Best of the Decade: 1910s

Editor’s Note: This year, our Half Price Books calendar once again features lists of books, movies and music. We’re heading into a new decade with a new focus…the past. Each month, we’ll share a list of events, inventions and, of course, books, movies and music, from every decade since the 1900s right here on the blog. Enjoy!


Oreos arrived (arguably making cookie jars more interesting nationwide) and Uncle Sam asked for America’s best candidates to confront Germany as the U.S. entered World War I. This month, we’re taking a look at the events, books, music and movies that took America by storm in the 1910s.

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Behind the Book: Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts

For our first Book Club pick of 2020, Half Price Books has selected Finding Dorothy, the fictional retelling of the true life of Maud Baum, wife to L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. This a perfect read for lovers of all things Oz and historical fiction. We had the wonderful opportunity ask author Elizabeth Letts some in-depth questions regarding her inspirations, discoveries and insights into this wonderful book!

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Can you tell us more about Maud Baum, the voice and inspiration behind Finding Dorothy? What made you decide to write a story inspired by her and from her point of view?
Frank Baum died in 1919, twenty years before his book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was turned into the classic MGM film. The only living link between the book and the movie was his widow, Maud, who was seventy-seven years old. Maud’s mother was one of the most radical advocates for the rights of women—she grew up with Susan B. Anthony hanging around her house. Her mother was constantly in the newspapers for organizing protests, and she got laws changed so that Maud could be one of the first young women to attend an Ivy League school. So what did she do with all that opportunity? Did she become a lawyer for the cause, as her mother had hoped? No. She dropped out of school to marry a very handsome but not too impressive young theater man named L. Frank Baum. To me, this was fascinating. Maud was clearly a powerhouse, strong enough to defy her overbearing mother. But I think it’s easy to overlook the incredible influence of women like Maud, who make their mark behind-the-scenes. We may not remember her, but every time we quote The Wizard of Oz, we are paying homage to her legacy. Continue reading

2019 Million Book Donation Project Wrap-Up

At Half Price Books, we know the importance of reading in everyone’s lives. That’s why we’ve always made book donations a priority since we were founded back in 1972. As our co-founder Ken Gjemre once said, “Books should fill our lives, not our land.”

So we’ve taken great pleasure in continuing our Million Book Donation Project in 2019 – we are pleased to announce we’ve donated… Continue reading

Best of the Decade: 1900s

Editor’s Note: This year, our Half Price Books calendar once again features lists of books, movies and music. We’re heading into a new decade with a new focus…the past. Each month, we’ll share a list of events, inventions and, of course, books, movies and music, from every decade since the 1900s right here on the blog. Enjoy!


Corn Flakes® became a breakfast staple on tables across the nation and up in the sky, it was a bird, a plane! No, really. It was a plane. Check out the interesting events that made our list beside the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight and see which books, music and movies were all the rage during the 1900s.

 

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2019 HPB Author Events Recap

It has been a wonderful year of author events and book signings for Half Price Books! More than 100 authors visited our stores or spoke at offsite events. Booklovers poured in from all over the country to listen to their favorite authors speak and get their books signed. We are honored to be able to provide a place of community for authors and their readers. Watch our recap video to get a glimpse of all the authors we hosted in 2019!

Thanks so much for watching! We hope you were able to come to some of these events this year, and we look forward to seeing you in stores in 2020. To stay informed of HPB events and more, visit hpb.com/events or join our email list.

Meet the Bibliomaniac: Santa

Name: Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Papa Noel, etc.
Job Title: CEO
Office Location: North Pole

The big guy in the red suit is a booklover, too! Who knew? (We did.) From films to cookies, we got the scoop on a few of Santa’s favorite things as he took a little time away from the workshop to have a fireside chat. Enjoy!

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What’s your favorite part of the job, you know, being the world’s best gift giver?

Spreading joy. They say it’s better to give than to receive and, you know, it really is true! Knowing that I can help add a bit of cheer to someone’s day, even if just for a moment, even if it’s just once a year, that makes the frequent flyer miles worth it.

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A Bestseller Flashback: 2019 in Books

Editor’s Note: Our buyers hand select new bestsellers that are sold in our stores. It is our pleasure to present a closer look at our favorite Buyer’s Picks from 2019!

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Golden State (Ben Winters)

This book is set in future America where lies are criminalized. The main character is a detective whose job it is to seek out lies being told within his community. Through an investigation of a woman’s death, he uncovers a separate conspiracy within the government. It’s fast paced, well written and I couldn’t put it down – especially through the second half. I highly recommend it for fellow lovers of thrillers – especially those of us who are growing a bit tired of the wife/husband theme that is popular right now. You’re really going to love this book! Continue reading

Meet the Bibliomaniacs: The HPB Concord at the Willows Team

Hey Concord, we’re back! Our new Concord at the Willows store opens November 21! In this edition of Meet the Bibliomaniacs, we would like to introduce you to the entire HPB Concord at the Willows staff. Take it away, team!

 

What is your favorite part about working at HPB?

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Laura: I have to say that working around people who are as obsessed with books and movies as I am is one of the main reasons I love working at HPB.

Bee: All the fantastic people I work with! We are a big ‘ole book family!

Emily: Having an excuse to talk about books or movies or music all day and call it work.

Aubrey: Getting to work with all the cool stuff that comes in and having a good time at work with my coworkers!

Dan: All my groovy coworkers.

Cheryl: I love the people I work with.

Kayla: Getting to work with people who are as passionate about books/movies as I am.

Bleu: I love seeing all of the cool books, movies and video games that come through the buy counter. I also really love the staff I work with.

Brandon: Treasure hunting for clearance books

Jake: I have the best staff in the world

Ariel: We are professional treasure hunters! Having the opportunity to interact and connect with people from all walks of life.

Sea: Working with people that are cool and fun to work with and are just as nerdy as me.

Erin: Getting to work with books!

Sally: The best part about working at HPB is discovering new books, learning from fellow book lovers and exposing customers to different ideas.

Mary: Seeing all the cool, unusual books that come to us over the buy counter. And then shelving them. And then talking to people about them. Basically I like to be around books and book people. 🙂

Scott: I have always worked with books and/or movies in one way or another. And I love media of all types, but I feel like my co-workers here are integral to the enjoyment of being employed here. Continue reading

Totally Random Lists 2019: Home Sweet Home

Editor’s Note: This year our Half Price Books calendar once again features books, movies and music grouped together in weird, unexpected ways. You might even call them Totally Random Lists, which is what we did because, well, we had to put something on the front cover. We like the lists so much, we’ll be sharing them on this blog throughout the year.


We’re shaped by the home we grew up in. And once we’re grown, we obsessively shape and re-shape our homes to reflect who we are—or want to be. Home is definitely where the heart is, and there’s plenty of domestic bliss to be found on the list below. Continue reading