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.
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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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Read the Movie: Your Fall Guide to Movies Based on Books

It’s that time of year again, when the movie scene really starts heating up with many great books coming out on the big screen. If you want to get a jump on all the Oscar hopefuls, here are some reading material suggestions.

 Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord 


A psychiatrist, played by Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), searches the world to discover happiness. This plot seems reminiscent of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty from last year, but with a cast that includes Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgard, Toni Collette, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer, this could be a good film. Look for a wide release on September 26.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

With his wife’s disappearance having become the a focus of an intense media circus, a man (Ben Affleck) has the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected he may not be innocent. Gone Girl already has a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding it. It could be nominated in many categories, including Best Director (David Fincher) and a Best Picture. Be sure to check this one out on October 3.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair and things just get worse from there. This Disney release is a film for all ages. It stars Steve Carell (The Office) and Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club). Look for it on the big screen October 10.

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

A pair of former high school sweethearts reunite after many years when they return to visit their small home town. Written by the author of The Notebook and Safe Haven. Starring Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato and James Marsden. In theaters October 17.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part I by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen, played by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol. The film will be Part I of II, but you can look to start Mockingjay on November 21.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

A chronicle of one woman's 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe. Look for great performances from Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park). Wild will hit the silver screen December 5.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the 5 Armies by J.R.R. Tolkien

Thorin and Company has reached Smaug's lair, but can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure? And, if so, can they hold on to it? This will be the exciting conclusion to Peter Jackson's latest trilogy. In theaters December 17.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II. Directed by Angelina Jolie, this film has the making of an Oscar frontrunner. Be sure to check out Unbroken on Christmas Day.

This list of fall releases, that will keep you busy reading and at the movies all season long!

Remember, no talking or texting during the feature presentation.


Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.


Happy National Punctuation Day!

I’m sure everyone has seen the punctuation meme that points out the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma." Or you've heard the joke where a panda walks into a restaurant, eats a sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots his waiter before leaving, because according to the dictionary, a panda “eats, shoots and leaves.”  These examples prove that punctuation saves lives. Well, today is National Punctuation Day, a day to celebrate commas, periods, quotation marks, semicolons and ellipses.  

Recently, our office debated whether or not to use the Oxford comma on our website.  While most were ambivalent, one of my co-workers was adamantly opposed to using it, while another remarked that not using it “made her head explode.” Though we all hoped she was using hyperbole, we kept our distance for the rest of the day just in case. 

However, that got me thinking about what punctuation mistakes make my other co-workers’ heads explode.  So, I asked them, and here are their answers.

Jason—“Unnecessary quotation marks”

So is it chicken, or is it not chicken?  Maybe they just called it “chicken” and hoped no one would notice.


Emily–“Using apostrophes to make things plural.”


Apostrophes are used for possessives and contractions, not plurals.


Susan–“A complete lack of punctuation”

Or in other words, RUN!


So do you have any punctuation mistakes that make your head explode?

If you want to learn more about punctuation, visit the reference section of your local Half Price Books.


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


Banned Books Awareness: September 21-27

HPB passionately supports Banned Books Awareness Week, happening now through Saturday. Stop by one of your neighborhood Half Price Books and check out some of the displays our Bibliomaniacs have put together to support banned or challenged books.

Half Price Books at Park Place
Palatine, Illinois


Half Price Books at Campbell Village
Richardson, Texas


Half Price Books at Clear Lake
Houston, Texas


Half Price Books at Westheimer/Montrose
Houston, Texas


Half Price Books at The Pointe at North Fayette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Half Price Books at Southpark Meadows
Austin, Texas 


Half Price Books at South Lamar/The Corners
Austin, Texas


Half Price Books at Village Square Mall
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania 


Half Price Books at Holiday Center
Monroeville, Pennsylvania


Half Price Books Flagship
Dallas, Texas 

 is a Web Designer/Developer at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow him on Twitter at @jdtatum.


Ready to FALL in Love With These New TV Series

Now that Summer is finally drawing to a close, we’re fast approaching one my favorite times of the year: TV premiere season! Each year, TV networks and production studios work hard to create the next FriendsER, or Breaking Bad—that series that becomes the can’t-miss event, the topic of water-cooler (or, in 2014, Facebook) discussion, and this year’s entry in the cultural zeitgeist. With some of this year’s crop of new shows already premiering next week, I wanted to sort out the contenders (see below) from the pretenders (Debra Messing, I love you, but The Mysteries of Laura screams “early cancellation”). So let’s get started!

How to Get Away With Murder (premieres Thursday, September 25th at 9c on ABC)

Shonda Rhimes is destined for another runaway hit with this sizzling legal drama, set to premiere right after the buzz-worthy Scandal. Viola Davis’s Annalise Keating, a no-nonsense law professor leading a pack of attractive (but mysterious) students as law clerks who get caught up in a murder plot. Intrigue! Passion! Mystery! Beautiful people! You know it’s going to be amazing…

Gotham (premieres Monday, September 22nd at 7c on FOX)

Call me crazy, but Commissioner Gordon has always been the most interesting character in the Batman universe. In this dark and gritty series, we learn more about the commish in a pre-Batman world. We’ll see some familiar faces, though, including the Caped Crusader, as well as Catwoman, The Riddler, Poison Ivy and even The Penguin. Ben McKenzie has come a long way from The OC days!

Black-ish (premieres Wednesday, September 24th at 8:30c on ABC)

Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Laurence Fishburne, as the comic relief, no less? This will either succeed with flying colors or fail miserably, but I’m hoping for the former. Follow the Johnson family as they try to rediscover their cultural identity. My DVR is already set.

These are far from all of the shows that will be filling our screens this season, so here’s your chance to sound off! Which shows are you excited to see, or which ones do you think are dead on arrival?


Jason is Email Marketing Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow him on Twitter at @jasonapermenter.


Exciting Fall Releases We Can’t Wait to Read!

September and October are two of my favorite months.  Not because the weather turns cooler or the leaves change colors, but because, as every bibliomaniac knows, some of the best books get published in September and October.  This year is no exception.  Whether you like to read YA, thrillers, and horror or just like to have a good laugh, here are some books you may want to add to your reading list.

      Afterworlds  Skink No Surrender Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles The Wolf in Winter: A Charlie Parker Thriller

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield - September 23 release

 Scott Westerfield, the bestselling author of the Uglies series, has done it again, creating another world in which we can get lost. However, this book has an interesting twist.  Part of the book takes place in this world, where a young girl, Darcy, has opted to forgo college in order to move to New York City and publish her novel, Afterworlds,  a thriller about a young girl, Lizzie, who is caught between the living and the dead in the Afterworld.  The two stories are woven into each other, chapter by chapter as they both struggle to find their way in the strange new world in which they find themselves.

Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen–September 23 release

This is bestselling author Carl Hiaasen’s newest Skink book, Skink–No Surrender.  When Mailey takes off with a guy she met online in order to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, her cousin Richard and Skink, the wild, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, go on the most hilarious road trip ever, hoping to find Mailey before it’s too late.

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice–October 28 release

After 11 years, The Vampire Chronicles are back with Prince Lestat, just in time for Halloween. This book brings together the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles as old vampires are roused from their slumber, obeying a mysterious Voice who commands the burning vampire-mavericks in cities across the world. But who is the voice?  What does it want? And where is Prince Lestat?

The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly–October 28 release

For those of you waiting for the next Charlie Parker thriller, your wait is over.  Charlie Parker is back in John Connolly’s new book The Wolf in Winter.  This book takes our dangerous, haunted hero to Prosperous, Maine, where a homeless man’s death and a young woman’s disappearance puts Parker in the path of the most dangerous enemies he has ever encountered.

I want to start reading them now!  These books can’t get here fast enough.

Are there any Fall releases that you are anxiously awaiting?  Share them in the comments below.  I’m always looking for new books to read.

And, as always, happy reading!


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