the country and outside. I ardently believe in community work; I concentrate on education of children, obviously from poor background.
Nationalism – i.e. love of fellow citizens – is my creed. I am passionate about friendships, am devoid of all other -isms.
Contact the author via eMail

Book Review: Everyone Has A Story by Savi Sharma

About the Book:

Everyone Has A Story

Everyone has a story.
Meera, a fledgling writer who is in search of a story that can touch millions of lives.
Vivaan, assistant branch manager at Citibank, who dreams of travelling the world.
Kabir, a café manager who desires something of his own. Nisha, the despondent café customer who keeps secrets of her own.
Everyone has their own story, but what happens when these four lives are woven together?
Pull up a chair in Kafe Kabir and watch them explore friendship and love, writing their own pages of life from the cosy café to the ends of the world.

My Thoughts:

I had picked up this book because it seems to have garnered a good amount of popularity. The title of the story is interesting and based on that, I unfortunately jumped into the book with healthy amounts of expectation, just like I would any other book.

The story starts at a cafe, with Meera, the protagonist, sitting there, pondering, trying to find a story to write. In a slightly cliched addition to the story is Kabir, the manager of the cafe who eventually becomes Meera’s friend. As Meera seeks to find a reason to write, she meets Vivaan. Captivated by his desire to travel, and seeking out a story, Meera approaches him and they become friends. All this forms the basis and premise of the story. It seemed to me to be cliched and something out of a Bollywood film.

The author’s style of writing also confused me. The chapters were divided up into points of view, covering Meera’s and Vivaan’s. This was good to some extent as the author tried to give us some insight into the minds and thoughts of the main characters. This worked to some extent, but this being a very short book, there did not seem to be focus on developing the characters. Also, after spending only a little time, Meera falls in love and Vivaan later comes and shares his heart breaking love story.

Apart from a vague introduction to their pasts, there was not much about their current situation, living conditions, family. These are things that tend to add more perspective and dimensions to characters. Also, in our country, the parents do play some role and in the story, when Meera is in the hospital, in critical condition we still don’t see any family coming to be with her. Moreover, Vivaan just runs away, with the need to pursue his dream of traveling the world leaving his friends behind and ends up on a journey of self-realization.

There is quite a bit of philosophy thrown into the mix along with the constant repetition of the phrase – “follow your dreams”. Sometimes, in the practical world that today is, such things are not possible. One thing that stood out was the ending. Though the plot is simple, the author stuck to her point and brought Meera to a certain place in life, having accomplished something that she had set out to do. Reading this part made up for the lack of detail in the rest of the story.

Overall, it’s not a bad story, but it’s way too cliched and a bit difficult to digest. Everything seems to happen too soon and too easily with characters who are nice but not very developed. However, you can give the book a read. It is decent for a first book and I am sure that the author’s stories will get better and better as she writes more! 🙂