Matt Haig is one of the well-known writers in today’s literature. Almost all his books have received widespread critical acclaim. He is known for seamlessly transitioning between genres – from fiction, nonfiction to children’s novels. Some of his books mirror his adult life, explaining and exploring complex subjects like depression, anxiety, etc. His other books, however, deal with modern themes like vampires, aliens, and so on.
Best Matt Haig Books To Read!
1. The Midnight Library
In our life, we always have these thoughts. “If I had gotten that opportunity, I would have done good. If alone I can go and undo my actions, I would make things straight. If I can start with a clean slate at this moment, I will make no mistake.” But what if we can experiment with all our life choices and choose the best one? What if we could try all our desires with no strings attached? Nora Seed, the protagonist, has been facing a series of lows and attempts suicide.
But instead of dying, she is sent to a library instead. A library that has many chances that helps her to get the life of her dreams. She tries everything there: a married life, a life with her best friend Izzy, a life with a child, being a swimmer, being part of a music band, being a glacier expert, and whatnot. Did she find the life of her dreams? Why did she experience all these things in the first place? This book is a perfect take on life, opportunities and second chances. You can get the book here! 📖
2. Reasons to Stay Alive
In this book, Matt Haig discusses his experiences with depression and anxiety, both of which he has battled since he was 24. The book has many symptoms, medicines, facts, and terminologies related to depression, anxiety, and panic attack. The book is split into five sections, Falling, Landing, Living, Rising, and Being, each having content that compliments the title. The book addresses how depression is mostly compared with other illnesses or life problems.
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Since it doesn’t seem as serious as other issues, it is frequently ignored, or at least that is how people approach it. He compares the bad days—bad, worse, and better—and compares them to a bank, where, on a better day, we had at least deposited something. The author urges us to appreciate the little things in life and gives “10 Reasons to Stay Alive”, which makes the book stand out. You can get the book here! 📖
3. The Comfort Book
This book is a messy collection of thoughts on random topics, from life to music, books, everyday life, etc. There are short quotes, long descriptions, and points on almost every topic we come across daily. Like his earlier works, this one offers his thoughts on depression, anxiety, and panic attacks and ways of coping with them. The best thing about the book is that we can read it in any order we want because it is not precisely structured. Bits and pieces from the book can be used as Instagram captions and everyday quotes. Like he says, “Why break when you can just bend?” You can get the book here! 📖
4. The Radleys
The Radleys is the story of our typical family next door. Peter and Helen are a married couple who live with their son Rowan and daughter Clara. The family resembles an ordinary family with disappointments, minor problems, and routines. But what lies underneath is that Peter and Helen are vampires; they have always been. They have abstained from vampire life so their children can live peaceful and regular life. However, when Clara murders someone, chaos ensues, and they are compelled to reveal their secrets.
Thus begins the struggle between domestic life and vampire stuff, with the underlying theme of how far someone would go to protect their loved one. The typical teenager stuff with Rowan wanting to write his novel, Clara shifting to Veganism, the difference and conversations among the students at school makes the book relatable. Throughout the book, there are also one-liners from “The Abstainer’s Handbook”, which gives background information about the vampires.” You can get the book here! 📖
5. How to Stop Time
Tom Hazard may seem like an ordinary 40-year-old man at first sight. But he has been living for nearly four centuries due to Anageria. This condition causes him to age slowly, in the ratio of 1:15. He is protected by an organization that guards ‘special’ people like him. The story takes place across various timelines and places and explains his life across all the places.
His mother has been killed, and he is separated from his wife and daughter. What is his mission across generations? What is the underlying message from Tom’s life? The interesting fact about this book is that Tom had conversed with Shakespeare, Scott Fitzgerald, Elizabeth, and many such famous historical people in the past. This book, as a whole, is an excellent take on time and change. You can get the book here! 📖
6. The Humans
An alien travels to Earth and takes the identity of Andrew Martin, a Mathematics professor at Cambridge University, whom he had just assassinated. The Professor had solved the Riemann Hypothesis, which marks a significant technological advancement for the entire human race. The alien’s main aim is to destroy everything related to the Riemann Hypothesis.
He eventually completes the task and is next tasked with killing Isobel, Andrew Martin’s wife, and Gulliver, their son. But things turn ugly when he starts finding comfort on Earth as a human. He is delighted by everything around him and begins enjoying his life, completely abandoning his mission. To make things worse, he starts falling in love with Isobel. He decides to leave all his powers and become a human ultimately.
Torn between love and mission, what does fate have in store for him? How did Isobel and Gulliver react to a new version of Andrew Martin? What happens later? Does he become a human? The story is an exciting take on humans and their characters through the lens of an alien. The book focuses on love, choices, pain, hope, and music- all things human and the impact they create in our lives. You can get the book here! 📖
7. Notes on a Nervous Planet
This book is a random collection of thoughts by the author on various topics. The book goes from topic to topic, offering ideas and solutions and bringing out new thoughts while analyzing human psychology. The author states, in this modern world, we are all “distracted from distraction by a distraction.” He blends Mental Health with the Modern world and compares our head with a computer with too many open tabs.
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In contrast to the belief that happiness should come from within, we all carry happiness into ourselves through external factors. In the section Unhappy Beauties, the author addresses the insecurities we humans have about our faces, thus resulting in a large number of anti-aging, beautifying, and whitening creams in our market. Though certain points in this book may be difficult to implement in everyday life and practice, they can be reflected later in life. You can get the book here! 📖
8. A Boy Called Christmas
There are numerous legends surrounding the origin of Santa Claus. This book also falls under the same category. Nikolas, an 11-year-old boy, lives in poverty with his father and a mouse friend, Mikka. His father takes up a job to find Elfhelm in exchange for money, leaving him under the care of his aunt Carlotta, who constantly abuses him. Distressed, he is set to find his father and travels north along with Mikka. Along the journey, he meets Blitzen, a reindeer who helps him.
Sometime later, he finds Elfhelm, but things don’t seem fine there. There is a lot of class difference between the elves and Nikolas is also not easily accepted there. Eventually, he starts living there, beginning a new journey. What was he destined to become? How is the entire story related to Santa Claus? Exploring various places and characters along with beautiful illustrations, this book is a perfect Christmas read! You can get the book here! 📖
If you are looking forward to reading books that can be completed in a sitting or two, then Matt Haig’s books can be your perfect choice. Happy reading!
I am a freelance content writer and book reviewer who loves unleashing creativity, one pen stroke at a time. I like reading and writing about what I read. In an attempt to explore and introduce Tamil and Indian literature. Welcome to my world!