What Next...?: A Book Recommendation Quiz

Searching for your next big read? Want to get a head start on your 2021 reading goal? Then look no further!

All titles featured in this quiz are available from the Barbican and Community Libraries, both as library stock and as an eBook, so even if you can't get to the library in person you can have something to tide you over until your next visit!
Let's Go!
What is your favourite fiction genre to read?
How long do you like your books to be?
Pick a setting!
Choose a time period!
I prefer...
We think you should try...The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is an international phenomenon, ranked as one of Waterstone's greatest books of the 20th Century, and coming in at number 4 in the BBC's attempt to find the "Nation's Best-loved book".

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  • Sirens Of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
  • Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...Room by Emma Donoghue
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Told from Jack's perspective, Room is a powerful tale of resilience and survival. The book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2010, and was adapted into an Academy Award winning film in 2015.

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  • Akin by Emma Donoghue
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey
Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, who she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.

Elizabeth Is Missing, Healey's dark and riveting first novel, won the Costa First Novel Award back in 2014, and has since been adapted for the BBC.

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  • Whistle In The Dark by Emma Healey
  • A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
  • My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

Contact us to check stock availability to avoid disappointment - we can even put the book aside for you to safely collect from your chosen library, free of charge!

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We think you should try...The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
In Victorian era London, a legal practitioner named Gabriel John Utterson investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

This Gothic novella explores the fascinating idea of dual natures and the war of Good vs Evil, and has become a well known classic of its genre.

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  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The 39 Steps by John Buchan
  • The Paris Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

The Finkler Question was the first comic novel to win the Man Booker Prize in two decades when it won in 2010.

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  • Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson
  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
  • The Wimbledon Poisoner by Nigel Williams
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.

It is the first book in Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels series, which follow Elena and Lila as they grow up in 1950's Naples.

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  • The Lost Daughter - Elena Ferrante
  • Swing Time - Zadie Smith
  • Outline - Rachel Cusk
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...Sweet Thames by Matthew Kneale
An engineer's obsessive quest to find the cause of a cholera epidemic takes him on a journey from the glittering cafes of Haymarket to the crime-infested slums of London. What he finds there, amid the poverty and death, shatters his ideals and strikes at everything he holds dear.

Sweet Thames shows a Victorian London riddled with disease, and explores the murky underworld of the capital.

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  • The Last Hours by Minette Walters
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • The Terror by Dan Simmons
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
From Subhash's earliest memories, at every point, his brother was there. In the suburban streets of Calcutta where they wandered before dusk and in the hyacinth-strewn ponds where they played for hours on end, Udayan was always in his older brother's sight. So close in age, they were inseparable in childhood and yet, as the years pass - as U.S tanks roll into Vietnam and riots sweep across India - their brotherly bond can do nothing to forestall the tragedy that will upend their lives.

An epic tale of lives undone and reforged, The Lowland is a poignant, devastating story of family bonds. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013.

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  • Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
  • And The Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseni
  • A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2009 and named one of "The 10 best historical novels" by The Observer, Wolf Hall is a historical epic charting Cromwell's rapid rise to power.

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  • Beyond Black by Hillary Mantel
  • The Tudor Crown by Joanna Hickson
  • Dead Man’s Ransom by Ellis Peters
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...Washington Square by Henry James
In Washington Square, Henry James reminisces about the 1880's New York he had known as he tells the story of Catherine Sloper and her fortune-seeking suitor Morris Townsend.

An unforgettable story of love, society, and despair, James captures 19th Century New York in this gorgeous human drama.

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  • Daisy Miller by Henry James
  • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors.

A Gentleman In Moscow immerses us in the elegance of 1920's Russia, in a city on the verge of radical change.

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  • The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carre
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  • Snowdrops by A. D. Miller
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers' demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale...

Winner of The Booker Prize in 1997, The God Of Small Things uncoils with an agonising sense of foreboding and inevitability.

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  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  • A House For Mr Biswas by V. S. Naipaul
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...How To Be Both by Ali Smith
Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real—and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

Split between modern day London and Renaissance Italy, How To Be Both combines a unique, playful narrative with two intertwining stories of life and love.

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  • Public Library And Other Stories by Ali Smith
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  • Weight by Jeanette Winterson
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
In this sci-fi horror classic, Griffin, a scientist who has devoted himself to research into optics, invents a way to change a body's refractive index to that of air so that it neither absorbs nor reflects light.

This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows.

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  • The Time Machine by H G Wells
  • The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
  • The Sundial by Shirley Jackson
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
Chronicling Bertie Wooster's return to Sir Watkyn Bassett's home, Totleigh Towers, the story involves a black amber statuette, an Alpine hat, and a dispute between the engaged Gussie Fink-Nottle and Madeline Bassett concerning vegetarianism.

Part of the Jeeves and Wooster collection, this witty tale is a fantastic way to dive into the classic series.

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  • A Damsel In Distress by P G Wodehouse
  • Tender Is The Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Diary Of A Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
Paul O'Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn't know how to live in it. He's a Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan devastated by their victories, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God. Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online.

At once laugh out loud and infinitely profound, To Rise Again At A Decent Hour is written by Joshua Ferris, National Book Award finalist.

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  • A Damsel In Distress by P G Wodehouse
  • Tender Is The Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Diary Of A Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

Contact us to check stock availability to avoid disappointment - we can even put the book aside for you to safely collect from your chosen library, free of charge!

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We think you should try...The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas. As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.

First published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifying and prescient portrait of innocence at large.

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  • The Heart Of The Matter by Graham Greene
  • Waiting For Sunrise by William Boyd
  • Couples by John Updike
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, Kitty Fane's husband forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.

The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.

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  • Ashenden by W Somerset Maugham
  • Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Age Of Innocence by Edith Wharton
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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We think you should try...The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.

Exploring relationships between mothers and daughters, and the secrets and truths that families hold, The Joy Luck Club is a beautifully complex take on the deep connections we have with our familial pasts.

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  • The Valley Of Amazement - Amy Tan
  • Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo
  • The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
All of the titles mentioned above are available in physical copy and eBook format from the Barbican and Community Libraries.

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