If You Liked Britt-Marie Was Here, You Might Also Like…

Britt Marie Was HereLast year, the HPB Book Club read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which I considered to be the best book I read last year.  Needless to say, I was excited when I learned our April/May Book Club selection was Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here! While I don’t know yet if it will be the best book I read this year (as the year is far from over), I will say it’s the best book I’ve read so far this year. Backman’s ability to write a typically dislikable character into someone the reader not only likes but also can’t help but cheer for is masterful.  When you meet Britt-Marie in the unemployment office, her judgmental, prudish attitude makes you sympathize with the clearly astonished employment office worker, but as the book progresses and you learn more about Britt-Marie and how she became the way she is—as well as immerse yourself in the community of Borg, “of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it”—you can’t help but love Britt-Marie for all the things you disliked about her before.

If you, like me, loved Britt-Marie Was Here, here are a few other books you may also love: Continue reading

Resolve to Read: 105 Books You’ve Always Wanted to Read

105booksEvery year one of my New Year’s resolutions is to read a book I have always wanted to read but haven’t, whether it was a classic or just a few years old.  One year I read Brontë’s Wuthering Heights; another year I read Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, and just last year I read Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. This year I’m Resolving to Read Dickens’ Great Expectations. However, I wondered what books other people were Resolving to Read in 2017. So, I asked our HPB bibliomaniacs what books they have always wanted to read that they are Resolving to Read this year. Here are their answers. Continue reading

Better Year, Better You: 24 Books for Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution

With the start of a new year, one can feel renewed with hope. Or, perhaps motivation. It’s a chance to better yourself, to start new habits or quit old ones. To pick up a new hobby or challenge yourself to face your fears. There’s a wealth of inspiration in store for you at Half Price Books. Whatever quest you’re on in 2017, books can help you reach your goal. Check out some of these nonfiction titles to help you with your New Year’s resolutions.

Are you determined to shed a few pounds? Eat a little healthier? Eat a lot healthier? Or find new ways to cope with the pain of a chronic illness? Here are some new books our buyers recommend to guide you on your quest to better health and fitness.1-better-year-better-you-books-for-health-fitness

1) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, 2) The Whole30 Cookbook: 150 Delicious and Totally Compliant Recipes to Help You Succeed with The Whole30 and Beyond by Melissa Hartwig, 3) Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Individualized Blood Type Diet Solution by Peter J. D’Adamo and Catherine Whitney, 4) The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole Body Wellness by Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro, 5) The Melt Method: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain, Erase the Signs of Aging, and Feel Fantastic in Just 10 Minutes a Day! by Sue Hitzmann and Debbie Karch, 6) Eat Clean Stay Lean: The Diet: Real Foods for Real Weight Loss by Wendy Bazilian. Continue reading

HPB Staff Picks: Best Books of 2016

With so many amazing books published each year, it’s easy to overlook some of the notable must-reads. We’ve put together a list of our favorite fiction and nonfiction of 2016 — including intriguing mysteries, imaginative tales, biographies and culture studies. There’s just enough time to check another book off your 2016 reading list, so choose a title and start reading!

gentlemaninmoscow
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Reviewed by HPB Staff Member: Kristen B.

Truly a Gentleman
The year is 1922. Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to live out the rest of his life under house arrest in a hotel in Moscow. Throughout the novel, we see different snippets of the Count’s life as he lives out his sentence. It is the story of a true gentleman. So often we read stories about heroes or really messed up people that do really messed up things. A Gentleman in Moscow is just about a regular guy doing regular things, holding to his principles and always treating others with respect. It was so refreshing. Continue reading

Books I Am Thankful For

I love books, but there are certain books that have had such an impact on my life that I couldn’t imagine the world without them.  Here is a list of five books for which I am truly thankful and the reasons why.

c67cf2f90ca165077b59c29f2c9ef7f5A Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace
I first read this book when I was in third grade. The book is about a young boy who is afraid of dogs until he meets a dog who answers to nothing but the word “kitty.”  A Dog Called Kitty is the first book that made me both laugh and cry.  I proceeded to loan it to all my friends.  I even read a portion of it over the phone to try to get one of them interested in reading it.  Now that I have a nephew in fourth grade, I have given him a copy to read and can only hope that he will love it as much as I did.

0446310786To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
No one will find it surprising that I first read this book for my high school freshman English class.  When we started reading it, I had just finished The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss. So when Scout’s teacher comments that she doesn’t understand how Hitler could treat Jews the way he does because they are such nice people, all the while the town she lives in is condemning Tom Robinson for a crime they know he didn’t commit just because he’s black, I became so upset with that character I threw the book across my room. Thus, To Kill a Mockingbird became the first book in which I acted out one of my favorite Dorothy Parker quotes, “This isn’t a book to be tossed aside lightly. It must be thrown with great force.”  It was the first book that I was forced to read in school that I actually enjoyed. Continue reading

Vocabulary Booster: Convivial, Defenestrate & 5 Other Words I Learned From Books I Read This Year

October 16 is the birthday of American teacher and lexicographer, Noah Webster, which consequentially makes it Dictionary Day.  Now, I will admit that looking up words in the dictionary is a great way to improve your vocabulary. Unfortunately, the dictionary can make for some dry reading, which is why most of the words I’ve learned have come from novels I have read.  Sometimes I can figure them out from context clues, but others require some help from Mr. Webster.  Here is a list of words I have learned from reading.

Impunity | /imˈpyo͞onədē/ | noun
I learned this word from Edgar Alan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado, which I remember reading in the 7th Mr. Webster would define impunity as “freedom from punishment, harm or loss.” Though, I wonder if we asked Montresor if he truly punished Fortunato with impunity what he would say.

Copse | /käps/ | noun
I’m embarrassed to say that I learned this word not that long ago when reading The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss. A co-worker told me it was their favorite book growing up, so I decided to read it.  I had seen the word in other books and glanced over it, always confusing it with the word corpse and so thought it meant a small graveyard.  However, Mr. Webster would define copse as “a thicket of small trees or shrubs,” which makes more sense, especially when I read it in Tami Hoag’s Cold Cold Heart later that same month. Continue reading

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.

My Mother is a French Fry & 5 Other Book Titles I Couldn’t Resist

A few months ago, I was walking through the Flagship Half Price Books store on my way to get a cup of coffee and I noticed a book called One of Our Thursdays is Missing.  Instantly, I snatched it up and continued my journey to the coffee pot.  I had no idea what the book was about.  I had never read anything by the author, but I had to have it.  I had to read it. Why? Because the title was just too good to leave on the shelf.

As I excitedly showed this book to my co-workers (who secretly think I am insane), I wondered how often I base my book purchases on the title alone.  Here are a few books I have bought solely because they had a great title:

 

1. My Mother is a French Fry and Further Proof of My Fuzzed Up Life, by Colleen Sydor. Teen Fiction, easy read, good story.

2. Will the Last Person to Leave the Planet, Please Shut Off the Sun, by Mike Resnick. Science Fiction, short stories, great for Sci-Fi fans.

3. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, by Sonya Sones. Teen Fiction, interesting form. Story is written as poems as if from a teen’s diary or composition book and interspersed with email messages. Good story.

4. One of Our Thursdays is Missing, by Jasper Fforde. Hard to classify this book, as it’s both mystery and fantasy. You may want to look for it in general fiction. 6th in the Thursday Next series, highly recommended.

5. Half-Price Homicide, by Elaine Viets. Mystery, 9th in the Dead-End Job Mystery series. Working for Half Price Books, I just couldn’t pass this one up. Easy read.

6. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler. Teen Fiction, won the Michael L. Printz Award and made the ALA Best Books for Young Adults list.

What titles have you felt were too good to leave on the shelf?

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

 

Buy Guy Collections & Curiosities: Happy Birthday, Jerry!

It’s startling to think that the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia would’ve turned 74—yes, 74—this August 1! He’s been gone for more than twenty years, but Deadheads around the world will be celebrating his long, strange trip. HPB employee Don is one of them (we call him Don of the Dead), and he’s turned much of his home into a Grateful Dead shrine.

In the second in our series of videos featuring our employees’ collections—See the first one here, we recently visited with Don to see a few “high”-lights from his extensive collection.

We know Don will be busy this week rearranging his Dead souvenirs while he has the band cranked on the stereo. Although I’m not a Deadhead, I do have American Beauty on vinyl, and I’ll be giving it a spin!

Steve is the”Buy Guy” at Half Price Books Corporate.

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