Totally Random Lists: Rabbits!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This year at HPB, we’re celebrating the random. Actually, we’ve been doing that every year since our founding in 1972. And we mean random in a totally good way, as in the random treasures you come across when you’re browsing our stores or website—and the wonderfully random stuff we buy from the public every day. In this series of posts, you’ll find books, movies and music collected in some very random ways. So here’s our list for April 2017!

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These mammals (family: Leporidae, order: Lagomorpha) make their habitats in meadows, forests, grasslands, novels, fables, movies and even the surnames of bearded country singers. From Roger Rabbit to Eddie Rabbitt, HPB has all your furry favorites.

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Totally Random Lists: What Year Is It?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This year at HPB, we’re celebrating the random. Actually, we’ve been doing that every year since our founding in 1972. And we mean random in a totally good way, as in the random treasures you come across when you’re browsing our stores or website—and the wonderfully random stuff we buy from the public every day. In this series of posts, you’ll find books, movies and music collected in some very random ways. So let’s get started with our first list for January 2017!
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Authors have been using years in their book titles, for, well, years and years. To kick off the year called 2017, here’s a list of some notable books, movies & music named after a particular 12-month period.Jan-Baby.png

BOOKS
1776, David McCullough
1919 (Vol. 2 of the U.S.A. Trilogy), John Dos Passos
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

MOVIES & TV
1900
1941
2001: A Space Odyssey

MUSIC
1984, Van Halen
1989, Taylor Swift
1999, Prince

Of course, there are hundreds, even thousands of other years worth celebrating! Check out a longer version of this list at HPB.com/year.

Books Can Take You Places: Texas

In 2016, we encouraged our booklovers to travel more. Not the kind of travel that involves airplanes, passports and hotels, but the kind where you open a great book and let it take you somewhere. We’ve taken trips to 14 different cities this year and it has been an amazing journey around the world filled with books, music and movies. To wrap up our year of travel, let’s explore all that Texas a.k.a The Lone Star State has to offer.

Half Price Books was born in Texas in 1972. And we native Texans take comfort in knowing that no matter where we travel in the world, the place we get to come home to is pretty darn interesting in its own right.texas

From colonial and cowboy days right up to the mostly urban present, the unique character of the Lone Star State has long fascinated storytellers of all kinds.

But don’t take our word for it. Stop by your local HPB and find out what Larry McMurtry has to say. Or Lyle Lovett. Or Richard Linklater. (Okay, now it just seems like we’re bragging. Sorry. Guess we come by it naturally.) 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.

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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.

 

Books Can Take You Places: Nairobi

Already this year, we’ve taken a trip to 10 different cities and our journey around the world is far from over! Nairobi This month let’s explore all that Nairobi has to offer.

No longer just a hub for safari tourism, Kenya’s capital city boasts a vibrant cultural scene encompassing music, film, art and literature. While many of the best-known books set here were written by Europeans during times of British colonization, Kenya has a long storytelling tradition of its own. Today, important Kenyan authors are increasingly making their voices heard around the globe.

HOW TO GET THERE

music-note-21 Benga Blast!, Daniel Owino Misiani and Shirati Band • slate_film-512 Born Free book Coming to Birth, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye • slate_film-512 The Constant Gardener book Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama • music-note-21 En Mana Kuoyo, Ayub Ogada • book The Flame Trees of Thika, Elspeth Huxley • book A Grain of Wheat, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o • music-note-21 Mama Africa, Suzzana Owiyo • slate_film-512 Nairobi Half Life book One Day I Will Write About This Place, Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina • book Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen • book Unbowed, Wangari Maathai • music-note-21 Unbwogable, Gidi Gidi Maji Maji Continue reading

Music Meant for Vinyl

Before there was Record Store Day there was National Vinyl Record Day, a day to celebrate the flat disc with grooves.  The following is a small sampling of titles now in stores or soon to be released that just sound amazing playing from vinyl, even with the occasional surface noise.

Prince-Purple Rain (180gm)- $24.98
I was there, across Reunion Arena in Dallas.  It didn’t matter where you sat.  He was electric, shifting from bathtub with a microphone to stage with a guitar.  We counted down to the New Year, after which he sang Auld Lang Syne and THEN ended the night with Purple Rain. Masterful musician, memorable night.

Prince

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Midnight Release Events: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Can’t wait until morning?  Join us at participating Half Price Books locations on Saturday night, July 30, to get the latest in the Harry Potter story. Celebrate with fellow Potterheads and grab the new book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child when it goes on sale at midnight. **Passes available beginning at 10 p.m.** Pass required for book purchase. Limit two passes per customer, one book per pass. Books available for purchase as specially-priced new items while supplies last. No pre-orders. Check with your local HPB store to see when the party starts. Midnight Release Party at select HPB stores.

MIDNIGHT RELEASE EVENTS WILL HAPPEN IN THE FOLLOWING HPB STORES:

CALIFORNIA

HPB BERKELEY
2036 Shattuck Ave.

HPB FREMONT
39152 Fremont Hub

HPB CONCORD
1935 Mt Diablo St.

HPB DUBLIN
7898 Dublin Blvd.

HPB CITRUS HEIGHTS
7975 Greenback Ln.

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Books Can Take You Places: Tokyo

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 the books, movies and music that will help you get there.Tokyo

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. Last month’s stop was Chicago, Illinois and now we’ve landed in Tokyo, Japan.

In Japan’s dizzying capital, skyscrapers rub shoulders with Buddhist temples, and high art mingles with low. These dichotomies fuel Tokyo’s literary scene, which benefited in recent centuries from increased exposure to Western ideas and forms. Haruki Murakami is Japan’s best known modern writer; his surreal novels have been translated into 50 languages. Japan’s quirky pop culture, including karaoke, manga and anime, is on vivid display in Tokyo—and increasingly around the world.

HOW TO GET THERE

book After Dark, Haruki Murakami  slate_film-512 Akira  slate_film-512 Godzilla (1954) music-note-21 Japan: Traditional Vocal and Instrumental Music, Ensemble Nipponia music-note-21 Kazemachi Roman, Happy End book Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto slate_film-512 Lost in Translation  book Number9dream, David Mitchell book Out, Natsuo Kirino book A Personal Matter, Kenzaburō Ōe music-note-21 Shakuhachi: The Japanese Flute, Konachiro Miyata music-note-21 Solid State Survivor, Yellow Magic Orchestra music-note-21 The Tokyo Blues, Horace Silver slate_film-512 Tokyo Olympiad  slate_film-512 Tokyo Story

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Rokujigen is a book cafe on Tokyo’s west side that serves as a hub for information about writer Haruki Murakami and is a gathering place for his fans. The cafe’s name means “six dimensions” in Japanese, and the only sign visible from the street is a small painted numeral 6.
  • Two Japanese writers have won the Nobel Prize for Literature: Yasunari Kawabata in 1968 and Kenzaburō Ōe in 1994.
  • Book Clock is a video installation by designer Masaaki Hiromura in which a hand flips through three books representing hours, minutes and seconds. It can be seen at the MUJI department store in Shibuya.
  • Anime fans can visit The Ghibli Museum operated by Studio Ghibli, makers of Spirited Away and other internationally-distributed films.

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!

 

 

 

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.

HOW TO GET THERE

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

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 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!

 

Eating Books: How To and Why

April Fool’s Day is the biggest day of the year for caution, what with all the pranks your friends are surely concocting to surprise you. One steps lightly, takes their email with a grain of salt and checks toilets for plastic wrap on the First of April. But there’s more to this day than being exploited for your (really, my) gullible nature (I’ve fallen for a few pranks in my time). Do you know what else happens on this glorious day? A Texas tradition, that’s what! The Austin Edible Book Festival, you goose!

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Here’s How it Works:

Festival entrants participate by constructing a dish that is representative of a book title through puns or wordplay. These concoctions-often sculptural, sometimes literal, always engaging, are laid out to be admired and then voted on in a variety of categories, including Funniest, Most Appetizing, Least Appetizing, Best Construction and Best in Show. The winners get prizes, and then we eat everything. Or, at least in my experience, everything that didn’t win Least Appetizing. Some of my favorites from the last couple of years include “Gone Girl-ic Bread,” a loaf of garlic bread stabbed with a knife and drizzled with marinara sauce; “20,000 Big League Chews Under the Sea,” an aquarium filled with Swedish Fish and Big League Chew gum; “The Holy Bivalve,” a biblically-decorated cake shaped like a clam; and “Game of Scones,” a cookie chess board with mini scones for pieces. Perfection.

The first iteration of the festival came about in 2000, pioneered by art librarian and curator Judith A. Hoffberg and artist Béatrice Coron as way to celebrate the power of literature as a means to ingest culture and ideas. April 1st was chosen to honor the birthdate of French author and gourmet Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, whose La Physiologie du Goût was written as a witty meditation on the edible arts. The tradition was adopted in Austin by the University of Texas School of Information in 2003, and since 2014 has been hosted at Half Price Books on North Lamar.

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It’s so much fun. People get really creative with their entries, and some of the puns at play are even more delicious than their edible manifestations. And if the joys of wordplay aren’t enough to get you pumped about this, the festival also kicks off a food drive to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas that runs throughout the entire month of April at HPB on North Lamar. You can eat weird stuff AND feel good about helping our community. Win-win!

So if you’re in the Austin area or are looking for a reason to visit, come be a part of this scrumptiously absurd event. You don’t have to sign up, just show up with your entry. We’ll know exactly why you’ve come into a book store with a fish in a kilt “Troutlander”, a temporarily-intelligent bowl of curry and bread “Cauliflowers for Algernaan”, or a seemingly ageless jar of Dijon mustard “The Picture of Dorian Grey Poupon”. We’ll save you a spot at the table during the first day of the best month you could hope to have. Welcome!

Zach Nash is the Community Outreach Specialist at Half Price Book North Lamar.