Book Can Take You Places: St. Petersburg

Already this year, we’ve taken trips to 12 different cities and we’ve got a few more stops in our journey around the world.  This month let’s explore all that St. Petersburg, Russia has to offer.

stpetersburgSt. Petersburg is known as the cultural capital of Russia. With a heady mix of striking beauty and turbulent politics, the city looms large in the lives and works of the country’s greatest writers, including Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Nabokov. Russia’s first music conservatories were founded here, and The Mariinsky Theatre and Hermitage Museum are both internationally renowned. Known as “the Venice of the North,” St. Petersburg bears much more in common with western European cities than most other major urban areas in Russia.

In addition to the world-class museums and theaters, visitors to St. Petersburg will not want to miss the magnificent Peterhof Palace, the Peter and Paul Fortress (burial site of many Russian tsars, including Peter I himself), or the incredibly colorful Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood. Continue reading

Santa Claus at Half Price Books

HPB is full of excitement because Santa Claus is coming to the Flagship store in Dallas! In keeping with Christmastime traditions, Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick will be making appearances at the Half Price Books located at 5803 E. Northwest Hwy. in Dallas, Texas. Bring the whole family – Fido, too – for a memorable snapshot with Santa. Donations appreciated and will benefit the North Texas Food Bank.

santa

Santa’s appearance schedule:
Friday, Nov 25:  1-5 p.m.
Saturday, Nov 26:  1-5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov 27:  1-5 p.m.
Friday, Dec 2:  5-9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec 3:  1-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec 4:  1-5 p.m.
Friday, Dec 9:  5-9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec 10:  1-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec 11:  1-5 p.m.
Friday, Dec 16:  5-9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec 17:  1-5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec 18:  1-5 p.m.

We hope to see you at the HPB Flagship this holiday season! Be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide.

 

Local Store Events Round-Up: November 2016

store-events-hdr_updateArizona California Georgia Illinois Indiana Kentucky Minnesota Missouri Ohio Oklahoma Pennsylvania Texas Washington Wisconsin

ALL STORES

$5 Bonus Card with a $25 Gift Card Purchase
‘Tis the season to grab a gift card for the booklover on your shopping list and get a little something for yourself! Load an HPB Gift Card with $25 or more and get a $5 Bonus Card to use in store plus a special offer for HPB.com! Bring back your $5 card January 1 – 31 and save at your favorite HPB store. This bonus offer is valid for gift card purchases made in-store or online now through Saturday, December 24. Buy a gift card online and get free standard shipping. Sorry, but HPB Gift Cards, coupons and other discounts cannot be used at Half Price Books Outlets. Got questions about gift cards? Check out our FAQs or contact our Gift Card Customer Service.

Booksgiving Day Celebration
Join us at your local HPB on Booksgiving Day, Saturday, November 19 at 2 p.m., for a special storytime. Every child who attends will receive a FREE new book to take home. Limit one preselected new book per child while supplies last. Let’s work together to give the gift of reading to every child in every home. Plus, for every book purchased online at HPB.com on Saturday, November 19, Half Price Books will donate a book to the nonprofit organization Feed the Children. Booksgiving Day is part of the Half Price Books Million Book Donation Project. Continue reading

Books Read the Movie: Horror Edition

BRTM_Horror.pngHalloween is quickly approaching, and everyone is out looking for a good scare. In celebration of Halloween, here is Books, Read the Movie Horror edition. First off, let me  say Jaws and Silence of the Lambs are two great movies, but I consider them more thrillers rather than  true horror movies. Also, the classic monster movies such as Dracula and Frankenstein are just that, classics and to me don’t fit in with modern horror films. That being said, lets get on with the list.

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I Love YA—YALSA Teen’s Top Ten Books

On Saturday, October 15 the polls closed for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Teen’s Top Ten books of 2016. This top ten list is chosen from teens all around the country who nominate and then vote for their favorite books of the previous year. A big YA reader myself but unable to vote, each year I review the books nominated and choose my own top ten. Then, when the list comes out, I like to compare my choices with the ones the teens have chosen.  Last year, I only got four correct.  Let’s see how I did this year.

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H.P. Lovecraft: Rarest of Rare Collectibles

We’re getting ready for Halloween, and that doesn’t just mean putting the final touches on our zombie and Princess Leia costumes, it also means getting out our favorite creepy stories to set the mood. In our stores all around the country, books by Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe are popping up on displays. Some of those displays include collectible books, and there are none finer than the two classic collections of H. P. Lovecraft works we’re featuring here.

Our Greenfield, Wisconsin, store was fortunate enough to have received a visit from the nephew of a very early Lovecraft enthusiast, Paul Klingbiel. Two Arkham House Lovecraft books were among the many books Uncle Paul had years ago, over many weeks, shipped to his science-loving nephew Robert. Now those two Arkham House treasures are being offered to our customers.

The Outsider and Others, by H. P. Lovecraft
Arkham House, 1939. First Printing.
The book is in Very Good Plus condition. The dust jacket, which is price-clipped, is in VG condition; there are several closed tears and paper loss to top and bottom of spine. $3,600

outsiders Continue reading

3 Reasons Bob Dylan Should Be Taught In Schools

It’s been interesting to see how the literary community has responded to Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize win. Many authors complained that it should have gone to a more traditional writer. However, acknowledging the power and merit of words in any format is a huge win for language lovers. The argument that writers can only be of value if they stick to prose or poetry on the page seems counterintuitive.

While teaching middle and high school English, I found that using well-written, complex lyrics was an effective way to teach reading skills and literary analysis. Here are three reasons why Bob Dylan’s lyrics make the grade.

1. Bob Dylan’s songs are concentrated literary pieces full of figurative language and poetic devices — skills students are required to master. “Chimes of Freedom” alone contains personification, metaphor, alliteration, imagery, assonance, repetition, rhyme and rhythm. That’s a week’s worth of lessons in one song.

2. The messages in Dylan’s songs are a great thematic companion to novels and poetry. It is common practice in the classroom and on standards-based tests to pair a reading passage with a poem to test higher-level thinking skills.

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Celebrating 65 Years of “I Love Lucy” with 10 Iconic On-Screen Lucy Moments

65 years ago today “I Love Lucy” aired it’s first episode.

If you’ve never seen an episode of “I Love Lucy” …then you’ve got some ‘splaying to do! But here are the basics – Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley, the show followed the antics of a mischievous, red-headed housewife who wanted so desperately to be in show business like her husband, Cuban musician Ricky Ricardo.

What you may not know is that “I Love Lucy” was actually based on a radio program from 1948 called “My Favorite Husband” which starred Lucille Ball with actor Dick Denning playing the role of her husband. But when CBS bought the rights to the show, Lucille insisted on recasting her real-life husband Desi in the TV show.

“I Love Lucy” was a pioneer of television sitcoms for many reasons. Lucille Ball paved the way for strong-female leads, producers and comedians for decades that followed her – stars like Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and many more. In it’s day, “I Love Lucy” was also a ground-breaking on social norms, portraying an on-screen interracial marriage, and later an on-screen pregnancy. In fact, the network prohibited the use of the word “pregnant” so the show’s writers used the French word “enceinte.” Continue reading

Vocabulary Booster: Convivial, Defenestrate & 5 Other Words I Learned From Books I Read This Year

October 16 is the birthday of American teacher and lexicographer, Noah Webster, which consequentially makes it Dictionary Day.  Now, I will admit that looking up words in the dictionary is a great way to improve your vocabulary. Unfortunately, the dictionary can make for some dry reading, which is why most of the words I’ve learned have come from novels I have read.  Sometimes I can figure them out from context clues, but others require some help from Mr. Webster.  Here is a list of words I have learned from reading.

Impunity | /imˈpyo͞onədē/ | noun
I learned this word from Edgar Alan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado, which I remember reading in the 7th Mr. Webster would define impunity as “freedom from punishment, harm or loss.” Though, I wonder if we asked Montresor if he truly punished Fortunato with impunity what he would say.

Copse | /käps/ | noun
I’m embarrassed to say that I learned this word not that long ago when reading The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss. A co-worker told me it was their favorite book growing up, so I decided to read it.  I had seen the word in other books and glanced over it, always confusing it with the word corpse and so thought it meant a small graveyard.  However, Mr. Webster would define copse as “a thicket of small trees or shrubs,” which makes more sense, especially when I read it in Tami Hoag’s Cold Cold Heart later that same month. Continue reading

National Popcorn Poppin’ Month

PopcornBlog.pngOctober is National Popcorn Poppin’ month and there is no better way to celebrate it than with popcorn and a movie. I have found some really fun popcorn recipes and paired them with appropriate films. Get your popper out and get ready for an evening at home with some great tasting popcorn and a movie.

Chocolate Almond Popcorn
In the mood for something sweet? You might think the perfect movie for chocolate almond popcorn would be Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.  But let’s go in a different direction and honor the late Gene Wilder by watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Enjoy your chocolate popcorn as Charlie discovers a world of pure imagination. Continue reading