Helpful Resources for Our Homebound Booklovers

Running out of ideas for things to do while stuck at home? Half Price Books is here to help! We’ve compiled a list of resources that include a little bit of everything, including inspiration for homeschool activities, fun virtual story times and book lists for those who don’t know where to start. We hope this lists helps, and remember to stay home, wash your hands and keep reading!


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Children’s Learning Activities/Resources

Half Price Books’ Feed Your Brain– This year we’re kicking off our reading program early with a collection of activities and book suggestions to help keep your children’s minds active while at home! Check back frequently for more downloadable content. Continue reading

What Should Your Book Club Read Next?

As book clubs across the country move online, readers will have plenty of time to read their selected books before meeting in-person again. We’ve tapped our HPB Bestseller Buyer to help your book club make the best selection for the next page turner on your list. Check out her recommendations below.

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The Island of Sea Women  by Lisa See

Our March/April HPB Book Club selection, The Island of Sea Women, is the perfect choice for deep discussion with friends. How does a friendship get to the point where one woman doesn’t even want to meet the other woman’s grandchildren? From their friendship as children to their eventual falling out, these questions and more are explored in the newest beautiful and heartbreaking book from Lisa See. It is an all-encompassing tale of friendship and secrets about female divers on a Korean island. Lisa was kind of enough to answer some of our in-depth questions for our Behind the Book blog series. Read about the inspiration behind The Island of Sea Women here. Continue reading

Stock Up & Save at HPB.com: Wondering What Counts?

So you have your new HPB coupon! Wondering what items you can use them on? We have the answers. Once you find an item you’re interested in on HPB.com, just check the “sold by” field. As long as it lists HPB.com or any HPB store location, it qualifies for the discount.

stockupqualifierThis item is sold by the HPB location in Cedar Hill and qualifies for the discount!

 

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This item is sold by HPB.com and qualifies for the discount!

 

Coupons valid online only and only apply to products sold by HPB stores and distribution centers. Restrictions apply. See details.

New Releases To Keep You Entertained This Week

Now that there seems to be a bit more space on everyone’s schedule, there’s no better time to read a good book. Check out these great reads based on recommendations from the Half Price Books Bestseller Buyer! They run the gamut from creepy and mysterious to outright heart stopping, and you can get all of them online at HPB.com or via curbside pickup at your local HPB store*!

*Curbside pickup locations vary.


 

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The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

From the author of the bestselling phenomenon, Station Eleven, comes a new novel, The Glass Hotel, which features such drama-heavy twists as the fallout of the demise of a Ponzi scheme and the disappearance of a woman on a ship at sea. The one thing that is certainly true of both novels is that author Emily St. John Mandel’s writing evokes such an eerily beautiful atmosphere – more than in any other book I’ve ever read. It’s like the settings of the stories are vivid characters themselves. The writing is hauntingly beautiful and the story is chilling. I’d highly recommend this book to fellow lovers of Station Eleven or literary fiction.

For a copy of The Glass Hotel or Station Eleven, please call your local store and one of our booksellers can either ship it to your house or have it ready for curbside pickup. You can also find it online HERE! Continue reading

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Reading Tolkien

March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day, a day dedicated to reading the works of the genius that is J.R.R. Tolkien. As I thought back on my previous readings of the epic adventure Lord of the Rings and, of course, my favorite Tolkien book, The Hobbit, I realized that everything I need to know in life, I learned from reading Tolkien.

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It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door…You step into the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. (The Fellowship of the Ring)—Any day can become an adventure. Continue reading

Behind the Book: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Our March/April 2020 Book Club Pick is The Island of Sea Women, by New York Times bestselling author Lisa See. Few books can be called upon to so beautifully span decades and to delicately detail the relationship between two women who are inextricably linked. Lisa See provides us wiith a glimpse into the inspiration behind her latest novel  below.

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What made you want to write about haenyeo, Korean sea divers?
In many ways I feel that the haenyeo called to me. I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room, leafing through magazines, when I came across a tiny article—just one paragraph and one small photo—about these remarkable women. I ripped it out of the magazine and took it home. I hung onto the article for eight years before I decided that now was the time to write about the haenyeo. They have a matrifocal society—a society focused on women. Historically, they were known to have the greatest ability of any human group on earth to withstand cold water. They hold their breath for two minutes and dive down sixty feet (deep enough to get the bends) to harvest seafood. They are the breadwinners in their families, while their husbands take care the children and do the cooking. In the past, women would retire at age fifty-five. Today, the youngest haenyeo is fifty-five. I was and am amazed by their bravery and persistence, as well as the camaraderie—sisterhood—that they share with each other. About five years ago, UNESCO gave the haenyeo the designation of an Intangible World Heritage Tradition and estimated the culture would be gone in about fifteen years. I felt I couldn’t wait five, ten, or fifteen years to interview women who were in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. Continue reading

Have Books, Will Travel: To The Emerald Isle

With a spring thaw on the horizon and holidays out of the way, it’s time to start holding ourselves accountable for all of those 2020 travel plans we pinned to our vision boards back in January. That’s right, readers. It’s time to pack your suitcases and, with any luck, make it to the airport in time to grab an overpriced coffee and get a head start on a good book. But where to, you ask? Ireland, of course. It is March, after all. In this month’s edition of Have Books, Will Travel, we take you to the Emerald Isle with novels that feature the historic country’s lush setting and plots that are sure to keep your interest until the next pint arrives.

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The Land of Saints and Scholars has mystical wonders galore…or so we’ve heard. In any case, what better way to enjoy a view of the mist rising from the sea among moss-covered stones than with a cup of Irish breakfast tea and a good mystery? Continue reading

Best of the Decade: 1920s

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!


Something cool came along when jazz was introduced to the masses and the literary scene got a leg up from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Get a good look at the grandstanding books, music and movies from the decade that left dancers flapping in the wind…see what we did there? You guessed it. It’s the 1920s!

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The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald Continue reading

Behind the Book: Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

Editor’s Note: Kathleen West’s debut tackles the confusion, delusion and, yes, catastrophes often seen in the ecosystem of grade-school education. In this edition of Behind the Book, West lets us in on just how much of the storyline was influenced by her own life as a middle school teacher and what she would like readers to glean as they pour through the pages of her wry, cleverly observed offering.

What inspired you to write Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes?

The idea for the story came to me as I waited to find out whether my then-sixth grader had been cast in his middle school musical. I taught in the school he attended, and a colleague asked me if I planned to sneak up to the drama board and check to see if he’d gotten a part. Though I admit I was tempted, we agreed this was a terrible idea. What kind of parent would storm the bulletin board, pushing kids aside to read the list?

Obviously, I loved the idea of a character who would do just that. Julia means well, but she’s completely out of line. I’ve met moms like Julia lots of times, and I feel like I’ve (mostly) resisted being a mom like Julia lots of times.

As I started writing about Liston Heights, both from Julia’s and Isobel’s perspectives, I found myself obsessed with public criticism, which plays a big role in school communities. Everyone has been in school, and so everyone thinks they know how to define excellent teaching. And usually, when parents don’t agree with something they perceive to be happening in the classroom, the last person they’ll talk to about it is the teacher. So, instead of having a productive meeting with one parent who has questions, teachers end up having cryptic conversations about how “everyone” feels things are going badly. I really enjoyed exploring the consequences of behind-the-back complaining and gossiping, and the distrust and resentment it breeds between parents and teachers.

Continue reading