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.
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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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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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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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



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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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:


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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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.

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