Local Store Events Round-Up: May 2016


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Comic Book Giveaway Day
Don’t miss the pulse-pounding fun of Comic Book Giveaway Day on Saturday, May 7 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.


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!


Citrus Heights

Storytime Sundays
Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Citrus Heights HPB for Storytime Sundays. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us at 2 p.m. every Sunday. All ages are welcome!

Summer Safari Children’s Camp
Look for the HPB booth at Citrus Town Center’s FREE Summer Safari Children’s Camp on the first and third Friday of the month, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. We’ll have store info and FREE HPB tote bags. After camp, join us at Half Price Books for Children’s Storytime from 12:15 – 1:15. Parents, be sure to pick up info on our FEED YOUR BRAIN® Summer Reading Program for kids preschool through high school.

HPB at Antelope Summerfest
Look for the HPB booth at Antelope Summerfest on Saturday, June 4, from 4 to 8 p.m. Pick up a FREE reusable tote bag along with a money-saving coupons. Join us for a family fun day at Antelope Community Park! Get directions and details. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Bugs Bunny…Sort of.

I know what you’re going to say: “Wait a minute!  I thought Bugs Bunny’s birthday was in July!” To which I will respond, “It is…well, sort of.”

Yes, Bugs Bunny’s first starring role was in the short “A Wild Hare,” which debuted on July 27, 1940.  However, Bugs was first in a Porky Pig cartoon called “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” and this cartoon premiered on April 30, 1938.  So what happened between April 1938 and July 1940?  Where did our rascally rabbit go?  How did he get his big break? And what launched him into superstardom?

Here are ten facts about Bugs Bunny that shed light on these questions and so much more.


Source: Deviantart.com

1. On April 17, 1937, Warner Bros. released a cartoon entitled “Porky’s Duck Hunt,” which introduced the world to Daffy Duck. The cartoon was a success, so the next year when the studio was pushing for another cartoon, director Bob Clampett decided to recycle some of the jokes that hadn’t made it into “Porky’s Duck Hunt” with the suggestion that they “dress the duck in a rabbit suit,” “Porky’s Hare Hunt” was born, and so was Bugs Bunny. Continue reading

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


Summer will be here before we know it and that means summer blockbusters coming to the big screens. Maybe you aren’t interested in turtles that know karate or the latest alien invasion, so how about some great summer reading to get the jump on some other movies hitting theaters soon.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark knows a lot of things, but what she doesn’t know is that she is about to meet and fall in love with the most unexpected of men, Will Traynor, a man suffering from a motorcycle accident who falls for Louisa and now has a reason to live. Me Before You stars Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. Look for Me Before You in theaters June 3.


Max-Perkins-Editor-Genius-Scott-BergMax Perkins by A. Scott Berg

The movie will be titled Genius. This is the story of Max Perkins, who was a book editor at Scribner and oversaw the works of Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. A very promising film staring Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce, Colin Firth and Jude Law. Look for Genius on June 10.

Continue reading

10 Interesting Facts to Celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s 200th Birthday

Jane Eyre is, hands down, my favorite of all the Brontë sisters’ works, and as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth on April 21, I thought I would share some interesting facts about Charlotte and her first book, Jane Eyre. I may mention her other works as well.

10 Interesting Facts about Charlotte Brontë

1. Charlotte and her sisters were enrolled in a strict boarding school called the Clergy Daughter’s School. During their time at the school, a outbreak killed several students. Though Charlotte and her sister were removed from the school, two of her sister, Maria and Elizabeth, died of tuberculosis shortly afterwards. Charlotte blamed the school for their death, and her sister Maria is said to be the inspiration for Helen Burns, Jane’s friend who dies at school in Jane Eyre.

2. The mistreatment she and her sisters received at their own school was inspiration for much of Charlotte’s first novel. In fact, the character of the hypocritical director of Lowood was based on the director of her own school, Reverend W. Carus Wilson. She must have created a good likeness, as Wilson not only recognized himself in the character, but threatened to sue, forcing her to write an apology letter. Continue reading

April 11 is National Eight-Track Tape Day

Where are they now? This is what remains. Where the rest of our collection went, we don’t know, but my family’s eight-track stereo and a few choice tapes still reside in my childhood home.  Everything is all intact and functioning. Pop a tape in the stereo and the sound warbles and flutters. If you know the faults of eight-tracks, you remember older, worn tapes playing faint, or not so faint, harmonies of another song in the background because the tape inside the cartridge managed to get slightly off track. The clicking in the middle of the song when the tape switches from track to track? All annoyances we didn’t even know were annoying at the time.


I was born in the mid-seventies to hip parents who tried their best to keep up with the fads of the day. Through the mid-eighties, this translated into our entertainment feature piece, this Panasonic eight-track AM/FM stereo system and our family’s red Buick Station wagon that sported the hi-tech eight-track tape deck. Continue reading

Unique LP Finds for Vinyl Weekend

While running the other day, I experienced a delightful incongruity as I listened on my earbuds to Duke Ellington’s “Hy’a Sue,” uploaded from a 1940s 78-rpm record onto my computer and added to my digital music playlist.

Not only are the history and breadth of recorded music more widely available than ever, but the adventurous music-lover can explore an array of formats, including tape, vinyl, and digital file. It can make your head spin like a 45.

Of all the listening formats that have come along, the favorite of many (including yours truly) is the vinyl LP record. The long-playing disc was introduced in the late 40s. It flourished in the 60s and 70s, hitting its peak sales year in 1977. Compact disc sales passed LP sales in 1988, and there was a slump for a couple of decades. But now, with the CD format in decline, the 33-rpm LP is back on the rise! Continue reading

Ending on a High Note: Celebrating 15 Seasons of American Idol

1000px-American_Idol_logo.svg.pngIn the summer of 2002, I was in high school, rocking spiky hair and a puka shell necklace while playing Snake on my lightning bolt face-plated Nokia 5110. Little did I know, FOX was about to change the face of American television, pop culture and the music industry. As a small-town girl from Burleson, Texas took the stage in front of the entire nation, a star was born, along with a franchise. This…was American Idol. And I was hooked.

On Thursday night, the confetti will rain down for the final time at the Dolby (formerly Kodak) Theatre. One talented singer will live on in history as the “bookend to Kelly Clarkson.” As a loyal fan throughout all 15 seasons, I must say that Idol’s departure leaves me with mixed emotions. Whether you’re an Idol super fan like me (I might have attended the Season 5 American Idols LIVE! tour) or you tuned out years ago, it’s hard to deny the impact this show has made. So, let’s take a look back at Idol’s legacy. Kieran, dim the lights, here we go… Continue reading

Books Can Take You Places: Chicago

EDITOR’S NOTE: Half Price Books encourages you to travel more in 2016. Not the kind of travel that involves airplanes, passports and hotels, but the easier, more affordable kind — where you open a great book and let it take you somewhere. Throughout 2016 we’ll share about the world’s great destinations, along with our recommendations for theChicago books, movies and music that will help you get there.

Already this year, we’ve taken a trip to Paris, France, San Francisco, California, with a detour to New Orleans, Louisiana then back across the pond to Rome, Italy. This month’s stop is Chicago, Illinois.

It’s best known as the Windy City, but in 1920 it was called the literary capital of the U.S. by H.L. Mencken. That was the era of the Chicago Renaissance, when local writers, buoyed by daring homegrown literary journals, were creating work that stood apart from the influence of New York and Europe. Later decades saw a wave of activity from African American writers. The City of the Big Shoulders is also famous for the blues and early jazz, and was the setting for seemingly every teen movie in the 1980s.


book The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow • music-note-21 Beyond the Mix, Frankie Knuckles • slate_film-512 The Blues Brothers • music-note-21 Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago • music-note-21 The Complete Hot Fives and Hot Seven Recordings, Louis Armstrong • slate_film-512 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off music-note-21 Hoodoo Man Blues, Junior Wells • slate_film-512 Hoop Dreams book The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros • book Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware • book The Jungle, Upton Sinclair • book The Man with the Golden Arm, Nelson Algren • book Native Son, Richard Wright • slate_film-512 North By Northwest • slate_film-512 The Untouchables • music-note-21 Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco


  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was the first film allowed to shoot inside The Art Institute of Chicago. The museum was a favorite haunt of director John Hughes during his youth.
  • In suburban Oak Park, Hemingway fans can visit the home where the author was born, as well as the Ernest Hemingway Museum.
  • The Newberry Library, open since 1887, offers exhibits, tours and author readings. Readers of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife will recognize it as the protagonist’s workplace.
  • Humbolt Park is the setting for Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March, and many sites featured 
in the 1953 book remain virtually unchanged today. Bellow lived nearby at 2629 West Augusta Boulevard.

If you don’t want to miss a stop on this journey, join the Half Price Books Booklovers Survey Club and we’ll send you an email each month with a new city alongside a quick survey. Plus, you’ll receive coupons to save throughout the year when you travel to your favorite Half Price Books.

Until next time!