Half Price Books presents the Half Price Blog featuring book reviews, music and movie reviews, trivia and randomness about things we love. That means a whole lot of fiction, nonfiction, music, movies, games, and collectibles… including rare and out-of-print literary treasures.
 
Meet all our Blog Authors & Contributors »

Authors
Becky
Potluck-genius, insomniac-procrastinator and crafting-whiz. Inventor of the “Hey that’s my Boots!” CEO Paper Doll, the HPB Snuggie, braille t-shirt and Tacky BW Holiday Sweater.
Emily
PR maven, news junkie, baseball fanatic, late-night talk show watcher, frequent restaurant diner and former VH-1 reality show addict.
Jim
Film buff and wanna-be chef. Who's up for dinner and a movie?! Crouching Tiger stir-fry or Godfather spaghetti and a bottle of vino. Please, no talking or texting during the movie.
JD
Music enthusiast and all around acceptable person. Take it or leave it, JD will say things about music that you'll either love, hate, or feel indifferent about.
Meredith
Donned in an apron, baking pies and other tempting treats – there's nothing desperate about this housewife. Loves travel, the great outdoors, classic films, indie music and non-fiction.
Steve
The Buy Guy is a quarter-century-plus employee expert on all things books & music; his favorite buy involved hundreds of old theology books from the Mount St. Michael Convent hilltop library in Spokane, Washington.
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Monday
Nov172014

Booksgiving Day: Giving the Gift of Reading with FREE Children's Book and Storytime!

Kids, it’s time to gather ‘round for your favorite Half Price Books holiday. It’s our second annual celebration of BOOKSGIVING DAY!

Supporting literacy and providing books to families is key to our Half Price Books mission! Join us at your neighborhood Half Price Books location on Booksgiving Day, Saturday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. Every child who attends will receive a free book to take home and add to their library, or start a new one! *Limit one preselected book per child while supplies last.

If you aren't a kid but want to participate, how about picking up a copy of your favorite kid's book and sharing it with a special child in your life?

Let's get a book to every child, in every home! BW, the Half Price Books Bookworm, and I will see you there!

The books donated on Booksgiving Day are part of Half Price Books Million Book Donation Project, which has donated more than 1.3 million books to non-profit organizations and schools in 2014.

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Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow her on Twitter at @bexican75.

Thursday
Nov132014

Books Authors Read with Ryan Graudin

Young Adult author Ryan Graudin visited with her fans at the Dallas Flagship Half Price Books back in July as part of the Mighty Mississippi Book Blast tour. In honor of her brand new book, The Walled City, we thought this would be a great time to hear about some of Ryan’s favorite books. Take it away, Ryan!


1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor.

As a former English major and a writer, I’ve read a lot of books. Books, books, books and more books. And while I love reading, the unfortunate side effect is that it becomes harder and harder for me to find a story I can get completely lost in. As soon as I picked up DoSaB I was swept away by Taylor’s beautiful language (to call it poetic hardly does her writing justice), her phenomenal worldbuilding and her hilarious, endearing characters. There’s magic and romance, angels and teeth, feisty best friends, tragedy on the most heartbreaking of scales. The overall series itself is a feat in character and plot arcs that I can only hope to come close to one day.

2. T.S. Eliot Collected Poems 1909-1962 by T.S. Eliot.

Eliot is one of my all time favorite poets. The way he evokes emotion with just a few images and lines has always floored me. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Hollow Men and Journey of the Magi are good (shorter) poems to introduce you to his style. Reading this volume is always such a cathartic experience. And shows me (again and again) how to make a reader feel an emotion without expressly defining it.

3. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

This is a hefty, yet masterful volume. It is an alternative history set in 1808 about a British society where magicians and fairies are commonplace. The book is a feat of seamless research and flawless worldbuilding on an epic scale. Clarke also employs the use of footnotes quite heavily, which lends to the scholarly feel of the novel.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Do you want your heart torn out of your chest and stomped to bloody bits? This is the book for you. Just kidding. Kind of. (Not really.) This book is about WW2 Germany and the Holocaust told from Death’s point of view, so it really doesn’t hold back any punches. It is meaningful and heartbreaking. It will change the way you look at life and the relationships around you.

5. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Sloan was a screenwriter before she ever wrote her debut novel, and her command of story structure shines through in I’ll Be There. The novel follows Sam and his younger brother Riddle as they struggle to survive life with their criminally insane on-the-run father. The story is masterfully braided and shows how each character’s decision impacts the other. Read it. You won’t be sorry.

Ryan is the Young Adult author of All That Glows and The Walled City.

Visit her online or follow her on Twitter @RyanGraudin.

Wednesday
Nov052014

If you liked Gone Girl, then you might also like…

I believe the HPB Book Club’s choice of Gillian Flynn’s thriller Gone Girl is quite apropos.  This book’s disturbing look into the dysfunctional marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne paints a haunting picture of lies, secrets, betrayal and revenge, which makes for a very interesting read.

Amy Dunne is missing. The crime scene looks fishy and the investigation points straight at Nick Dunne, whose undemonstrative behavior makes him appear apathetic and turns public opinion against him. Gone Girl is divided into three parts, with each chapter alternating between Nick’s and Amy’s points of view.  At first, Amy’s chapters are told through journal entries, which directly contradict the thoughts and memories floating in Nick’s mind, turning the whole book into a dark “he said/she said” mystery.  If you haven’t read the book, I don’t want to give too much away, though I will say I closed the book, hoping that I would never meet any of those characters in real life.

If you are looking for more books like Gone Girl for your next read, here are a few you might enjoy:

The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison; And When She was Good, by Laura Lippman; In the Woods, by Tana French; Under Your Skin, by Sabine Durrant; The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty

Books the author says influenced Gone Girl:

 

Historically speaking

 

 

What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal, by Zoë Heller; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee; Life on the Mississippi, by Mark Twain

The movie version of Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamond Pike and Neil Patrick Harris is currently in theaters, but if you would like to chat with fellow HPB Book Clubbers about Gone Girl, visit hpb.com/bookclub/fb and join the conversation.

So, what book are you going to read next?

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Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

Friday
Oct312014

Local Store Events Round-Up: November 2014

Looking for something to do at your favorite book store? Check out these fun happenings at Half Price Books stores across the country during the month of November! 

All Stores 

Booksgiving Day Celebration

Join us at your local HPB on Booksgiving Day, Saturday, November 22 at 1 p.m. for a special storytime. Every child who attends will receive a FREE book to take home.* Let’s work together to give the gift of reading to every child in every home. Part of the Half Price Books Million Book Donation Project. *Limit one preselected book per child while supplies last. 

Black Friday Deals!

Set your alarm and join us at 7 a.m. for doorbuster giveaways on Black Friday. The first 100 people through the door on Friday, November 28 will receive a FREE tote bag and $5 HPB Gift Card. One bag will contain a $100 gift card. Limit one per person, 16 years of age and up, while supplies last at each HPB retail location. And if you're not an early bird, there's still something for you, too. All Day Deals with a printable store coupon. Take your pick between two fantastic deals! See coupons for offer details. Not valid online or at Half Price Books Outlet.

$5 Bonus with $25 Gift Card

Now is the time to grab a gift card for the booklover in your life – plus one for yourself! Load up an HPB Gift Card today with $25 or more and get a $5 bonus! Use your bonus card in January 2015 and save $5 at your favorite HPB retail location. This bonus offer is valid on gift card purchases made in stores and online now through Wednesday, December 24, 2014. Buy a gift card online and get free standard shipping. Sorry, but HPB Gift Cards, coupons and other discounts cannot be used online at HPB Marketplace nor at Half Price Books Outlet locations. Got questions about gift cards? Check out our FAQs or contact our Gift Card Customer Service.

ARIZONA

Mesa 

Storytime Sundays

Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Mesa HPB for Storytime Sundays. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. See you Nov. 2!

Phoenix – Camelback 

First Sunday Storytime

Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Camelback HPB for Storytime Sundays. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us at 1 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. All young readers and listeners are welcome!  See you Nov. 2!

Phoenix – Paradise Valley 

Second Saturday Storytime

Bring your half-pint readers in for a good tale with us from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. See you Nov. 8!

CALIFORNIA

Fremont

Booksgiving Storytime with Lisa Hollas

Join us at your Fremont HPB on Booksgiving Day, Saturday, November 22, at 1 p.m. Local children’s book author Lisa Hallas will be our guest reader for our Booksgiving Day Storytime, part of our Million Book Donation Project

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct282014

Put the BOO in Books: Spooky Reads for Halloween

It's that time of year again! Halloween is this Friday. What better way to get into the spooky spirit than reading a good book. Not every spooky story is filled with ghosts, ghouls or goblins. Sometimes just the build up of suspense and the fear of the unknown is enough to get the hair on the back of your neck standing straight up.

If you're looking for a good mix of spine-tingling page turners, check out these titles at your local Half Price Books.

Classic Chills:

The Shining by Stephen King; Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk; Amityville Horror by Jay Anson; Coraline by Neil Gaiman; American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Newest Thrills:

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice; Gray Mountain by John Grisham; Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron; Dark Places by Gillian Flynn; Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

What reads put you in the Halloween spirit?

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Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.