Quote of the Week

Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.

~Matt Haig

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

themidnightlibraryThe Midnight Library centers around a thirty-five-year-old woman, Nora Seed, who has been living her life in despair and regret. She lost her will to live. She doesn’t talk to her father, brother and friend. Her mom died two years ago and she was suffering from depression since then. She lost her job and her cat died. She felt like a mess, she felt useless. She thinks she just disappoints everyone and so no one wants needs her. She’s having a very difficult time and so she decided to kill herself. Just a few moments before she’d kill herself, she finds herself transported in the Midnight Library. Here in this library, she met Mrs. Elm, her old school librarian, who explained to her everything she needs to know about how things work and why she’s there. She said the Midnight Library is a place between heaven and hell, a place where she has a chance to change her circumstances, a chance to make things right. So, will Nora take the chance?

I decided to read this book because it won Best Fiction in Goodreads but I was not very happy about it. I never felt connected to Nora Seed or her troubles at all. I was annoyed by her all through out. I didn’t feel engaged or captivated in anything that’s happening in the story. I wasn’t moved. The idea of the Midnight Library was quite interesting but the ending was predictable early on which makes the story not so interesting anymore. I almost gave up halfway through it. I’m just glad that the second half of the book was better than the first. And luckily the book was short.

I must say I felt dissatisfied with this one maybe because I was expecting something deeper. I expected to feel more but didn’t. However, I did very much like the lessons from this book. These lessons would be enough takeaway but I think I’d avoid over-hyped books for a while.

Quotable Quotes:

“In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living.”

“Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”

“You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live it.”

“She realised that you could be as honest as possible in life,
but people only see the truth if it is close enough to their
reality.”

“The only way to learn is to live.”

Rating: 2.5 stars

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

thegirlwhosavedChristmasThe Girl Who Saved Christmas is the second book from Matt Haig’s Christmas collection and I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the first one, A Boy Called Christmas.

In this second book, we return to Elfhelm where Christmas is threatened by trolls. The trolls destroyed almost everything in Elfhelm and so Father Christmas and elves will have to rebuild it. Noosh was sent to the place where these trolls live to investigate. Apart from trolls, there is also the threat of the loss of hope. Without hope, there is no magic. Without hope, Father Christmas can’t create magic. Without magic, he cannot send gifts to children all over the world.

Amelia is a chimney sweep and now only lives with her cat, Captain Soot. She was full of hope and strongly believes in magic. Soon after her mother passed away, Mr. Creeper took her in the workhouse where she started to lose all hope and no longer believe in magic. Father Christmas soon found out that Amelia no longer lives in 99 Haberdashery Road in London and so the adventure starts to find her.

This is a beautiful story of hope and magic. As with the first book, it draws us to our Christmas traditions and stories but gives it a new energy in a unique and wonderful way. This year has been dreadful for many and I hope stories like these could still give hope and magic to those who read it. Another wonderful and heart-warming Christmas read!

I hope you are all having a meaningful holiday season.

Quotable Quotes:

“Life is like a chimney – you sometimes have to get through the dark before you see the light.”

“The love of a person never disappears,” he said softly. “Even if they might. We have memories, you see, Amelia. Love never dies. We love someone and they love us back, and that love is stored, and it protects us. It is bigger than life, and it doesn’t end with with life. It stays inside us. They stay inside us. Inside our hearts.”

“Because words are a magic too, and they can contain everything.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

aboycalledChristmasPerhaps we all believed in Santa Claus once, specially so when we were kids. But before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy named Nikolas who believed in the impossible and in magic.

Nikolas and his father were very poor. He is eleven years old and has only received two Christmas gifts: a turnip doll and a sleigh. He has no friends except for Miika the mouse. One day, a hunter came to their house and asked his father to join him and other men on a mission for the King. He was told that he will be rewarded well and they will be able to live a better life. So his father accepted the job and asked his sister, Aunt Carlotta, to take care of Nikolas during his absence. His father didn’t return according to what was planned so Nikolas started to worry. At the same time, Aunt Carlotta doesn’t treat him well and so he decided to run away with Miika and search for his father in the far North. And so begins his adventure.

This is my first read from Matt Haig and I loved his writing. I loved how he weaved a story about a young boy who despite being mistreated still finds a way to be kind and hopeful. A boy who discovers a new home and his destiny. I loved Nikolas’ character, very real and relatable, someone we know and recognize.

This is a book both children and adults can enjoy. It’s hilarious and at the same time very touching. Happy to recommend!

Merry Christmas, Homo sapiens!

Quotable Quotes:

“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet.”

“To see something, you have to believe in it. Really believe it. That’s the first elf rule. You can’t see something you don’t believe in. Now try your hardest and see if you can see what you have been looking for.”

“To lose someone you love is the very worst thing in the world. It creates an invisible hole that you feel you are falling down and will never end. People you love make the world real and solid and when they suddenly go away forever, nothing feels solid any more.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape.

~Matt Haig