Read the Movie: Your Summer Guide to Movies Based on Books

It’s summer time, and that means summer blockbusters on the big screens. Maybe you aren’t interested in being chased by dinosaurs or being swallowed up by an earthquake, so I would like to suggest some great summer reading to get the jump on other really great movies hitting theaters in the near future.

Paper Towns by John Green 

Paper Towns is a very good coming of age story about a young man, Quentin, who sets out with his friends to find a missing girl, his next door neighbor Margo. Margo leaves clues and leads Quentin leading him and his friends on a wild adventure. Look for Paper Towns in theaters July 24.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Thomas and his fellow Gladers face their biggest challenge yet, searching for clues about the mysterious organization known as WCKD. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s superior forces and uncover the truth about the shocking plans for them all. The next film in the Maze Runner saga starts September 18.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The true story about a group of climbers that get stranded on Mt. Everest due to a storm. Everest, the movie adaptation,  has a top-notch cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and Josh Brolin. Everest will also be presented in 3D, which should make this a real cliffhanger. In theaters September 18.

Black Mass by Dick Lehr & Gerald O’Neill

Black Mass tell the story of the most infamous violent criminal in U.S. history, Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp is almost unrecognizable portraying Bulger and has a lot of early Oscar buzz that might earn him his fourth Best Actor nomination. Black Mass opens September 18.

That should be enough reading to keep you ahead of the game at the movie theatre!


Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

It’s summer time and that means summer blockbusters on the big screens. Maybe you aren’t interested in being chased by dinosaurs or being swallowed up by an earthquake, so I would like to suggest some great sumer reading to get the jump on some other really great movies hitting theaters in the near future.

 

 

Paper Towns by John Green 

 

Paper Towns is a very good coming of age story as a young man, Quentin, sets out with his friends to find a missing girl, his next door neighbor Margo. Margo leaves clues and leads Quentin leading him and his friends on a wild adventure. Look for Paper Towns in theaters July 24.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4olpTxktM4

 

 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

 

Thomas and his fellow Gladers face their biggest challenge yet, searching for clues about the mysterious organization known as WCKD. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s superior forces and uncover the truth about the shocking plans for them all. The next film in the Maze Runner saga starts September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-44_igsZtgU

 

 

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

 

The true story about a group of climbers that get stranded on Mt. Everest due to a storm. Everest has a top notch cast with Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightly, Robin Wright and Josh Brolin. Everest will also be presented in 3D, which should make this a real cliffhanger. Everest start September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZQVpPiOji0

 

 

Black Mass by Dick Lehr & Gerald O’Neill

 

Black Mass tell the story of the most infamous violent criminal in U.S. History, Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp is almost unrecognizable portraying Bulger, and has a lot of early Oscar buzz that might earn him his 4th Best Actor nomination. Black Mass opens September 18.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE3e3hGF2jc

 

 

That should be enough reading to keep you ahead of the game at the movie theatre. 

 

10 Favorite James Horner Film Scores & Soundtracks

After hearing the news this morning that Oscar-winning composer James Horner died, we find ourselves reflecting on his brilliant work. James Horner created film scores for box office blockbusters including Titanic, Braveheart, Star Trek and Avatar.

If you grew up in the 80s, then some of his compositions might give you flashbacks of your childhood. Horner was nominated for Best Song for the famous little tune “Somewhere Out There” from the animated film An American Tail (1986). He also did work for other family films, including The Land Before Time (1988), Batteries Not Included (1987) and Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989). Here’s our ten favorite movie soundtracks composed by Horner.

Apollo 13 (1985)

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Field of Dreams (1989)

An American Tail (1986)

Titanic (1997)

Deep Impact (1998)


The Pelican Brief (1993)

Jumanji (1995)

Legends of the Fall (1994)

Braveheart (1995)

Which is your favorite film score by James Horner?

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

“I am hungry. Therefore I am.” Happy 37th Birthday, Garfield the Cat!

Garfield the cat turns 37 today (the first “Garfield” comic was printed on June 19, 1978). It’s already been documented here that this lasagna-loving, overweight orange kitty holds a special place in my heart. “Peanuts,” “Calvin and Hobbes” and the like are the more critically-acclaimed comic strips, but to me, Garfield’s contempt for Mondays and ability to say exactly what he thinks makes us kindred spirits and, ultimately, makes “Garfield” my favorite comic. If you’re a fan like me, you may already know some of these fun facts, but for the casual reader, here are some gems you may not know about the fat cat:

  • Garfield is named for James Garfield—but not that one. “Garfield” creator Jim Davis chose the name for his title character based on that of his uncle, James A. Garfield Davis, “a large, cantankerous man” who owned many cats. That James Garfield was named after the President, however.
  • Garfield has gotten a makeover. Originally, Garfield was much larger and walked on all fours. Over his long life span, Garfield has learned to walk on two legs and also has a more exaggerated, cartoon-like appearance. See below.

  •  “Garfield” is the most-syndicated comic strip in the world. “Garfield” is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the highest readership of any comic strip ever, appearing in over 2,500 newspapers and journals. Maybe the whole world just loves cats.
  • Garfield lives in the Hoosier State. Though rarely mentioned, Garfield, Jon, Odie and the rest of the gang live in Muncie, Indiana, which is Jim Davis’ home state. Davis’ objective is to make “Garfield” feel relatable to all readers, thus he rarely mentions their location.
  • Jim Davis does not work alone. While Davis still puts together the general doodles and sketches of the “Garfield” comic, a team of artists assemble the final product at Davis’ home in Indiana, as part of his company Paws Inc.

Happy Birthday, Garfield! Here’s to many more years…and many more lasagnas.
What’s your favorite “Garfield” moment?

All images credit of Garfield.com.

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

Long Reads for the Longest Day of the Year

For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice falls on June 21 this year. That means today will be, well… sun day. The proverbial “longest day of the year.” Actually, it’s 24 hours just like other days, but it’ll have the most daylight. Here at HPB World Headquarters in Dallas, we’ll have a whopping 14 hours, 18 minutes and 47 seconds of sun.

If you’re a reader who hates spending money on electricity—or a blog writer desperate for a timely topic—that means 14.3 hours of absolutely free reading light. To take full advantage of it, we suggest skipping the morning paper and diving into the longest book you can find. You might not finish it all on June 21, but hey, you only lose one second of daylight on June 22.

Here are some long reads for those long sunny days.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1996)
This 1,000+ page postmodern novel has 388 endnotes, some of which have their own footnotes. Its themes include addiction, tennis, suicide, advertising and Quebec separatism. Fortunately, it’s a joy to read Wallace’s prose, and it’s easy to see why this book made him a star in the literary world.

Endnote: Jason Segel stars as Wallace in The End of the Tour, a film out later this summer about the promotional tour for Infinite Jest.

Footnote to the endnote: the late author’s family did not cooperate in the making of the film.

The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro
includes The Path to Power (1982), Means of Ascent (1990), Master of the Senate (2002) and The Passage of Power (2012).
Caro’s masterful multi-volume biography of LBJ contains four books so far, most of which would qualify for this list on their own. Johnson, a highly skilled but deeply flawed politician, is one of our most fascinating presidents, and Caro’s work reads more like a novel despite its level of meticulously-researched detail. The fifth and final book is forthcoming. (Robert Caro, if you’re reading this, get off the Internet and get busy writing!)

Underworld by Don DeLillo (1997)
DeLillo’s sprawling non-linear novel spans several decades in postwar America and finds his characters reacting to several historical events. A New York Times reviewer called it “a dazzling, phosphorescent work of art.” The book’s riveting prologue—chronicling Bobby Thomson’s historic home run that won the New York Giants the National League pennant in 1951—is worth the price of admission alone.

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
Published in the author’s native France between 1913 and 1927, this novel in seven volumes (and 4,000 pages) helped usher in the modern era. The highly influential and massive work tells the life story of the narrator, with his everyday experiences—most famously dipping a cookie into a cup of tea—evoking recollections of the past. Current-day novelist Michael Chabon has cited it as his favorite book. Bonus points for tackling this one in the original French.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This international bestseller tells the story of Theo Decker, a New York teenager whose life is forever changed when his mother is killed in a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum. This page turner (and there are 800 of them) is a moving and mesmerizing story of loss and survival. While some critics complained about the book’s length, it went on to win the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
The musical is a big deal. The movie was a big deal. The book is big, too—655,478 words on a couple thousand pages. This French historical novel was first published in 1862 and has been hailed as one of the best novels of the 19th century. In Hugo’s words, the book constitutes “a progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life, from bestiality to duty, from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God.”

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
The title of this ambitious novel, first published in Japan in three volumes in 2009 and 2010, refers both to the year 1984, when the story takes place, and to George Orwell’s 1984. Set in a fictionalized Tokyo, the stories of two main characters—a woman and a man—converge over the course of the book. Murakami employs surreal elements, alternate realities, down-the-rabbit-hole digressions, and frequent references to Western composers and musicians as he explores complex themes including murder, violence, cult religion and, ultimately, the triumph of love.

Lest this blog post end up in a blog post about long blog posts, I’ll stop there. What are some of your favorite long reads?


Mark is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow him online here.

Feed Your Brain Presents: Summer Reading for High School Students

Typically, high school students are required to read at least one book during the summer, either of their own choice or from a school approved reading list.  At Half Price Books, we believe you should be rewarded for reading those books. So, we have expanded our Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program to include all high school students.  All students have to do is read one book a month during June and July and visit the Feed Your Brain page to submit a review of their book. Then, readers can print out the review and bring it into their favorite HPB store in order to claim their Bookworm Bucks ($5 off their next purchase).

We believe that reading should be enjoyable and fun for everyone.  So here are some of our reading recommendations and ways you can turn required reading into fun for the whole family.

Family Book Club

Having a family book club is a great way to get your kids to read that book they are required to read by their school.  Also, it helps parents to understand what type of books their teens are reading. To discuss the book, include fun questions like “If this book was made into a movie, who would you cast in it and why?” or “Would you want to visit the place in which this book is set? Why or why not?”

Some great family book clubs would be:

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
This book is on a lot of school summer reading lists for all high school grades, and it is a good book to discuss with your kids.

To Kill a Mockingbird
, by Harper Lee
Again, this book is on a lot of school summer reading lists, and a new book by Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman, will be released on July 14.  Plus, HPB will be reading this book for our Book Club during the months of June and July.

Your local HPB has many other recommendations for book club books.

Books: Read the Movie Nights

So many great books have been turned into movies.  Why not use this fact to get teens interested in reading?  Have them choose a book that has been made into a movie and then, after they are finished reading it, watch the movie. You can have some great discussions about what in the movie was different from the book.

       

Some great movie night books would be:
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Paper Towns, by John Green (in theaters July 24)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews (in theaters June 12)

And the list goes on…

Pick up a Feed Your Brain bookmark the next time you are in Half Price Books for more reading recommendations.

Want some great ideas for younger readers? Take a look at our picks.

Happy Reading!

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

Feed Your Brain Presents: Summer Reading for 8th Grade and Under

Did you know that most students lose about two months worth of knowledge during their summer break?  According to a research study on reading, all it takes is 15 minutes a day of independent reading to help curb this loss.  That is why Half Price Books created our Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program, where kids 8th Grade and under can earn Bookworm Bucks by reading just 15 minutes a day.  Still, the question remains: how can you get your kid reading this summer?  Here are some tips on how to make reading fun for you and your child.

Preschool:
According to the National Commission on Reading, the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school. Having a parent or another caring person read aloud helps children learn listening skills, vocabulary and language skills as well as develop imagination, creativity and a sense of security, knowing that their parent feels they are a worthwhile pereson.  Here are some great books to read aloud to your preschooler:

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
There is a reason this book has been around for 60 years. And after you read it, you can grab some crayons and go on an adventure of your own.

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
When reading this book aloud, it warns you to “Take it slowly. This book is dangerous.”  However, both you and your child will laugh as you trip over your tongue reading tongue twisters in true Dr. Seuss fashion.

Grades K-2:
As your child learns to read, try to pair books with activities you can do together.  Here are some books that lend themselves to more fun family time.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
This is one of my 2nd graders favorite books, but I think it’s because we always make cookies after we read it.  Another good cooking book to read is…

Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth
This story was first published in London in 1808, so there are several renditions.  I chose this one because I love the illustrations.  Still, making soup (even stone soup) after reading the book is a fun thing for you to do with your child.

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
When the story is all about imagination, what can’t you do after reading it?  You can bounce, bounce, bounce around the house (or outside would be even better). You can make a sword out of cardboard and aluminum, put on a cap and mask, give yourselves Spanish names and look for adventure in your own backyard. You can make “Holy Guacamole,” some rice and beans and have a fiesta. You can make a piñata, or simply have a siesta. The sky is the limit with this book.

Grades 3-5:
Now that they are reading all on their own, you have to find books that are in their interest level. Here are some suggestions in categories your child might be interested in.

If they like humor…
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
Snot Stew by Bill Wallace

If they like animals…
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace

If they like science…
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne

If they like comic books…
Sidekicks by Dan Santat
The Cloak Society by Jeramey Kraatz

If they like sports…
Tackling Dad by Elizabeth Levy
King of the Mound by Wes Tooke
STAT: Home Court by Amar’e Stoudemire


Grades 6-8:

We encourage parents to read the books their children are reading so they can converse with them about the books. So, why not have a family book club during the summer where you get together once a week or month to discuss a book you are all reading?

Book club recommendation…
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This book can also lend itself to going on a trip to a holocaust museum or the symphony.  It’s great for kids who like music.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Getting your kids interested in a series is a great way to keep them reading, and if your kids like magic, this series about a self proclaimed villain might be right up their alley.

Pick up a Feed Your Brain bookmark the next time you are in Half Price Books for more reading recommendations, and don’t forget to grab a Feed Your Brain Reading Log, so that your kids can earn Bookworm Bucks this summer.

Also, we have extended our program to include high schoolers.  To learn more about the high school portion of our program, visit the Feed Your Brain home page.

Happy Reading!

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

Local Store Events Round-Up: June 2015


Local Store Events Round-Up: June 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 June!

Arizona   California   Illinois   Indiana   Kentucky   Minnesota   Missouri   Ohio   Oklahoma     Pennsylvania   Texas   Washington   Wisconsin

ALL STORES

Summer Reading Program
Research shows that children who do not continue reading through the summer can lose a month or more of progress made during the school year. To help keep appetites up for reading, Half Price Books is hosting the FEED YOUR BRAIN® Summer Reading Program Monday, June 1 – Friday, July 31, 2015. Kids preschool through high school age can earn $5 HPB Bookworm Bucks as a reward for reading over the summer. Pick up a reading log at your local HPB today.

Biggest Storytime of the Summer
Join us in store on Sunday, June 7 at 2 p.m. as we kick off our FEED YOUR BRAIN® Summer Reading Program. Kids of all ages are invited for the Biggest Storytime of the Summer, as we celebrate reading and family literacy with this nationwide read-in event.

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