A Book Nerd’s Look at the Best Books of the Decade (2010-2019)

As 2019 comes to an end, “Best Books of the Decade” lists are bound to start popping up everywhere. This is ours; along with a list of the best books I’ve read this decade. Of course, as a used book store we also want to remind you that every book is new if you haven’t read it yet!

2010

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot—A nonfiction book and winner of the National Academies Communication Award (published 2/2/2010)

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  • Honorary mention: Room, by Emma Donahue (published 8/6/2010)
  • Best book I read in 2010: Red Harvest, by Dashiell Hammett (published in 1929)

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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

13 Book-Inspired Pumpkins

Fall has arrived, booklovers! As we bask in all things pumpkin spiced, let us not forget that the actual pumpkin still deserves our attention. That’s right, it’s pumpkin carving season and what better way to get your gourds in ghoulish order than to use themes based on iconic literary characters and books? No better way, we say. Need inspiration? Check out some of our favorite Instagram-worthy ideas below and break out the seed scooper. We’re willing to bet you’ll have the best pumpkin on the block.

1. Harry Potter

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Happy (Godric) Holloween! I asked #TheSPEWCrew to pick a pumpkin design, so today involved socking it to self-doubt and setting the WitchCrafter FREE ♥️ In the end, I’m proud of the result and am also amazed my fingers lived to tell the tale… albeit two plasters later! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but all I cared about was The SPEW Crew seal of approval. As you can see in the second photo, my CEO Sir Bumble (Chief Elf Operator) can definitely see a likeness, so I’m calling it #magicmanaged 🌟 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Have you made any potterhead pumpkins? 🎃 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #daretocreate #harrypotter #bibliophile #autumn #daysofsmallthings #potterhead #houself #dobby #halloween2018 #bookpumpkin #dobbyisfree #pumpkindecorating #hogwartshalloween #wizardingworld #afreeelf #myeverydaymagic

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Behind the Book: Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

Editor’s note: We are thrilled to feature this wonderful letter from author Chandler Baker. Her latest novel, Whisper Network, is her first adult fiction release and was just selected as Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick for July! It follows four women who speak out when their ill-reputed boss is slated to become CEO, which triggers catastrophic shifts throughout their company. This is a fantastic summer release, and Chandler Baker gives us a sneak peek into her inspiration for the novel below!

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Have Books, Will Travel – Rollercoasters!

Ah, summer. ‘Tis the time of year when the smell of cotton candy and chlorine fills the air. Kids are free from the woes of homework, adults are itching to use vacation days that have been racking up since the holidays and amusement parks await! The possibility of spending an indefinite amount of time in endless lines packed with thrill seekers, nary a seat in sight, is high. You’re gonna need a book for that.

In this edition of Have Books, Will Travel, we’re offering up the best amusement park-themed books to indulge in while you’re waiting to get strapped into a super tiny cart that will proceed to toss you every which way. And we’re pairing them with rollercoasters around the nation that are sure to take you to the brink of nausea and leave you wanting more. Continue reading

HPB Celebrates Independent Bookstore Day

In honor of Independent Bookstore Day, Half Price Books salutes the many great independent bookstores around the country (and around the world)! We are proud to be part of a field that involves noble entrepreneurs, clerks and advisors who provide knowledge and entertainment—by way of books—to so many. Independent bookstores remain strong as centers of their community, fonts of wisdom and refuges in the age of instant gratification. Continue reading

Totally Random Lists 2019: Take the Fifth

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.


Five is a mystical number representing balance and the five senses. We’re not saying a writer’s fifth novel, a director’s fifth feature or a band’s fifth album is automatically great because of this, but judging by our list, we just might be onto something. Continue reading

Totally Random Lists 2019: Double Whammy

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.


No man (or woman) is an island. Sometimes we need a partner to bounce ideas off of or butt heads with—in a productive way, of course. Grab your favorite plus-one and check out some of our favorite co-authored books, co-directed movies and cool musical collaborations. Continue reading

If You Liked Maid, You May Also Like…

If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Maid, by Stephanie Land, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Putting her dreams of college on hold to have a child, Land finds herself homeless and alone. Navigating government assistance and trying to find a way to provide for her daughter, she starts working for a cleaning service. As a maid, Land witnesses the lives of others while feeling invisible herself. This autobiography of Land’s struggle to provide a better life for her daughter, exposes the struggle of the working poor who long to find the American dream while living below the poverty line.

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If you (like me) liked Maid, here are a few other books you may like: Continue reading