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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Wednesday
Nov262014

Turkey Time on the Tube: Classic TV Thanksgiving Episodes for Which We Give Thanks

One of the best parts of watching a TV series is developing closeness and connection to the characters: laughing with their comedic moments, rejoicing in their triumphs, crying in their sad times. Just as the holidays bring out the best (and sometimes, worst) in each of us, TV characters go through very similar situations. As Turkey Day approaches, I thought I’d give thanks for some of the best television episodes with a Thanksgiving theme:

Comedy

Cheers: Thanksgiving Orphans (1986: Season 5, Episode 9)

This memorable Cheers episode culminates in one heck of a Thanksgiving food fight. Carla hosts, while Frasier is grumpy, Norm has turkey issues, and Diane is, well, Diane. Dressed as a Pilgrim, no less. It’s a true classic.

 

 

 

Will & Grace: Moveable Feast (2001: Season 4, Episode 9)

Will & Grace tackled Thanksgiving several times, but this one’s my personal favorite. A “progressive” Thanksgiving dinner, so to speak, has Will, Grace, Jack and Karen schlepping from one house to another with only an hour at each home.

 

 


Drama

The West Wing: Shibboleth (2000: Season 2, Episode 8)

From light-hearted moments such as pardoning a turkey to a deeper message regarding the freedom of religion, this West Wing episode truly shines, topped with a poignant scene in which the President gives Charlie a gift.

 

 

 

 

Dexter: Hungry Man (2009: Season 4, Episode 9)

 

Dexter fans will likely agree that this is one of the series’ true high points. While not a traditionally happy Thanksgiving episode, the performances given by each member of the unfortunate Mitchell family are unforgettable.

 

 


And last but not least…

Friends: All of them!

No Thanksgiving TV list would be complete without Friends. From “The One With the Rumor” (and Brad Pitt!) to “The One With All the Thanksgivings,” nobody quite did Thanksgiving like the Friends. And we’re thankful for that.

 

 

 

There are so many Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes that it was hard to list just a few. What do you think? What are your favorites?

--

Jason is Email Marketing Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow him on Twitter at @jasonapermenter.

Monday
Nov242014

Nuts About Books, Music, Movies and…the Environment!

Christmas is right around the corner, and if your family is anything like mine, you have those certain people that are so hard to buy for. You know they are a sci-fi book nut, but you don’t know what books they’ve read. You know they go nuts for vinyl records, but what if you get the wrong one. You know they collect classic horror movies, but you’re going nuts trying to find one they don’t already have. We would like to help de-stress your holidays. Now through December 24, Half Price Books is offering a $5 bonus card with a purchase of a $25 gift card. That’s a total of $30 that you can give to your friend or family member, or you can give them the $25 gift card and keep the $5 for yourself. After all, with all this holiday shopping, you deserve it.

However, buying a Half Price Books Gift Card will not only provide you with the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for person, but also help preserve the environment. We are excited to introduce our new gift cards made with 40% post consumer waste recycled paper this holiday season! Half Price Books is one of the few retailers that have switched from traditional plastic gift cards to to a healthier paper alternative, without limiting our design options or gift card functionality for our customers. Plus, our new paper gift cards are recyclable through any paper recycling program.

 

So to sum up, here is a little holiday poem just for you.

 

Christmas Day is fast-approaching!  

Jack Frost nipping, chestnuts roasting!  

Shoppers shopping like crazed elves.  

Gifts are flying off the shelves, 

 

Looking for that perfect gift?

Something for everyone on your list.

Nuts about books, music, movies and more?

Find it all at your Half Price Books store.


What about something that shows you care

About this world which we all share?

The choice should not be too hard

How about a Half Price Books Gift Card?

 

Now with all your shopping done

Let’s go out and have some fun,

Drink some cocoa, and have a ball.

Happy Holidays, to one and all!

 

Happy holidays, and don’t forget to come on in for our Black Friday promotion!  Doors open at 7 a.m.!

--

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

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.

--

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.