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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Tuesday
Dec232014

The Holly Jolly HPB Holiday Playlist

Our halls are decked and the fa-la-la's have commenced here at the HPB Corporate Office. Whether it's a classic tune, an original song or a twist on a traditional hit, there's nothing like hearing your favorite holiday music to really make the season bright. I thought it would be fun to survey the office on some of their top picks. Enjoy!

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love

"I always look forward to seeing Darlene Love perform this holiday classic on The Late Show with David Letterman. She has a great voice, plus the saxophone player is full of surprises every year! This was her last year to perform this song on TV due to David Letterman's upcoming retirement"

 

Christmas Forever by Freddie Jackson

"Who wouldn't want to have Christmas forever!? The words remind me of my childhood and are exactly how my family spends the holidays. I especially love the New Jack Swing sound which was popular in the early 1990's. Sidenote: I play this song all year long...thankfully, my family hasn't disowned me yet."

 

White Christmas by Michael Bublé and Shania Twain

"I’ve always loved White Christmas, likely because I grew up in Texas and never had one until just a couple of years ago. This version, inspiried by The Drifters' original take on the Bing Crosby classic, is so stylistically unique and interesting—it’s a song I look forward to hearing every year."

 

Put a Little Love in Your Heart by The Cast of Scrooged

"It's included in probably one of the best closing scenes from one of my favorite Christmas movies, Scrooged. Originally sung by Jackie DeShannon, you just can't go wrong when you add Bill Murray to the mix."

 

Snow by Bing Crosby

"It's on my holiday-must playlist for a couple reasons. First, it sounds great on my gramophone (yep, I have a gramophone). And second, because it's a family tradition to watch the movie White Christmas each year and dream about snow falling on Christmas Day (which it most likely won't in Texas).

 

These are just a few of our holiday favorites. take a listen to all of them with this handy playlist.:

What are some of your favorite holiday songs?

--

Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

Thursday
Dec182014

Hollywood Does the Holidays: Yule Love These TV Classics!

When the weather outside gets frightful, the television often serves up a variety of holiday-themed episodes and specials during which we can see how our favorite friends and families from the small screen celebrate the season. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of memorable Holiday specials, episodes, and even made-for-TV movies, but here are the ones I can’t resist:

Seinfeld: The Strike (1997: Season 9, Episode 10)

If you’ve never seen this classic Seinfeld ep, it’s likely that you’ve at least heard Jerry Stiller’s voice saying “Festivus, for the rest of us!” Here, Frank Costanza, George’s father, introduces us to Festivus, a new type of holiday in which, instead of a Christmas tree, there’s a Festivus pole, and instead of gift-giving, there’s an “Airing of Grievances.” Don’t like the commercialism of the holidays, or you’re not a religious person? Well, there’s always Festivus…for the rest of us.

Friends: The One With the Holiday Armadillo (2000: Season 7, Episode 10)

Friends was more known for its Thanksgiving episodes, but this Christmas/Hanukkah-themed episode is certainly a fan favorite. Ross looks to teach his son Ben about Jewish holiday traditions, but he worries that skipping out on Santa will be a disappointment and thus goes in search of a new holiday mascot. When a Hanukkah-themed suit cannot be found, Ross instead invents the Holiday Armadillo, who informs Ben about Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights and more. Santa (Chandler) also makes an appearance.

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Tuesday
Dec092014

Books Authors Read with Philip Siegel

Young Adult author Philip Siegel stopped by the Dallas Flagship Half Price Books back in July as part of the Mighty Mississippi Book Blast tour and is one of the 12 fabulous authors featured in the 2015 Half Price Books – Books Authors Read calendar (which can be yours with a $30 HPB purchase! or bought for $2.99). Check out Philip’s suggestions and pick up your calendar today!


I’ve always had varied tastes in books. I love reading non-fiction as much as fast-paced YA fiction as much as sprawling general fiction. It’s good to diversify your reading, especially if you write, too. Soaking in those different author voices will help craft your own unique voice. Here are some books that I just plain LOVE, and if we ever meet in person, I’ll probably recommend them to you, too.

1) The Duff by Kody Keplinger. This book spoke to me, not just because I was (and let’s face it, still am) the fat friend. I love the mix of truthful writing, soapiness, romance, and humor in the writing. Keplinger’s books have a warm, lived-in aura to them that remind me of shows I used to watch on The WB growing up. (Dawson’s Creek, Felicity) I’ve made at least three of my friends read this novel, and whenever I’m asked for a YA recommendation, The Duff instantly comes to mind.

2) The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. I remember I found this book at a garage sale in high school and was so excited to read it. At the time, I had an obsession with the 80s and New York society. I had never read such a long book, nor such an adult book. The Bonfire of the Vanities is a searing and hilarious account of race and class in a pre-Giuliani New York. Tom Wolfe writes books with a journalistic eye, getting down every character tic and cultural detail. His books are sprawling epics that take you inside specific environments: New York in the 80s, Atlanta in the 90s, college campuses, Miami of the ‘10s. For me, a Tom Wolfe book is an event, not just because he only publishes about once a decade.

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Monday
Dec012014

Local Store Events Round-Up: December 2014

Local Store Events Round-Up: December 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 December!

All Stores

$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.

Get cash for your textbooks!

Is your semester over? Bring all your used textbooks and classroom reading to HPB for a competitive cash offer. We’ll buy them all, so you can make HPB your one stop for unloading all your school books. It's that simple. Want to know more about selling to Half Price Books? Get the scoop on what to expect

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 Dec. 7!

Phoenix – Camelback 

Homeopathy Presentation with Ben Ta'ati

Do you have questions about homeopathy? Come to your Camelback HPB on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11a.m. for a special video presentation of Journey to Healing & Homeopathy with Ben Ta-ati, Department Chair from the American Medical College of Homeopathy. Mr. Ta-ati will answer questions after the presentation.  

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 Dec. 7!

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 Dec. 14!

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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.

 

 

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