6 Captivating New Books for a 3-Day Weekend

One of my favorite things about Memorial Day Weekend is that I get extra time to READ! Whether you’ll be on the road or you’re just taking a staycation, check out some of the best new books of the spring to dive into this weekend.

Seveneves – Neal Stephenson

Are you looking forward to spending your entire Memorial Day at home, curled up on the couch, reading a book? Pick up a copy of Seveneves to last you the entire weekend! After the moon explodes, the world is actually coming to an end. Seveneves follows different people as they prepare for the end of the world. But the book doesn’t actually end at the end of the world. Fast forward 5,000 years and find out what happens when humanity re-emerges.

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

Laia and her family live under the Martial Empire when her brother is suddenly arrested for treason. Laia knows what happens to traitors in this devastatingly brutal world they are living in and decides to go undercover as a slave to rescue him. Elias is the top soldier in the Empire. Soon, their paths cross and they start a journey together. Beware, once you start this book, you won’t be able to put it down!

Memory Man – David Baldacci

After an accident, Amos Decker is left with the ability to remember everything. Years later, his family is murdered, his life is turned upside down and he starts to take small jobs as a private investigator. Then, a man shows up and confesses to the murder of his family, but Decker isn’t quite so sure that he’s the perpetrator. What ensues is a wild chase through Decker’s memories to find out what really happened that night. With over 30 novels published, Baldacci’s books just keep getting better and better.

The Wright Brothers – David McCullough

McCullough, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, tells the real story behind a tale that most American children hear from a very young age. The Wright Brothers delves into the lives of the brothers themselves. Wilbur was a genius and Orville had incredible mechanical skills. Together, they were unstoppable and changed the future forever. This book proves yet again that McCullough is a “master of the art of narrative history.”

A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson

A God in Ruins is a companion to one of the most renowned novels of 2013, Life After Life, which follows the story of Ursula as she re-lives her life over and over again. A God in Ruins follows the story of Ursula’s younger brother, Teddy, as he navigates life in the 20th century. Atkinson has yet again proved that she is one of the best authors of literature in our time.

The Knockoff – Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Imogen Tate comes back to her job as the long time editor of Glossy magazine after a leave of absence to find that everything has changed. Offices are no longer for working, her once-print magazine is now becoming an app and her former assistant is now *gasp* her boss. Imogen must discover how she fits in to survive in this new world and if she even wants to survive at all. The Knockoff is a really fun book that will have you both laughing and crying with Imogen through her struggles.  

Kristen B. is Assistant Buyer at Half Price Books Distribution Center.
You can follow her on Twitter at @kbev302.

If you liked Echo, then you might also like…

If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan. If you are not part of the HPB Book Club, you can join and read this book, for even though Echo was written for middle-graders, readers of all ages can’t put this book down.

What makes this story so intriguing?  Its main character is a harmonica.  Weaving a fairy-tale-like introduction to the book, Ryan follows a special harmonica that touches the lives of three very different children leading up to and during the World War II.  Friedrich is a German boy whose birthmark puts him in danger as Hitler enforces the perfection of the German race.  Mike is an orphan who is trying to protect his little brother by any means necessary.  Finally, Ivy is a Hispanic-American girl who has to battle prejudice on two fronts, after America has been drawn into the war. Each child finds the healing power of music when they find a very special harmonica.  I can’t even tell you which story was my favorite.

However, if your favorite story was Friedrich’s, you may want to read:

The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss; Number the Stars by Lois Lowry; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne;

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr; The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

If your favorite story was Mike’s, you may want to read:

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan; What I Call Life by Jill Wolfson; One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt; The Year We Sailed the Sun by Theresa Nelson

If your favorite story was Ivy’s, you may want to read:

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer; Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai; Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

If you would like to chat with fellow HPB Book Clubbers, visit hpb.com/bookclub/fb and join the conversation about Echo between now and the end of May.

So, what book are you going to read next?

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

The Mother of All Blogs: Best Moms in Books, TV & Film

Mother’s Day is upon us, which got me thinking about all the wonderful (or at least memorable) maternal figures we have grown to love in books, television shows and movies. Here’s to all the great moms out there!


The All-Time Classic Mom

Margaret “Marmee” March (Little Women)

Four daughters, no money, and a husband at war. And yet, Marmee can do it all. She’s truly a mother for the generations.

Honorable Mentions: Ma Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie series), Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables)

The Unconventional Book Mom

Charlotte the Spider (Charlotte’s Web)

Always wise and endlessly caring, Charlotte’s relationship with Wilbur the pig is truly touching. Who knew a spider could be so lovable?

Honorable Mentions: Mammy (Gone With the Wind), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins series)

The Newcomer Mom

Natalie Prior (Divergent series)

In Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, Natalie Prior is a brave, loving mother who does whatever it takes to protect her daughter.

Honorable Mentions: Mrs. Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars), Renée Dwyer (Twilight series)


The Tough-as-Nails Book Mom

Molly Weasley (Harry Potter series)

Molly is awesome, plain and simple. Kind and gentle with a fiery side, she shows that moms have layers…and sometimes magical powers!

Honorable Mentions: Catelyn Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire series), Ma Kent (DC Comics’ Superman)

 The Childhood Favorite Mom

Mama Bear (The Berenstain Bears series)

A bit of a nostalgic favorite for me (as my own Mom would read these books to me as a kid), Mama Bear always has a wise lesson to teach her family.

Honorable Mentions: Dorothy Quimby (Ramona books), Mother Goose (Mother Goose nursery rhymes)



The “Perfect” Mom

June Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver)

June Cleaver is the original TV mother. What she lacks in realism she makes up for in hospitality. Could you wear a dress and pearls while gardening?

Honorable Mentions: Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch), Kitty Foreman (That ‘70s Show)

The Ultimate 80s/90s Mom

Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show)

Style? Check. Class? Check. Business Sense? Check. A mother’s love? Check! Clair has it all and is a great mother because of it.

Honorable Mentions: Jill Taylor (Home Improvement), Roseanne Conner (Roseanne)

The Wisecracking Older Mom

Sophia Petrillo (The Golden Girls)

Nobody “tells like it is” quite like Sophia, and that’s why we love her! Sometimes moms have to use tough love to teach important lessons.

Honorable Mentions: Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey), Marie Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)


The Animated TV Mom

Peggy Hill (King of the Hill)

Never one to back down from a challenge, Peggy’s gumption, while a bit delirious, is also infectious. She certainly always means well…

Honorable Mentions: Marge Simpson (The Simpsons), Lois Griffin (Family Guy)

The Brutally Honest Mom

Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development)

Harsh? Maybe. Honest? Always. Lucille tells her kids what they often need to hear, and those Bluth kids certainly can’t be easy to mother.

Honorable Mentions: Thelma Harper (Mama’s Family), Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Modern Family)



The Nostalgic Favorite Mom

Kate McCallister (Home Alone)

Okay, so she forgot her child. But her iconic “KEVIN!!!” scream is timeless. Plus, Catherine O’Hara can do no wrong in my book.

Honorable Mentions: Ellen Griswold (National Lampoon’s Vacation), Mrs. George (Mean Girls)

The Mom Played By Sally Field

M’Lynn Eatenton (Steel Magnolias)

Basically, Sally Field excels at playing a mother. When M’Lynn’s strong façade finally crumbles, the audience does as well. Get out the tissues!

Honorable Mentions: Mrs. Gump (Forrest Gump), Miranda Hillard (Mrs. Doubtfire)

The Tough-as-Nails Movie Mom

Sarah Connor (The Terminator movies)

This is one Mom who has gone through the trenches for her child. Sarah is a great spokesperson for single moms everywhere.

Honorable Mentions: Leigh Anne Tuohy (The Blind Side), Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich)

The Animated Movie Mom

Bambi’s Mother (Bambi)

Loving and gentle, Bambi’s mother leaves a lasting impression. If you did not cry at her passing, you have no soul! Enough said.

Honorable Mentions: Helen Parr/Elastigirl (The Incredibles), Mrs. Davis (Toy Story movies)

The Unconventional Movie Mom

Aibileen Clark (The Help)

Mae Mobley is a…difficult child, which just serves to highlight nanny Aibileen’s sweet spirit, endless patience and unwavering dedication to her.

Honorable Mentions: Maria von Trapp (The Sound of Music), Bren MacGuff (Juno)

This Mother’s Day, remember to thank all the great mothers or mother figures in your life! Still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Now through May 10, when you buy a $25 HPB Gift Card, you get a $5 Bonus Card for free! Shop online or visit your local store for more details.

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

Teacher Appreciation Week: Celebrating Educators and Half Pint Library

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and we have some teachers to thank!

As we bid farewell once again to the biggest book drive and book giveaway of the year, the Half Price Books Half Pint Library program, we say a special thanks to the educators and game-changers who came out during April and picked up box after box of children’s books to deliver to their own classrooms and libraries. Selfless acts of literary kindness are just one of the things that make teachers great.

At Half Price Books, we know that educators spend lots of their own money each year to furnish their own classroom supplies. That’s why we created the Half Pint Library Program to help defer some of that cost by providing books for kids in need.

So, teachers, THANK YOU! The 17th Annual Half Price Books Half Pint Library giveaway events ended last week and our math lesson for the day follows. Here is HPL by-the-numbers:

1 month

34 Half Pint Library Book Giveaway events

16 states across the USA

487 schools and non-profits

11 Half Price Books trucks FULL of kids books

53,021 books donated by customers

170,256 books matched by Half Price Books

223,277 total books given away!

Thank you to our customers who donated books in March! Half Price Books was able to match these donations (and then some) with excess kids’ books from our stores. We provided every teacher or non-profit that attended a giveaway at least two boxes of books to support their libraries and programs in local communities across the nation!

The Half Pint Library program (HPL) is part of the year-round Million Book Donation Project. This annual children’s book drive is hosted each spring by Half Price Books to collect and distribute books to those in need. Books donated through the Half Pint Library program provide an escape from the challenges faced by children while helping to boost literacy skills outside of school. In many cases, children receive their first book through the Half Pint Library program. The drive accepts any type of children’s book, including Spanish language books, as long as they are in good condition. The program has collected more than 2 million books for pediatric patients, community centers, schools and other children in need.


And don’t forget! You can save 10% off your purchases from Half Price Books year-round with our Educator Discount Card.

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow her on Twitter at @bexican75.

Local Store Events Round-Up: May 2015

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 May!


Comic Book Giveaway Day
Don’t miss the pulse-pounding fun of Comic Book Giveaway Day on Saturday, May 2 at all HPB retail locations. Get a free comic book* with any in-store purchase while supplies last. Hope to see you there for the action-packed fun.

*From a pre-selected collection while supplies last. See store for restrictions and details

School’s out! Get cash for your textbooks!
Is your semester over? Bring all your used textbooks and classroom reading to HPB for a competitive cash offer. It’s that simple. Want to know more about selling to Half Price Books? Get the scoop on what to expect.

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