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 »

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.
PR maven, news junkie, baseball fanatic, late-night talk show watcher, frequent restaurant diner and former VH-1 reality show addict.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.



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!



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

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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?


Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.


Books Authors Read with Sophie Kinsella

We continue our "Books Authors Read" series with Sophie Kinsella. Sophie is the best-selling author of the Shopaholic series. Her latest novel, Shopaholic to the Stars, is available at your local HPB today in the new arrivals section. Sophie loves a good book that make for a great film. Enjoy some of her favorite reads! – Emily

Hollywood and the publishing world are irrevocably intertwined these days. After all, a book and a film are just two ways of telling a story; two forms of entertainment; two ways to connect with an audience. But they are very different forms. A novel is essentially one single person's creation with one name on the cover, whereas a film is the ultimate example of team-work, with about 6,000 people named in the credits. (OK, I exaggerate!) A lot can fall through the gaps as books move from the page to screen. So to find novels that you loved - AND loved the movie version - this can be rare. But here are five that worked for me…

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

I am a huge Dickens fan. His storytelling takes your breath away - and the characters! The names! There is such comedy and drama and pace in any Dickens novel that you wonder how any film can do justice to the original. And then you see David Lean's Great Expectations, and you sink back and wallow. 

2. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

This book is very, very funny. It made me laugh out loud on many occasions when I read it - and it does so again whenever I subsequently read it. The main character, Rob, is so hopeless and honest, you can't help rooting for him and his friends. He's a bit stuck in life, trying to work out what it's all about and defining his life through lists. Mainly lists of songs. I worried again that no film would be able to bring his idiosyncratic character to life, but John Cusack was perfect and the whole movie felt true.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

This was the first Harry Potter book I read. I absolutely loved it, immediately read the previous books and became an avid fan, waiting for new releases as eagerly as my children. I hoped and prayed that the films would be wonderful, and I really think they are. They are so faithful to both the detail and spirit of the books. I particularly like this one because of the neatness of the plot.

4. Atonement by Ian McEwan

This is such a powerful, atmospheric book, full of big ideas and a riveting plot. There is everything in this book, from love to class to war, and of course, guilt as a driving emotion. I lapped it up as soon as it came out, and went to see the movie too, which I thought was quite brilliant.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

What can one say? It's a classic tale which moves and charms and inspires new thoughts every time you read it. I now enjoy it through my children reading it and discussing it. And when they ask, "Is there a movie?" I don't frown and say "Read the book!" but instead: "Yes there is, and that's a classic, too."

Sophie Kinsella is an English novelist known for her Shopaholic series. Her two best-selling novels, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad were adapted into a film in 2009 entitled Confessions of a Shopaholic. Visit her online or follow her on Twitter @KinsellaSophie.


Terrific Teachers from Literature, TV and Film: Part 2

Fall is here, which means it’s the time of year that HPB says thank you to educators. Educator Appreciation Weekend starts today, during that time teachers and librarians nationwide can shop their local HPB and save an extra 20% on their purchase by signing up for or renewing an Educator Discount Card. This deal is good through Monday, 10/13, plus educators can use the card all year long for a recurring 10% discount!

As a child of two members of the education system myself, all this talk about teachers got me thinking about some of the best examples I’ve encountered on the silver screen, the tube or in a book. We’ve visited this topic before, so if you’d like to see our first Top 10 list, click here. Otherwise, read on for even more great picks!

1. Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

No teacher list would be complete without Mister Rogers. Kids of all ages grew up learning from this man. After all, the show ran for 30+ years! It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…


2. Mr. Belding, Saved By the Bell

Technically a principal, not a teacher…but if, like me, you grew up with the students of Bayside High, then you know Mr. Belding deserves our praise.



3. Edna Krabappel, The Simpsons

Anyone who can put up with Bart Simpson for 20+ years has my respect. At least Ms. Krabappel taught Bart a lesson or two…hundred (see the chalkboard at the start of each episode).



4. Cameron Tucker, Modern Family

From dressing up as George Washington to making an orchestra with his students’ own bodies, Cam always goes above and beyond…and then a little further. But he means well.


5. Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Professor Snape is complex, and there are many great Harry Potter professors, but I picked Snape. After all, we all had that one teacher who we hated at the time but truly appreciate later on.



6. Tim Gunn, Project Runway

Tim Gunn has helped aspiring designers “Make it work!” for more than 30 years, the past 10 of which on TV. No teacher has more patience, understanding and concern for his students.



7. Dewey Finn, School of Rock

Every school has a substitute teacher with a slightly different educational perspective. Dewey is no different, helping his students embrace their inner creative talent.


8. Four, Divergent

Instructing Tris and the other transfer initiates, Four is brave and bold, while still having a sensitive side. Interestingly, it seems that Four learns just as much from Tris as he teaches her.



9. Ms. Frizzle, The Magic School Bus

From her wicked sense of style to her unparalleled sense of adventure, Ms. Frizzle is iconic, leading her band of students (and us as well) to a world they could have never imagined.



10. Mr. Miyagi, The Karate Kid

Mr. Miyagi leads through action and skill, not just words. Though he certainly knows how to make a point: “No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher. Teacher say, student do.”



What do you think? Who’s your favorite educator?


Jason is Email Marketing Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow him on Twitter at @jasonapermenter.


Local Store Events Round-Up: October 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 October! 

All Stores 

Educator Appreciation Weekend

Teachers and librarians save 20% on everything in store during Educator Appreciation Weekend Thursday, October 9 through Monday, October 13 at all Half Price Books locations. While you're in the store, renew your Educator Discount Card and continue to save 10% all year round. No matter what you buy – stocking up for your classroom or getting something for yourself – you'll save on your entire purchase. If you don't have an Educator Discount Card, apply for one today in store or online! It's simple to apply and easy to save. And remember, your P.O. money goes twice as far at Half Price Books, where almost everything is half price or less every day.



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 Oct. 5!

Phoenix – Camelback 

First Sunday Storytime

Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Camelback HPB for Storytime Sunda

Click to read more ...