If You Liked Wonder, You Might Also Like…

If you’re part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Wonder by R.J. Palacio, a touching middle-grade novel about Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a rare medical facial deformity as he struggles through his first year at a mainstream school. The kids that are kind enough to look past Auggie’s strange appearance discover a smart, funny kid who  is so much more than what he looks like. Palacio explores Auggie’s story from different points of view so that you learn not just how Auggie feels about a situation, but also his family and his friends. Through Wonder, Palacio weaves a tale of courage and kindness that sparked the Choose Kind Movement, where classrooms fight against bullying by signing a pledge to Choose Kind.

If you liked, Wonder, here are a few other books you might like.

Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine • Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli • Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper • Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan • Absolutely Almost, by Lisa Graff • Firegirl, by Tony Abbott • Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt • Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, by Jack Gantos • Lost in the Sun, by Lisa Graff • A Dog Called Homeless, by Sarah Lean • Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea

Since one of my favorite things about Wonder was how the story was told through different perspectives, I think I’ll head to my local HPB to pick up a copy of Because of Mr. Terupt, as its story is also told through varying points-of-view. What will be your next read?

What to get in on the conversation? Join the HPB Book Club at hpb.com/bookclub.

If You Liked The Girls, You Might Also Like…

If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading or perhaps just finished The Girls by Emma Cline, a clever, yet disturbing coming-of-age novel inspired by the murders committed by Charles Manson’s followers in 1969. In the novel, a strange encounter with an ex-boyfriend’s son leaves Evie Boyd looking back to the summer of 1969, the summer she met “the girls.” Told though multiple flashbacks, Cline describes how Evie obsession with one of “the girls” draws her into a cult and ultimately to one night of unthinkable violence. Cline’s spellbinding prose and psychological insight make this book hard to put down. If you also liked The Girls, here are a few other books you might like.

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson • Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman • How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

So, what’s your next read? Join the HPB Book Club at hpb.com/bookclub.

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

If You Liked The Girl on the Train, You Might Also Like…

trainIf you’re a part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading or perhaps just finished The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. This psychological thriller is told through the perspective of three different women who have one very dangerous thing in common—they are all living a lie. In the book, Megan Hipwell is found dead and Rachel, who has secretly watched Megan’s life from the safety of the passing commuter train, believes she can solve Megan’s murder. From the moment The Girl on the Train was released, people have compared it to Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, and with its suspenseful plot and surprise ending, they are not wrong. However, if you have already read Gone Girl and are looking for other books like The Girl on the Train, you may like some of these.

1. The Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll 2. The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica 3. Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris 4. The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison 5. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty 6. Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson 7. Truly, Madly, Guilty, by Liane Moriarty 8. The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware 9. The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena 10. Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey

I’ve already snapped up two of these books. What about you? What are you reading next?

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

If You Liked A Man Called Ove, You Might Also Like…

If you’re part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading or perhaps just finished A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman, a heartwarming story about a cranky old man who, through a series of humorous yet touching events, learns to open his heart to those around him and that his life still has meaning. When I finished the book, I wanted to start reading it all over again. If you enjoyed A Man Called Ove as much as I did, here are a few other books you might also like.

1. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, by Fredrik Backman
2. Britt-Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman
3. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George
4. The Invoice, by Jonas Karlssonlarge
5. Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf
6. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick
7. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson
8. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, by Jonas Jonasson
9. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
10. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, by Rachel Joyce
11. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

Well, I have already picked up the other two Backman novels to read, but I will definitely start looking for the rest of the books on this list. So, what are you reading next?

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

If You Like Me Before You, You May Also Like…

Me-Before-You-Jojo-MoyesIf you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading or perhaps just finished Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes, which is a book all hopeless romantics must read. At the beginning of the book, gregarious waitress Louisa Clark loses her job, and being one of the only working members of her family, she needs to find a new job fast. The problem is she isn’t really trained to do anything. Enter Will Traynor. After an accident left Will paralyzed, his family needs to find a caregiver for him, but they are not looking for someone who will look after his physical needs as much as they need someone to show him that his life is still worth living. Louisa Clark seems perfect for this. However, as Will and Louisa’s relationship grows, she discovers Will has a secret, and her job turns out to have greater consequences than she ever imagined. Me Before You is a book that will make you laugh, cry and just maybe plan a trip to Paris. Continue reading

Experiencing Dead Wake: An Emergence into Nonfiction

If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading, or perhaps just finished, Dead Wake by Erik Larson, which is the first nonfiction book we have chosen.  I am a fiction girl. In my experience, nonfiction books have always read like the boring textbooks I had to read in school, full of dry facts with nothing to activate the imagination.  Dead Wake has changed my opinion of nonfiction forever and left me longing to read more by Erik Larson. If you interested in hearing about the Lusitania, listen to Erik’s interview with THINK.

Perhaps, Larson’s book intrigued me because of the way Larson presents his information. He considers himself an “animator of history” as opposed to an historian.  He wants his writing to “create pictures in the minds of his readers,” just like they do in fiction.

If you enjoyed Dead Wake, here are a few other books by Erik Larson for you to check out:

So, what Erik Larson book will you read next?  I already have The Devil in the White City waiting on my bedside table, ready to be read.

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

If you like The Magicians, you might also like…

If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading or perhaps just finished The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. This smart fantasy novel pays homage to several fantasy classics while working under the premise that magic is hard and to practice magic, you must have an emotional instability. The main character, Quentin Coldwater, is a genius, who likes to perform card tricks, but is depressed. Then, he is “invited” to take the entrance exam into Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. Grossman gives a literary nod to Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia (through the magical land of Fillory) in this book. So, if you like any of these books, you might want to give The Magicians a try. Here are a few other books, you may like as well:

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
So You Want to be a Wizard, by Diane Duane
Storm Front, by Jim Butcher
The Coldest War, by Ian Tregillis

So, what is your next read?

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

 

HPB Book Club: Interview with a Magician

BookClub-logoFor the next few months, we’ll be reading Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. Grab a copy at your local HPB and participate in the discussion on the HPB Facebook page through February and March. The Magicians has been adapted into a Syfy TV series. Our very own Assistant Buyer at Half Price Books, Kristen B., knows lead actor Jason Ralph in The Magicians TV series had the chance to ask him a few questions about his experience with the show so far.

When Jason Ralph moved to McKinney, Texas in middle school, he was a quiet kid. He barely spoke, but he would always get my notebook back for me when another classmate would steal it. Therefore, we became instant friends. As we both grew older and moved on to high school, Jason started to come out of his shell and we both became involved in high school theatre. Once Jason started acting on stage, it was clear that he was destined for greatness. With his good looks, charming charisma, and heart of gold, he was the guy that every girl wanted. Throughout the years we have stayed in touch, even when he went on stage as Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway.

KristenAndFriend Continue reading

14 Things You Should Know About Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

As we anxiously await the release of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, we shouldn’t forget that 55 years ago on July 11th, Harper Lee’s first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published. While critics may not have raved about the book when it first came out, the novel, published right before the peak of the American civil rights movement, became a phenomenal success, selling more than fifteen million copies and winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. It was then made into a movie shortly afterward in 1962. Since the book was published, To Kill a Mockingbird has topped must-read book lists, and the movie version of the book ranks 25th on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of Greatest American Movies of All Time.

I have gathered 14 interesting facts about Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, (both the book and the movie). I wonder how many you will already know and how many will be new to you.

  1. The author Nelle Harper Lee and Truman Capote were next-door neighbors in their hometown of Monroeville, AL. The character of Dill is said to be based on Capote.
  2. Lee said she identified with Jane Austen, because she wanted to challenge social norms and customs.
  3. Lee’s mother’s maiden name was Finch.
  4. A man named Son Boulware lived down the road from Lee and Capote and used to hide presents for them in the trees around his house.
  5. Atticus was loosely based on Lee’s father, who retired from the practice of criminal law after defending a group of black men who were accused of murder.  He lost the case, turning his attention to reporting the news instead.
  6. The book that Scout tells her father about, The Gray Ghost, was a real children’s book by Robert F. Schulkers—part of a series of adventure titles in the 1920s that Lee read when she was young.
  7. Lee is an honorary member of the Alabama Bar on the basis that in creating Atticus, she created an exemplary lawyer.
  8. Go Set a Watchman was written before To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee’s editor was so intrigued by a flashback in Go Set a Watchman that encouraged her to write a book from the child’s point of view.
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird is Clark Kent’s favorite movie in the Superman Comics.
  10. Gregory Peck won his first and only Academy Award in 1963 for his role as Atticus Finch.
  11. To prepare for the role of Boo Radley, Robert Duvall spent six weeks out of the sun so he would look like someone who had spent most of his life indoors.
  12. After the film was completed, Lee gave Gregory Peck her father’s watch, because she said he reminded her so much of her father. Peck wore this to the Academy Awards.
  13. Brock Peters, the actor who portrayed Tom Robinson, delivered Peck’s eulogy on the day of his funeral, June 16, 2003.
  14. Peck’s grandson Harper Peck Voll is named after Harper Lee.

So, how many of these facts did you already know?

The HPB Book Club is currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird.  If you would like to chat with fellow HPB Book Clubbers, visit hpb.com/bookclub/fb and join the conversation.

Plus, look for Go Set A Watchman at your local Half Price Books on July 14!

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

If you liked Echo, then you might also like…

If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan. If you are not part of the HPB Book Club, you can join and read this book, for even though Echo was written for middle-graders, readers of all ages can’t put this book down.

What makes this story so intriguing?  Its main character is a harmonica.  Weaving a fairy-tale-like introduction to the book, Ryan follows a special harmonica that touches the lives of three very different children leading up to and during the World War II.  Friedrich is a German boy whose birthmark puts him in danger as Hitler enforces the perfection of the German race.  Mike is an orphan who is trying to protect his little brother by any means necessary.  Finally, Ivy is a Hispanic-American girl who has to battle prejudice on two fronts, after America has been drawn into the war. Each child finds the healing power of music when they find a very special harmonica.  I can’t even tell you which story was my favorite.

However, if your favorite story was Friedrich’s, you may want to read:

The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss; Number the Stars by Lois Lowry; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne;

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr; The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

If your favorite story was Mike’s, you may want to read:

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan; What I Call Life by Jill Wolfson; One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt; The Year We Sailed the Sun by Theresa Nelson

If your favorite story was Ivy’s, you may want to read:

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer; Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai; Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

If you would like to chat with fellow HPB Book Clubbers, visit hpb.com/bookclub/fb and join the conversation about Echo between now and the end of May.

So, what book are you going to read next?

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.