HPB’s Top 5 Blogs of 2016

It’s been a busy year, so you may have missed some of our favorite blogs! We put together a list of our top five blogs of 2016 so you can learn a few things about Miles Davis, be entertained by our weirdest buy area finds and more.

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What HPB blog posts did you enjoy reading this year?

HPB Staff Picks: Best Books of 2016

With so many amazing books published each year, it’s easy to overlook some of the notable must-reads. We’ve put together a list of our favorite fiction and nonfiction of 2016 — including intriguing mysteries, imaginative tales, biographies and culture studies. There’s just enough time to check another book off your 2016 reading list, so choose a title and start reading!

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Reviewed by HPB Staff Member: Kristen B.

Truly a Gentleman
The year is 1922. Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to live out the rest of his life under house arrest in a hotel in Moscow. Throughout the novel, we see different snippets of the Count’s life as he lives out his sentence. It is the story of a true gentleman. So often we read stories about heroes or really messed up people that do really messed up things. A Gentleman in Moscow is just about a regular guy doing regular things, holding to his principles and always treating others with respect. It was so refreshing. Continue reading

Guinness Records for the Books

Books are amazing things — they can open your mind to new ideas and take you places beyond your imagination. But you know what else these multi-purpose tools can do? Help you set world records. To celebrate Guinness World Records Day and Guinness World Records 2017, we’ve put together a list of ways books have been used to make history.

Most Books Toppled in a Domino Fashion
At the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 14, 2015, Sinners Domino Entertainment of Germany broke the record for most books toppled in a domino fashion with 10,200 copies of Guinness World Records 2016. Watch it here:

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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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