With the latest book-club discussion over and done, it’s once again time to look to the future… in this case, all the way to next year.

Our next Wrapped Up In Books discussion will be over Zack Handlen's pick, Beryl Bainbridge’s 1984 novel Watson's Apology. Again, here’s why he chose it:

Beryl Bainbridge is a British writer who passed away recently; she's probably best known for An Awfully Big Adventure, which was made into a movie starring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. In the later part of her career, Bainbridge turned to historical fiction, without losing the sharp, bitter eye that characterized her earlier work. Watson's Apology is based on a real-life murder case from 1844, when a clergyman, John Shelby Watson, bludgeoned his wife to death after 30 years of marriage. Bainbridge's prose is sharp, elegant, and painfully well-observed, and her grasp of psychology means her characters are as developed as her style. Plus, like all her novels, it's short.


That discussion will launch on Monday, November 29, so you’ll have plenty of time to finish the book while groaning your way through the post-Thanksgiving bellyache, if you don’t just fall asleep on the couch in front of a football game.

Once again, we’re taking December off because of the end-of-month holidays. We’ll be back on January 24th, 2011, with another much-reader-requested pick: Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, a twisty Russian-doll-set of a generational novel that encompasses books within books and schemes within schemes, all in service of some of Atwood’s favorite themes: jealousy, anger, and sublimation between women, and the ways time and human agendas change how we perceive history. And now you know what to ask for when holiday-gift season rolls around.