Behind the Book: Union by Jordan Blashek & Christopher Haugh

Editor’s Note: In an era of deepening political divide, two friends set out on a road trip across America to discover more about the country they love, in good times and bad. In this edition of Behind the Book, Christopher Haugh and Jordan Blashek tell us about their journey, friendship and what they learned about their country during this difficult time. Read on to discover more about their book, Union, and what they hope readers will take away from it.


What made you want to write about the political divide within America?

Jordan Blashek: Before starting these trips, both of us had spent time in organizations that represented America abroad. Chris worked at the State Department, and I was in the Marine Corps. We both loved the sense of mission and purpose those institutions gave us, and we also got to see the good America does overseas. When we got to law school though, we were struck by how much division we saw around us and across the country. I think we both worried that there was something existential about it. We didn’t start our trips with that in mind, but slowly that sense of lost mission and purpose led us to this book.

Christopher Haugh: Really the road made us want to write about it. Union started as a lark of a drive from New York to California, and it only later matured into a book about travel, culture, and politics. Jordan and I were natural friends, and the politics always came second. Of course, the division became inevitable as we got to know each other better and the 2016 election loomed and crescendoed. How we navigated those choppy waters started to feel timely. And so, we started to write. Continue reading

Best of the Decade: 1970s

Editor’s Note: This year, our Half Price Books calendar once again features lists of books, movies and music. We’re heading into a new decade with a new focus…the past. Each month, we’ll share a list of events, inventions and, of course, books, movies and music, from every decade since the 1900s right here on the blog. Enjoy!


Half Price Books makes its debut! …along with Earth Day, Apple and Star Wars. This month, we bring you the bevy of fascinating events, books, music and movies that increased the far out factor during the 1970s.

BOOKS

All the President’s Men – Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward Continue reading

Book Recs from and for Kids Pre-K and Up!

Hey Booklovers, did you know Half Price Books now has reviews on our website? You can leave your thoughts on books, movies and music to help other shoppers choose their next great read, watch or listen!


Check out a few recommendations with rave reviews for young readers from preschool to high school below. Whether you want the best picture book for your kiddo’s age group or the perfect summer read for your teen, your fellow booklovers have the books for you!

PRESCHOOL AND UNDER

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1. The Book with No Pictures

“This book is just the most fun to read aloud to children. They will laugh at every page and be reciting it all the time. Just a great story overall and a fun #summerreading story.” Continue reading

Meet the Bibliomaniacs: The HPB Belle Meade Team

Hey Nashville, we are moving in! We are ecstatic about our new store in Nashville, Tennessee. In this edition of Meet the Bibliomaniacs, we would like to introduce you to the HPB Belle Meade team, who’ve been hard at work (in masks and maintaining safe social distancing practices, of course) building out our newest store for you. Take it away, guys!

1. When did you join the team?

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Best of the Decade: 1960s

Editor’s Note: This year, our Half Price Books calendar once again features lists of books, movies and music. We’re heading into a new decade with a new focus…the past. Each month, we’ll share a list of events, inventions and, of course, books, movies and music, from every decade since the 1900s right here on the blog. Enjoy!


Andy Warhol makes a statement with cans of Campbell’s soup and The Beatles cross the pond to bring a new sound to the American audience. This month, we bring you a few important events as well as the books, music and movies that set the scene in the 1960s.

BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote Continue reading

An Anti-Racist Booklist for Teens

Concerns about the way America continues to handle racial disparities have reached a boiling point during this past few months. Many have expressed their anguish over centuries of trauma inflicted on African Americans, Indigenous Peoples and people of color in this country; and rightfully so. In light of this uprising, there have been countless stories of solidarity and demands for justice not only from adults within the culture, but from youth of all backgrounds both domestically and internationally.

With such a passionate call for justice from teenagers from all 50 states and more than 18 countries around the world, knowledge about how race relations in the United States led us to this point is crucial. We’ve compiled a list of books we consider fundamental for teenagers who are settling into, or trying to find, their role in this new civil rights movement. You can find these books at your local library as well as on our shelves. We encourage teens not only to read them, but also to share them with others as a resource for building a strong foundation for the fight against systemic racism from a young person’s perspective.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Continue reading

An Anti-Racist Booklist for the Effective Ally

Concerns about the way America continues to handle racial disparities have reached a boiling point during the past few weeks. Many have expressed their anguish over centuries of trauma inflicted on African Americans, Indigenous Peoples and people of color in this country; and rightfully so. In light of this uprising, there have been countless stories of solidarity and demands for justice not only from those within the culture, but those from Caucasian backgrounds both domestically and internationally.

With such a strong show of support from all 50 states and more than 18 countries around the world, extensive knowledge about race relations in the United States is crucial. We’ve compiled a list of books we consider fundamental for those who may not be as well versed when it comes to the struggle of black people in American society. You can find these books at your local library as well as on our shelves. We encourage you not only to read them for yourselves, but also to share them with others as a resource for building a strong foundation for the fight against systemic racism.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, And Become a Good Ancestor  Continue reading

HPB Presents: Featured Collectibles Auction

Welcome to our third Featured Collectibles Auction! We were thrilled with the response to our previous auctions, so we’ve decided to share three more very special collectibles. Read on to see what we’re auctioning off for this round and get information on the bidding process!


Item #1: Avalon Ballroom Poster

Just after the Summer of Love—
Take a trip back 53 years for an original poster produced by Family Dog Productions for an October 1967 show at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom featuring Avalon mainstays Quicksilver Messenger Service, along with Taj Mahal and the Sons of Champlin. It’s in comics style, illustrated by iconic comic-book artist Rick Griffin. Colors are bright, with no fading, pinholes or tears, and only minor edgewear.

AVALON BALLROOM POSTER ITEM DETAILS
Title: Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Avalon Ballroom

Produced by: Family Dog, San Francisco
Additional Info: First Issue, #89-1, October 1967
Condition: Very Good
Minimum Bid: $250
Email your bid to: atbg@halfpricebooks.com Continue reading

20 Books and Movies for Fans of Manga and Anime

Half Price Books recently launched reviews on HPB.com and we have loved seeing everything our bibliomaniacs are reading and reviewing! Check out some of the manga and anime your fellow booklovers are enjoying now.


Gunslinger Girl Omnibus Collection 2

“I first saw the anime for this series before reading the manga, there is more back story in these and you learn a lot more about the characters then what was in the anime. No real surprise there but the story does really get you thinking about some of the sides of the world most people choose not to see. I highly recommend the manga series.”

 

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Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me To You,

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“Kimi Ni Todoke is an award-winning manga series that spans 30 volumes. Do not let its length discourage you. It is an endearing series about acceptance. I highly recommend this series to manga readers that enjoy a realistic story focusing on relationships and dreams. The characters are the best part of the series–anyone can identify them. I have read the series multiple times; it never gets old. Treat yourself to a longer reading experience and binge on the shojo manga staple, Kimi Ni Todoke!”

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