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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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.
 
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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Thursday
Jan152015

A Booklover's Guide to Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year! Put your best book forward and make yourself a better bibliomaniac with our Booklover’s Guide to Reading Resolutions. 

Resolution 1: Read More

Make a pledge to read more this year. Now, this resolution may seem like a gimme, but it’s a great place to start. We’re challenging you to Resolve to Read More in 2015. Head over to hpb.com/resolve and tell us how many books you plan to read this year. Plus, you’ll be automatically entered to win a $100 HPB Gift Card. The deadline to enter is January 31, 2015.

Need a few recommendations? Here’s what some of your fellow HPB booklovers have already picked as their first reads of the year:

A Song of Ice and Fire Series (Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Yes, Please  by Amy Poehler, Gray Mountain by John Grisham, Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Burn/Hope to Die by James Patterson, Gone Girl/Dark Places/Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, If I Stay by Gayle Foreman, Mr. Mercedes/Revival by Stephen King, Prince Lestat by Anne Rice, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Escape by David Baldacci, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Resolution 2: Join a Book Club

Experience the same book with fellow readers. Book clubs are a great place to share your thoughts, plus you might learn something you wouldn’t catch by just reading alone. Start your own or feel free to join us over at the bi-monthly HPB Book Club.

Resolution 3: Meet an Author

Why not meet the author behind your favorite story? It makes for a great memory and a great way to see another side of the book. Plus, get those burning questions answered straight from the source. Half Price Books hosts author events throughout the year at stores around the nation. Be sure to check out the HPB Local Store Events Round-Up to find out which authors are coming to your area.

Resolution 4: Improve Your Shelf

Grab those books that have been piled on the nightstand for months or sprawled around the house and take the time to organize your bookshelf. Display them proudly and add your own personal touches with bookends, keepsakes and other collectibles. These shelves below belong to actual HPB booklovers! Pretty cool, huh!? Check out our Pinterest board for more shelf and storage ideas.

Resolution 5: Find a new Reading Retreat

Some like to read at home in bed or on the couch, but wherever you’re reading, venture out and find some place new. Reading is a real treat, so why not enhance the experience with a special place to do it? Find a local coffee shop, a cozy bench at the park or create a reading nook of your very own at home. You’ll be surprised at how a change in scenery opens up the mind. These reading retreats make us want to curl up with a good book right away!

Hope these resolutions inspire you. Happy reading in 2015!

What reading resolutions are you making this year?

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Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

Friday
Jan092015

Red Carpet Ready… HPB Previews the 2015 Golden Globe Awards

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST on NBC. Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are sure to bring the laughs as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association celebrates the best in film and TV performances over the past year. I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t been able to view every Golden Globes-nominated performance (somehow, I just couldn’t work that into my job description…darn!), so instead I wanted to spotlight some interesting things I’ve found among this years’ crop of nominees:

Julianne Moore’s Big Year

Like other award-winning redheads Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain and Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore is a lock for a nomination almost every time she’s on screen. But two in one year? That’s impressive. Moore’s performance in Still Alice is predicted to win her the Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, however she’s also nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for Maps to the Stars.

Rachel Green and Michael Scott at the Globes

Both Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell found fans and fame starring in iconic comedic roles on the small screen. This year, however, these two comedy vets sunk their teeth into grittier roles: Aniston as a woman struggling with chronic pain in Cake, and Carell as a boxing team sponsor preparing for the 1988 Olympics in Foxcatcher.

Quvenzhané Wallis: The World’s Hardest Working Preteen

Critics’ reviews of the latest version of Annie notwithstanding, you have to give credit to young Quvenzhané Wallis, who has done more at 11 than many of us will accomplish in a lifetime (including, ahem, an Oscar nomination). It’s also nice to see a fresh young face stay present amongst awards discussion, rather than fading away after one breakout performance. Must not be such a hard knock life, after all…

Allison Tolman and Frances McDormand in the Same Category

I’ve long been a fan of the original Fargo film, and Allison Tolman was simply tremendous in FX’s TV adaptation. (Plus, like me, she’s also a Baylor University alum…Sic’em, Bears!) I found it intriguing that she’s nominated in the Best Actress in a miniseries or TV Movie category alongside Frances McDormand, whose delightful Det. Marge Gunderson was more or less the spiritual successor of Tolman’s Det. Molly Solverson.

Anthologies are the New Streaming

Just a few years ago, Internet-based streaming television changed the game. Netflix, Amazon and the like suddenly gave stiff competition to long-standing networks, especially with award recognition. Since then, one of the most original and interesting TV trends has been the rise of the “anthology series.” Based on this makeup of year’s nominees, it looks like we could be seeing many more shows like American Horror Story, Fargo, True Detective, etc. I’m okay with that.

Books + Movies = An Award-Winning Combo

Obviously, I’m a little biased here, but there was no shortage of book-to-movie adaptations this year, and it’s great to see them get recognized. From Foxcatcher to Gone Girl to Wild to Inherent Vice (and many more), there are tons of great reads that you can also watch unfold on the silver screen. I’ve got my reading list ready to go!

Who are you rooting for this year at the Globes? To view all of this year’s nominees, visit www.goldenglobes.com.

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Jason is Email Marketing Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow him on Twitter @jasonapermenter.

Wednesday
Dec312014

Local Store Events Round-Up: January 2015

Local Store Events Round-Up: January 2015


Happy New Year, booklovers! 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 January!

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 Jan. 4!

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 Jan. 4!

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 Jan. 10!

ILLINOIS

Countryside 

Second Sunday Storytime

Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Countryside HPB for Storytime Sundays. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us at 3 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. See you Jan. 11!

Niles

Saturday Storytime

Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Village Crossing HPB for Storytime Saturday. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us at 3 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. All young readers and listeners are welcome! See you Jan. 3!

Rockford – Half Price Books Outlet

Dollar Sale at the Outlet

1 DAY ONLY! Everything in the store is $1 or less on Saturday, January 17 at your local Half Price Books Outlet. Haul away loads of bargains including used fiction, children’s books, music, DVDs, and more – ALL for $1 or less each plus tax. No coupon needed. Offer good at Half Price Books Outlet locations only.

INDIANA

All Indiana Stores

Pop Mania Saturday

Pop, Pop! Check out the magnitude of items on sale! Saturday, Jan. 24, all Indiana HPB stores are offering 20% off select comics, graphic novels, music and movies!

Bloomington – Half Price Books Outlet

Dollar Sale at the Outlet

1 DAY ONLY! Everything in the store is $1 or less on Saturday, January 17 at your local Half Price Books Outlet. Haul away loads of bargains including used fiction, children’s books, music, DVDs, and more – ALL for $1 or less each plus tax. No coupon needed. Offer good at Half Price Books Outlet locations only.

Indianapolis – Clearwater Village

Brady Sadler Book Signing

Meet local author and musician Brady Sadler at your Clearwater Village HPB on Friday, Jan. 9, from 5 to 9 p.m. Brady will sell and sign his first Lorenguard novel, Eve of Corruption: Book One of the Days of Astasia. Books will be sold independently by the author while supplies last.

Indianapolis – Northbrook/Greenbriar 

Greyhound Pet Adoptions

Looking for a loyal friend, a lovable buddy, a canine companion? On the 4th Saturday of each month, from 2 to 4 p.m., Greyhound Pets of America - Indianapolis will bring their Greyhound dogs for a meet and greet. Stop by your HPB at 86th and Ditch Rd. and meet the fastest dog on earth. Learn about this affectionate breed and how you can adopt a retired racing Greyhound. See store for details. See you Jan. 24! 

KENTUCKY

Bowling Green – Outlet

Music Mondays

Get ready to turn up the volume! Your Bowling Green HPB Outlet has an additional 20% OFF all music and music related items each Monday. Offer good at Half Price Books Outlet in Bowling Green, KY only.

Movie Thursdays

Start popping the popcorn and stock up on movies at your Bowling Green HPB Outlet. Each Thursday, all movies and movie related items are an additional 20% OFF. Offer good at Half Price Books Outlet in Bowling Green, KY only.

Dollar Sale at the Outlet

1 DAY ONLY! Everything in the store is $1 or less on Saturday, January 17 at your local Half Price Books Outlet. Haul away loads of bargains including used fiction, children’s books, music, DVDs, and more – ALL for $1 or less each plus tax. No coupon needed. Offer good at Half Price Books Outlet locations only.

Magic: The Gathering Game Night

Join us for Magic: The Gathering Game Night on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays each month from 6-8 p.m. at your Greenwood Marketplace Half Price Books Outlet. All gaming levels from beginner to advanced are invited to participate in our tournament style game nights. See store for details and game rules. See you Jan. 13 & 27!

HPB Outlet Book Club

Looking to expand your reading pleasure? Join the discussion at your Greenwood Marketplace Half Price Books Outlet Book Club. We meet the last Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. See store for details.

Lexington – Fayette Place 

Vinyl Fridays

Move to the groove while you shop! Join us on the last Friday of each month. Listen to classic tunes on vinyl and get 20% off all vinyl LPs all day. Discount at this location only. See you Jan. 30!

Lexington – Hamburg Pavilion  

Vinyl Fridays

Move to the groove while you shop! Join us on the last Friday of each month. Listen to classic tunes on vinyl and get 20% off all vinyl LPs all day at our Hamburg Pavilion HPB in Lexington. Discount at this location only. See you Jan. 30!

Last Saturday Storytime

Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Hamburg Pavilion HPB for Storytime Saturday. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us from 2 to 3 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month. See you Jan. 31!

Louisville – Hurstbourne 

Third Saturday Storytime

Bring the kids the third Saturday of every month from 2 to 4 p.m. for storytime. Join us for sing-alongs, coloring contests, story-telling and more. See you Jan. 17!

Louisville – Springhurst/Freys Hill 

Monthly Coloring Contest

Grab a crayon and unleash your inner artist! Stop inside the Springhurst Half Price Books and get involved with our Monthly Coloring Contest. Each month, a new coloring sheet is available for our pint-sized customers. Throughout the month, children ages 13 and under may submit their coloring sheet for entry. At the end of the month, 4 winners are selected (one from each age group). Winners receive a Half Price Books Gift Card and the honor of having their artwork displayed in store.

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Monday
Dec292014

Bibliomaniacs Best: Books Read in 2014

I am a list maker and a voracious reader, so when I come across a book list, I immediately look it over and check off the books I have read while marking the books I would like to read (which are all the ones I haven’t read yet).  Needless to say, when I got the HPB 2014 Calendar at the beginning of the year and saw each month had ten reading recommendations, it became my goal for the year to read as many of the books I hadn’t read on those lists that I could.  This decision opened my yearly reading to several authors I had never read Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Khaled Hosseini, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jonathan Safran Foer and Yann Martel, as well as introducing me to classics I had never read, such as Love in the Time of Cholera, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Slaughterhouse Five and The Count of Monte Cristo.  I can’t honestly say I enjoyed every book I read this year, but I can say I found some hidden gems where I had never thought to look.  Finding these new reads made me eager for more lists. So, I asked our 3,000 HPB Bibliomaniacs what was the best book they had read this year, and here’s what they had to say.

(1.) The Heart and the Bottle, by Oliver Jeffers (2.) Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers (3.) Looking for Alaska, by John Green (4.) American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (5.) The Ward, by Jordana Frankel (6.) How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran (7.) The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman (8.) A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway (9.) The Passion, by Jeanette Winterson (10.) The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (11.) The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert MacFarlane (12.) Imperial Bedrooms, by Bret Easton Ellis (13.)Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (14.) The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach (15.) Where’d You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple (16.) The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling (17.) California, by Edan Lepucki (18.) Rats, Lice and History, by Hans Zinsser (19.)Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer (20.) Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, by Diana Gabaldon (21.) The Son, by Jo Nesbo (22.) Colorless, by Haruki Murakami (23.) A Bounty of Blandings, by P.G. Wodehouse (24.) Goodbye to a River, by John Graves (25.) House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski (26.) Standup Guy, by Stuart Woods

(27.) Skin Game, by Jim Butcher (28.) The Persistence of Vision, by John Varley (29.) The Ballad of Frankie Silver, by Sharyn McCrumb (30.) To Selena with Love, by Chris Perez (31.) Suspect, by Robert Crais (32.) The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (33.) The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness (34.) How Proust Can Change Your Life, by Alain de Botton (35.) One Second After, by William R. Forstchern (36.) Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind & its Challenge to Western Thought, by George Lakoff & Mark Johnson (37.) The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson (38.) Tolkien: A Biography, by Humphrey Carpenter (39.) Blasphemy, by Sherman Alexie (40.) Italian Neighbors, by Tim Park  (41.) The Martian, by Andy Weir (42.) Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham (43.) A Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (44.) Italian Days, by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (45.) Apocalypse Cow, by Michael Logan (46.) John Dies at the End, by David Wong

(47.) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (48.) Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg (49.) An Art Lovers Guide to Florence, by J. Testa (50.) Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (51.) Calling Me Home, by Julie Kibler (52.) The Three Musketeers, by Alexander Dumas (53.) 84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff (54.) Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (55.) Love, Rosie, by Cecelia Ahern (56.) Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (57.) Cold Days, by Jim Butcher (58.) The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (59.) Paper Towns, by John Green (60.) The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer (61.) Possessed, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (62.) The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens (63.) War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy (64.) My Antonia, by Willa Cather (65.) Stoner, by John Williams (66.) Feeding the Hungry Ghost, by Ellen Kanner  (67.) This Book is Full of Spiders, by David Wong (68.) Cassavetes Directs, by Michael Ventura (69.) Wild About Books, by Judy Sierra (70.) Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

What about you? What was the best book you read in 2014?

The 2015 HPB Calendar is available at all HPB locations. This year’s theme is “Books Authors Read.” More book lists! Time to start planning my reading list for 2015!

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

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?

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Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

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