Books and Banter

Books and Banter Reading Schedule

Spring 2017

All Books and Banter discussions are held in the Houston Room at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 St. Martin’s Lane at Willow Grove Avenue. Sessions begin promptly at 7:30 p.m., and end by 9:00 p.m. All are welcome at our open discussions.

Participants locate their own copy of the book, borrowing from the Free Library of Philadelphia (various branches) or from the Montgomery County Library system; reading on a Kindle, or buying a used copy.

FLP = Free Library of Philadelphia (various branches)
MontCo = Montgomery County Library system

Monday, February 13, 2017
We will read and discuss the One Book One Philadelphia selection, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

Monday, March 13, 2017
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah. 2015, 440 p.
Vianne and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Vianne and Isabelle’s father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it’s not only the sisters’ relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Monday, April 10, 2017
A Tale of Two Cities
, by Charles Dickens. 1859, 369 p.
Recommended by Dick Haggard. Copies available in libraries.
Young Englishman Sidney Carton gives his life during the French Revolution to save the husband of the woman he loves, in an epic novel set against the turbulent backdrop of eighteenth-century France.

Monday, May 8, 2017
The Bird Skinner
, by Alice Greenway. 2014, 312 p.
Recommended by Martha Repman. FLP: 6 copies MontCo: many copies
Jim Carroway, embittered and frequently drunk, has retreated to his house on the Maine coast, still recuperating from his recent leg amputation. Once a renowned ornithologist, he is brought ever lower by his painful memories: of his bloody stint in naval intelligence in the Solomon Islands; of his great love affair with his wife, Helen, which ended tragically; and of his youthful escapades exploring the forest, which marked him as odd but also gave him his life’s calling. Now he has been chosen to host the daughter of an islander who was once his scout. He only wants to be left alone, but the tall, beautiful young woman called Cadillac brings with her high spirits and a similar appreciation for their natural surroundings. In this deeply felt novel, Greenway pays tribute to the career of her grandfather, ornithologist Jim Greenway, by summoning, in lush prose, the landscape and wildlife of both the islands and the Maine coast (“Everything wet, hushed, dreamlike”).

Monday, June 12, 2017
Leaving Berlin; a novel
, by Joseph Kanon. 2015, 371 p.
Recommended by Dick Haggard who says “a good read which exposes that pre-Cold War time period in Europe.” FLP: 13 c. - MontCo – many copies
The old-fashioned spy craft, the many plot twists and the moral ambiguities that exist in all of the characters make Leaving Berlin an intriguing, page-turning thriller.  There’s also a star-crossed love story.  But it’s the author’s attention to historical detail — his ability to convey the sights, sounds and feel of a beaten-down Berlin — that makes this book so compelling.

Summer Sunday Service Schedule: Through September 17, 2017

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music

Regular Sunday Service Schedule: Returns September 24, 2017

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

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