40 Banned Books to Read at Your Own Risk

Banned Books Awareness Week is a time to celebrate our intellectual freedom by reading books that others have deemed unacceptable for certain people to read.  Reasons books get banned or challenged (which means someone wants the book banned from a school or library, but the request was denied) vary from “unacceptable sexual content “and “excessive violence” to “animals don’t talk” and “the book is a real downer.”

Now, if you are anything like me, you will want to stick it to Big Brother and read as many banned & challenged books as you can, but what if you don’t know what books have been banned?  Don’t worry.  We polled our 3,000 Bibliomaniacs to let us know what their favorite banned books are.  So without further ado, here are 40 Banned [or challenged] Books to Read at Your Own Risk.

1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, 3) Slaughterhouse-Five by KurtVonnegut, 4) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 5) Lord of the Flies by William Golding, 6) Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 7) 1984 by George Orwell 8) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, 9) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, 10) My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara, 11) Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, 12) The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, 13) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, 14) The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, 15) The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, 16) Animal Farm by George Orwell, 17) The Color Purple by Alice Walker, 18) Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, 19) Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume, 20) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 21) The Rabbits’ Wedding by Garth Williams, 22) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, 23) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 24) Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman, 25) Inventing Witchcraft: A Case Study in the Creation of a New Religion by Aidan A. Kelly, 26) Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, 27) The Trial by Franz Kafka, 28) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, 29) Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford, 30) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, 31) The Devil in the Drain by Daniel Pinkwater, 32) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, 33) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, 34) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, 35) Hey Dollface by Deborah Hautzig, 36) Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden, 37) The Giver by Lois Lowry, 38) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, 39) James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, 40) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

So, did you discover that you have already read some dangerous books?  If you would like to know more about banned and challenged books and why they cause controversy, check out DeleteCensorship.org or this ALA list.

You can find these and more banned & challenged books at your local HPB because we sell anything ever printed or recorded. Always remember to speak freely, write candidly and read endlessly.

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

Raising Backyard Chickens

It’s National Chicken Month and today we honor the well-loved bird. Chickens not only provide nutritious and delicious eggs but they are easy to take care of and make wonderful pets. Imagine stepping outside of your backdoor, being greeted by a flock of hens and returning to your house with handfuls of fresh eggs. Having backyard chickens is becoming an increasingly popular movement alongside farmers’ markets and urban gardening. Raising chickens in your own backyard helps connect you to your food source, offers a way to get back to nature, and provides a garden oasis from the urban surroundings. 

Below are some fun chicken facts and great books to get you started on your own flock of feathery friends.

Have you ever had a pet chicken or eaten a fresh backyard egg? We would love to hear your stories. Leave us a comment below, on Facebook or Twitter. – Stephanie

Stephanie is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate (and proud chicken mama to Maple, Waffle and Sausage Patty, as pictured above — photos by Briana Wollman.) 

You can follow Stephanie on Twitter at @saltpepperpress.

Top Three Things I Learned from Shel Silverstein’s Every Thing On It

When I picked up Every Thing On It last fall, I expected the poems and illustrations so uniquely Shel Silverstein to remind me of being a kid again – silly, awkward, dreamy.  And they did.  But they did more.  Several of his poems connected to my adult life – the questions, the pressures, the state of our world.

“Years From Now,” starts the collection.  “Although I cannot see your face / As you flip these poems awhile/ Somewhere from some far-off place / I hear you laughing – and I smile.”

If the answer to the big question, “What is the meaning of life?” is to leave behind a legacy you can be proud of, Shel Silverstein’s legacy of laughter, dreaming and thinking certainly fit the bill.

“Yesees and Noees” really stuck in my mind, too.  “…So the Yesees all died of much too much / And the Noees all died of fright / But somehow I think the Thinkforyourselfees / All came out all right.”  What a straightforward way to point out the solution to surviving pressures.

As for the state of our world, we are often so afraid to be seen as different because differences get punished.  But in “Masks”, Shel Silverstein reveals to us, “She had blue skin / And so did he. He kept it hid / And so did she.  They searched for blue / Their whole life through / Then passed right by – And never knew.”

Just as The Giving Tree was considered both children’s and adult literature, Every Thing On It can be, too.

Thank you, Shel Silverstein.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from a Shel Silverstein poem or book? – Kim

Kim is Store Manager at Cedar Rapids HPB in Marion, IA.

One-Hit Wonder Playlist

Oh, the times I have failed when someone has asked me, “Who is the original artist of this song?”

Of course, I have convinced myself that they are asking this question because they’d like to hear the song rather than hinting that I shouldn’t be singing it. 

I have found that no song can get stuck in your head like a One-Hit Wonder.  After listening only a few times, you may very well know many of the words – but, you most definitely have the chorus memorized, and sing it in your car or in the shower like you are starring in your own rock concert.  (Note to everyone: Singing alone in the car or shower will prevent being asked the question “Who sings this song?”)

Here are 15 of my favorite One-Hit Wonders.  I can’t see into the future, but I predict you will want to sing along to some!

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(1) Nena, 99 Luftballoons (2) Europe, The Final Countdown (3) Carl Douglas, Kung Fu Fighting (4) Vicki Sue Robinson, Turn the Beat Around (5) Belle Stars, Iko Iko (6) Taco, Puttin On the Ritz (7) Toni Basil,  Mickey (8) Tom Cochrane, Life is a Highway (9) Blind Melon, No Rain (10) Soft Cell, Tainted Love (11) Lipps Inc., Funkytown (12) 4 Non Blondes, What’s Up (13) The Buggles, Video Killed the Radio Star (14) M , Pop Muzik (15) Bobby Boris Pickett, Monster Mash

What’s your favorite One Hit Wonder? — Crystal

Crystal is Store Manager at Half Price Books Flagship in Dallas, Texas.

Stephen King’s Advice for Writers

Part autobiography, part advice, Stephen King‘s On Writing: A Memior of the Craft is a superb book for readers and aspiring writers alike. There are numerous insights to take away – advice for other writers, as well as looking under the hood of King’s formulas and tricks for writing a successful first draft and editing yourself in the all-important second draft. 

If you’re a writer, or want to be, I recommend you read this book. You’ll likely feel encouraged by relating to and learning from another author’s process. If you’re passionate about writing, or want to get published, by all means — keep writing!

Here’s a great excerpt from On Writing:

“Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic.”

In honor of Stephen King‘s birthday today, check out some of his bestselling fiction work.

Cheers for writers and editors everywhere! – Meredith

Meredith is Associate Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to seeing how Stephen Chbosky has turned his funny but touching novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower into a motion picture, and not only because the movie stars Logan Lerman, from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Emma Watson, from the Harry Potter movies, and Ezra Miller, from Royal Pains (one of my favorite TV shows). But also because I want to see how Chbosky transformed his poignant story of a high school loner with a troubled past from a novel of letters written to a “friend” to a movie where so much more will need to be said through the dialogue than just the words.

If you have never read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the story follows Charlie, a fifteen year old boy who is nervous about starting high school.  You find out that one of his only friends committed suicide the year before, and now Charlie feels like he is all alone.  He doesn’t mind too much, but he does wish he could talk to someone. So he starts writing letters to someone he has never met.  He only knows that “she said you would listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could.”  Throughout Charlie’s freshman year, he writes to this “friend,” and through these letters you are taken from a first crush to a first acid trip to a trip to an abortion clinic.  You see high school at its worst and at its best, as Charlie, the quintessential wallflower, makes unforgettable friends and remembers events from an unforgivable past.  Though it all, you find yourself relating to and cheering for this sensitive, confused boy, who only wants the people he loves to be happy.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower will be in limited theatrical release starting Friday, September 21.  Check for listings at theaters near you.

The book The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been banned or challenged in many different areas around the country.  Banned Books Awareness Week begins September 29. To learn more about Banned Books, check out the American Library Association (ALA) website and check out the banned books displays at your local HPB bookstore.

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

Top 5 J.J. Abrams Television Series

When you think of fall, you may think of a pumpkin latte or baseball postseason, college football or a new pair of fashionable boots, and some of us may think of ALL THOSE THINGS. But for many, the fall season means one thing: time to dust off the ole DVR and get started on the next great TV series. Who will it be this year?

One that’s gotten us twirling in our office chairs these days is the debut of the new J.J. Abrams-produced drama, Revolution. But, c’mon, another end-of-the-world, futuristic blah-blah-blah? Haven’t we had it up to our cliffhangers in these suspense dramas? Clearly, the answer is no.

Maybe you never heard of the guy or maybe you haven’t had a chance to review his work. Where have you been? Well, now’s the time to get started! Many of the complete seasons of some of the last decade and a half’s best long-running series are available on DVD and BluRay and you should check them out! To get you started here is a brief look back at some of the shows that gave us the Abrams-itch and why Revolution might be something to watch.

Felicity: Our HPB Promotions & Direct Mail sweetheart and former Felicity fiend, Kate, says, “This four-season kick-off to Abrams’ TV career starred a young Keri Russell as the sweater-wearing, stalkerish UNY student who followed her high school crush, Ben, to college after he wrote little more than ‘HAGS*!’ in her yearbook. Unfortunately for Felicity, Ben wasn’t really that into her [at first], but cute Apple computer nerd & Resident Advisor, Noel, immediately fell in love. The next four years sought to answer the eternal question, ‘Ben or Noel?’ While Felicity also occasionally found time to befriend dorm-mate, Julie (former Pink Power Ranger, actress Amy Jo Johnson), hang out in her unbelievably swank dorm rooms, work at a coffee shop, and waver between practical pre-med vs. following her dreams to become an artist. Can we all just go back to school now? Wasn’t life easier then? Watch Felicity and you will see it most definitely was not. Did someone say Drama 101?

*HAGS = Have A Great Summer 

Alias: Becky, HPB Marketer and recovering Alias addict, says, it appears that when some of those crazy kids from Felicity graduated, they went undercover — some familiar cast members showed up in this 5 season suspense series, which premiered in 2001. A muscular and gorgeous Jennifer Garner stars as CIA agent, Sydney Bristow, who could disguise herself just enough to get by the bad guys every time! And boy, could that girl speak with a foreign accent! The series turns from straight up action to serious sci-fi when Sydney and her gang start to delve deep into a Renaissance-era artist, inventor, writer, engineer and all-around dead-genius guy, Rambaldi, and his worldwide, sought after artifacts. Every episode was like a mini-movie and left you wanting more…and if you were like me, it left you thinking you needed to head to the gym for a work out. I wasn’t kidding, Ms. Garner was fit as a fiddle as Agent Bristow.

Lost: HPB Web Designer and self-proclaimed “Other,” Darek, says of Lost, “Abrams took the initial concept of Castaway: The Series, sprinkled in numerous sci-fi/mystery elements, added a cast of characters crippled with emotional baggage, and created a television phenomenon. Six seasons were spent answering the question posed in the pilot ‘Where are we?’ as the survivors faced smoke monsters, the mysterious DHARMA Initiative, cult-like Others, time jumping, and the island gods Jacob and the Man in Black. While survival and escape from the island seemed to be of the utmost importance, the characters were really coming to terms with themselves and mistakes they’d made in the past. While television was being taken over by cheap reality shows, Abrams’ idea and creation of Lost sparked a revolution (pun intended) in TV by showing that a series is capable of having more depth and substance than most two hour movies. Namaste.

Fringe: According to HPB programmer and Fringe-o-phile, DJ, “It all began in 2008 as the next ‘X-files’: a love interest between partners of an unconventional sort.  Fringe started off slowly, with an as-yet-to-be-determined nefarious villain behind all the mysterious occurrences.  It became somewhat harder to follow during the last season, when it ripped dimensional time apart by introducing a Deus Ex Machina transformer-like super machine that can only be powered by FBI agent Peter Bishop’s mojo, or something.  After this, we were treated to a series of ultimately interesting but shaky futures hinging on the villains being bald spacemen who like their food spicy. Fringe stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble as Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop, members of an FBI “Fringe Division.”

Person of Interest: Julie, our HPB Production Manager and lover of suspense drama with a handsome lead character (or at least THIS suspense drama with a handsome lead), tells us, “This is an awesome show, and not just because Jim Caviezel is one good looking guy (see, I told you).  He also gets to kick butt, as ex-CIA Special Operations agent, John Reese.  Reese, who is living as a homeless man when the show starts, is found by Harold Finch, played by the recognizable Michael Emerson of Lost fame, a computer genius who developed a machine for the government that can detect information leading up to any crime, but crimes that will not turn into acts of terrorism are deemed irrelevant.  Finch finds a way to bypass the government watchdogs and gains access to the machine who starts to feed him social security numbers from the irrelevant list. Since he is physically challenged, Finch convinces Reese to work with him to prevent these crimes.  The second season begins on Thursday, September 27 (That’s next week! I’m so excited!), and the big question is, Will Reese be able to find the kidnapped Finch? I have faith.  Cute men always win.”

 

Of course, there are a multitude of TV previews not in any way connected to J.J. Abrams to discuss this fall at the water cooler, not to mention to catch up on, like when people single you out and say “WHAT! YOU NEVER WATCHED LOST?! ARE YOU CRAZY?” (True story and I am on season 4 as we speak)

Anyway, don’t forget, HPB is the perfect place to browse through, grab a copy of a series you may have missed, and catch up with your cool couch potato friends. You can look for them in any HPB store to get your fix, or search HPB Marketplace. Why rush when you can take your time and enjoy a new-to-you series or recap an old favorite! Get your remote controls ready…and GO! — Becky


Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Bexican75.

Buy Guy Files: 40 Years of Buying VI

Sometimes the buying experience at Half Price Books involves elements of surprise.  Here are a few “Tales of the Unexpected” from company buying lore, as related by some of our longtime HPB-ers.

1. Marianne Moore Noir

Donations Manager Scott Ward counts among his most memorable buy experiences an occasion when he was a buyer faced with a little “ripped from the headlines” shenanigans.

Scott says, “We had received a fax message from a high-end antiquarian bookseller, alerting us to a robbery of a UPS truck in the area. It seems that a driver had left the motor running and the door opened while making a delivery, and a very valuable package was snatched from the truck. This package contained ten valuable, limited edition-type signed and numbered books, valued at over $10,000.”  The fax advised our buyers to watch for these books.

“Another buyer was on duty on an otherwise ordinary weekday,” Scott continues. “I was close by, on call to help out with buys. The buyer brought me a book: a beautiful, leather-bound, numbered, limited edition, signed by the poet Marianne Moore.”

The scruffy, nervous seller and his female accomplice did not appear to be your typical Marianne Moore aficionados. Scott checked the fax and, sure enough, there was the book, valued at about a thousand bucks. The police department was called, and Scott and the other buyer tried to keep the sellers occupied while help was on the way.

Scott says he “attempted to engage them in a conversation about the merits of mid-20th Century American poetry (yeah right) while trying to make eye contact with them. They weren’t having anything to do with poetry or eye contact, and the longer they waited, the more nervous they got.”

Fortunately, the cops showed up fast.  “As soon as they hit the doors, the girlfriend of the perp hit the floor in a dead faint (like a bad movie), but the cops and the HPB staff were not having anything to do with that. We identified the book for the cops, showed them the fax identifying the book (and explaining to the police how it was we knew this was the book described in the fax) and they hauled the pair away.  The female somehow recovered from her fainting spell.”

The thieves were “greatly disappointed to find books,” says Scott, “as there are not many good out-sources for fencing Marianne Moore.”

The caper made the local papers.  A rumored reward never materialized, but Scott has a nice story to share eighteen years later.

2. JFK Mementos

Operations Director Jan Cornelius recalls a buy decades back when buyers were looking through a stack of JFK memorabilia they had just bought: 

“There were about five or six of us in the buying area, making sardonic, wry comments about the popularity of assassination conspiracy theories, all the JFK memorial editions, and HPB co-founder Ken Gjemre’s insistence that we do a display every November to try and sell some of the stuff.  We were getting louder (some would say funnier – no customers around), when a single card fell out of one of the memorial books.  One of the buyers read from it aloud.  It was an invitation to a lunch and speech at the Dallas Trade Mart, to start at 1:30 pm, November 22,1963, with President and Mrs. Kennedy.  The buy area fell silent.  We all went back to work.”

3. A Lock of Hair

Sometimes, a surprise found in a book can arouse the buyer’s curiosity about the story behind it.  In one case, Media Buyer John Wilson became determined to track the story down.  A lock of hair pinned to a 1932 funeral notice for a Mary Hearn was found by buyer Chris Carter in an old book being processed in our Lewisville, Texas, store.  Chris let John know about it.  He immediately decided that “it was our mission to return the lock of hair to Mrs. Hearn’s family.”  Serendipitously, a D Magazine editor, Jeff Bowden, was just then working on a story about things found in books, and he joined our odyssey.  (Mr. Bowden’s story appeared in the May 2001 issue of D Magazine.)

The buyers were not able to pinpoint which customer’s buy contained the book that contained the lock of hair, but the funeral notice gave us the name of a small town in West Texas. 

John, Jeff and I drove out to Baird, and, using a Roads of Texas guide, located a little cemetery way out in the country.  We had a hunch we’d find Mrs. Hearn’s grave there, and, sure enough, we did.  Driving away from the cemetery, we saw a man standing alongside his truck and asked him if he knew anything about the Hearn family.  “Y’all sure going to a lot of trouble for a piece of hair,” he said.  True.  But his mother and father knew quite a bit about the Hearns.  Guided by their information, John located some key descendants, who pointed us to a young lady, Dawn Pearson, in Lewisville.  Mrs. Hearn was the mother of her great-uncle.  Our quest reconnected several estranged members of the family.  We returned the lock of hair to a grateful Ms. Pearson back at the Lewisville store.

4. More Wealth Without Risk

A few years ago, an employee was shelving books in the Business section.  It was the usual stuff, nothing too special.  To make some space on the shelf, the employee grabbed a hardback copy of More Wealth Without Risk to shift it to the shelf below.  The book seemed bulky, like it had something stuck inside it.  Sure enough, there was $1,200 in cash tucked into the pages.

Was the money there when buyers bought the book?  Was it secreted there on the shelf by a customer making an illicit payment?  Whatever the explanation, that particular bit of wealth did involve some risk after all.

5. Books by the Truckload

Laurie Coburn, the manager of one of our Milwaukee stores, was contacted by a customer who said he had “38,000 book club editions, mostly Sci-Fi and Romance.” 

Laurie got some help from another of our locations, deciding to do the buy as a “district project.”  A 15-foot box truck arrived, packed from floor to ceiling and front to back with paperback books—not book club edition hardbacks.  A failure of communication.  The buyers estimated that it was about 90% romance, going back to the late ‘60s.  The customer was told that we’d thought it was hardbacks, and that paperbacks were far less desirable.  Unfortunately, the sellers came from outside of town and had rented the truck and paid some kids to load it up. 

Laurie and company agreed to go through and make an offer, reminding the customers about the resale price and oversupply issues.  After four hours of backbreaking labor, buyers managed to find 3,200 PBs which seemed to be salable.  What was saved was mostly Sci-Fi going back to the early ‘60s, some vintage erotica and a few westerns, some of which were moderately collectible.  

Wisconsin District Manager Joe Desch sums the experience up this way: “The best part may be that after all the customer went through, I believe they left satisfied with our offer and service (though maybe not as wealthy as they were expecting to be).” 

In case you missed it from the last blog post, we’ve also put together a series of videos to help answer customers’ Frequently Asked Questions about selling to Half Price Books. Would you like to know what kinds of books we’re looking for? Or how to judge the condition of your books? Do you suspect you might have a first edition? Here’s how to spot a first edition, and how to figure out if it’s valuable.

Here’s one that goes back to basics — how to sell to HPB:

Steve is Staffing & Development Manager (aka the “Buy Guy”) at Half Price Books Corporate.

P.T. Anderson’s The Master

It’s been 5 years since we last heard from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, with the film There Will Be Blood. Over the years, he’s written and directed six feature films: Hard Eight (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007), and the much anticipated The Master (2012), which opened September 14 in a limited release and opens everywhere Friday, September 21.


 
Critics are already stirring over The Master. Many are saying Anderson should be in line for Oscar nominations in both writing and directing. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers recently gave this film four stars, a rating very rare coming from Travers. In his review, he also wrote something which really sums up P.T. Anderson’s films very well.

“I believe in the church of Paul Thomas Anderson. Hollywood films give you zilch to believe in, tying up their narratives with a tidy bow so you won’t leave confused and angry. Anderson refuses to do the thinking for you. His films mess with your head until you take them in and take them on. No wonder Anderson infuriates lazy audiences. What a roll call: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood.”

This is exactly why I think Anderson should be considered one of the great film directors out there, and should be mentioned in the same breath as Scorsese, Spielberg and even Hitchcock. Anderson’s style of film making challenges us as an audiences to think. He creates movies that will last much longer than the two hours you invest at the cinema.


 
If you have yet to discover the world of P.T. Anderson, I highly recommend you visit your local Half Price Books and pick up a few of his older titles. Whether it is about a young man’s discovery and downfall in Boogie Nights or a less than admirable oil baron in There Will Be Blood, you will be taken on a thought-provoking journey.
 
Enjoy The Master. And remember, no talking or texting during the feature presentation.

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

Happy birthday, Amy Poehler!

One of my favorite actresses, Amy Poehler, is celebrating her birthday on Sept. 16.  Unfortunately, Amy has had some sad news of late – it was recently announced that she and her funnyman husband, Will Arnett, are splitting up.  (This literally caused me to yell, “nooooooo!” when I read the news.)  To get through our sadness, let’s take a look back at some of Amy’s funny moments throughout her career.

Like many, I’ve been a fan of hers since her days on Saturday Night Live.  While she did countless funny characters and impressions, I believe my all-time favorite is Kaitlin, the nerdy pre-teen girl who is constantly pestering her stepdad, Rick (Horatio Sanz).  Check out Kaitlin trying to pick out a musical instrument:

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She and Seth Myers were quite the pair on Weekend Update.  Before she left the show, Amy did a special rap song on behalf of Sarah Palin during the 2008 election.  Regardless of your political affiliation, who doesn’t enjoy a very pregnant woman doing a rap that involves Eskimos?

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After SNL, Amy went on to Parks and Recreation, one of my favorite TV shows.  (If you’re not watching it, you should.  Do you not like things that are funny?!)  Parks and Recreation’s new season begins Sept. 20.

Amy plays the loveable deputy park’s director for Pawnee, Indiana, Leslie Knope.  Leslie has grand political goals that include one day being President.

Of course, I’m leaving out tons of great movies (Mean Girls and Baby Mama, namely.)  If you want to stock up on Amy’s work, check out our HPB Marketplace

I leave you with some hilarious gifs to brighten your day.

              

    

 Happy birthday, Amy! — Emily

Emily is Public Relations Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow her on Twitter at @emilytbruce.