Sales for Book Lovers

I know there are plenty of people who say they’d rather pay more for a book if it isn’t from Amazon or something similar. And that’s fine, but I know there are even more people who look for deals on their favorite form of entertainment all the time. I’ve got something for those in that second group.

Right now Amazon is offering customers 30% off one book on its site. Maybe you’ve been eyeing one of those highly prized adult coloring books or maybe even the illustrated edition of the first Harry Potter book. Well now you might take the plunge and buy. Use promo code “Holiday30” at checkout for the discount to be applied. It can only be used once per Amazon account, so choose wisely.

But there’s one other sale that you may like even better. Tomorrow only, Black Friday, every item in every Half Price Books store will be 20% off. AND the first 100 people in line will receive a reusable bag, $5 gift card, and $5 for the rest of the holiday weekend. But one of those first 100 people will receive a $100 gift card. You may have to get to your local store a bit early, but I think the promotion is much better than what Amazon is offering.

It looks like Barnes and Noble is also doing 30% off one item, and a buy 2, get one free promotion on paperbacks. And their Nook devices are pretty heavily discounted. Book-a-Million is offering $10 off $50, $20 off $100, and $50 off $250.

What I’m saying is that if you’re looking for a book sale, then you likely don’t have to look far.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

No, This is not a Book Collector’s Dream

I’ve been very outspoken about a particular book that was released just a few months ago. You know it. Go Set a Watchman. I have no desire whatsoever to open the book. None. Now I have more to say about it.

Recently the second largest bookstore chain in the US (Books-a-Million) made available some signed, collectible editions of the book. They look fairly nice. Only 500 were printed. I think most of you all didn’t plan on reading the book, but obviously many people have. So now it all comes down to price. Because some will buy Harper Lee anything, no matter the circumstances.

This collector’s edition of the book costs $1500. I can get the original hardcover for like $7 at work, and I think those seven dollars would be money well wasted. Why someone would pay $1500 for THAT book is beyond me. I have doubts as to whether or not she even really signed them herself.

Tell me you wouldn’t consider ever buying this thing.

Which Book Began Your Love of Reading?

Probably a difficult question for most. If you’ve read my bio on here, then you know I mention one book in it. A book written by Avi several years ago. I read it in middle school. I think I may have mentioned it as the first book I remember reading, but I think it may better be classified as the first book I remember enjoying reading.

I don’t know what I read in elementary school besides R.L. Stine. I can tell you for certain that I wasn’t reading anything by Mrs. Rowling, though the first books would have been released during my elementary years.

So if I was put on the spot and asked this question I’d say books by R.L. Stine and Avi really got me into reading. Though I can’t hardly remember any of the books I read.

Can you name the book that sparked your interest in reading?

A High School Teacher has Students Participate in NaNo

Wait, what?

I just read that a teacher in Virginia at a Catholic school had his students participate in NaNo this month. Their goal was 30,000 words rather than the 50,000 most aim for.

I understand that private schools don’t have to necessarily cover all the same topics as public schools, but I find this to be a bit much. Class time has likely been used for it. And it’s impossible for him to give any kind of substantive feedback with the time crunch.

Obviously he figured this would help them improve their writing skills, but I disagree. Why not instead focus on writing throughout the month? Poetry. Short stories. Maybe a short nonfiction essay? I just don’t think this is the best way to really help high school students improve their writing. And I don’t think it’s a good use of the time he has with them.

What do you think?

On Holiday Books

The holiday season is upon us here in the US. Black Friday is less than a week away and then it’s a mad dash to get everything you need for Christmas. Which in most cases is nothing, but people suddenly “need” or “want” things when the holidays come around. So dumb.

Anyway, I got to thinking about holiday books recently. We have a table of Christmas cards. We have a table of Christmas books. And there’s a small section of holiday books in the kid’s section at my store. All this to say that I’d never thought of holiday books before now.

I’ve thought of the Charlie Brown specials and old cartoons that start showing up on TV. And I’ve thought of the ridiculous shopping season. But not any books. I mean, is it really THAT important to read something that just happens to be snowy and jolly? Is it THAT important to read a book around Halloween that is about Halloween? No. I don’t think it is.

We already know how crazy Black Friday will be nationwide. We already know about the shopping season that takes place over the next month. We already know about the decorations EVERYWHERE. I just hate that the holiday season now has to be a part of every aspect of life. Oh well. It isn’t a major part of mine. Thankfully.

Do you have any go-to holiday stories? I have none.

Mockingjay Part 2: A review


First off, I read the book some three and a half years ago. So did I know most of what would happen? Yes. Did I have every detail etched into my head? No.

The movie starts calmly. It has to if you think about what happened at the end of Part 1. We see that Peeta is still in a pretty bad state. And we soon realize that the war is going well for the districts and 13.

What I liked best about this movie over Part 1 and even the first movie in the series is that it played out more like an action movie than the others did. At least in my eyes. It was pretty nonstop from the time Katniss arrived in District 2 until the end of the movie.

When you’re watching it you almost forget that it could ever be adapted from a young adult series. That’s not a shot at the genre, it’s just what I’m thinking.

I thought the cast did quite well in their roles with Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson standing out just above the rest. Peeta was good, bad, and even wildly crazy all in just two hours. Hutcherson did well to convince me of the ongoing turmoil plaguing Peeta.

I have two favorite parts of the movie. There’s a scene in which Katniss and her squad are proceeding toward the presidential mansion through the tunnels beneath the Capitol. They’re resting. But their whereabouts are known and mutts are released to find and kill them. They’re unable to outrun them and are forced to fight. They do. But the space is small and most of the squad is able to escape. Except Finnick. He keeps fighting. But he’s ultimately killed. And Katniss kills as many as she can by detonating the holo. It was one of my favorite moments because once Finnick was alone with a long ladder to climb we all knew he wouldn’t make it. But he fought. And fought. He kind of symbolized the entire rebellion.

The other was the assassination of President Coin. One of my favorite parts of the book and the series. It became apparent once the Capitol surrendered that she’d simply take Snow’s place. And it took Snow to convince Katniss, along with Coin proposing a symbolic Games. Katniss always stood for right, and she wouldn’t just stand by and watch one tyrant be replaced by another.

Guys, I thought the movie was a solid ending to a rather fantastic series. My order of the movies is #2, #4, #1, #3. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll reread the series and rewatch the movies.

Thank you, Suzanne Collins. For giving so many The Girl on Fire.

What I Learned From Katniss Everdeen

This won’t be a list of things that I didn’t know before I read the series or watched the movies, but more a list of things I think people can reasonably take away from it.

1. Family is everything

We’ve all seen in movies or TV shows that family is the most important aspect of life. We’ve all probably been told by our parents or siblings too. Whether or not you believe it to be true, this series exemplifies the idea. From the start Katniss just wants to stay alive for her family. Her sister. Her mom. And then those immediately around her like Gale and Peeta. Family is everything. It’s why she fought so hard in her original Games.

2. It’s okay to voice unpopular opinions

Katniss is not outspoken before she enters the Games for the first time. She’s pretty average. But as time goes on and she embraces her role as the mockingjay we see that she does not like any of what’s happening in the districts and she speaks up. Sometimes her timing is bad and the consequences trouble her, but Katniss struggles to just keep her mouth shut when she’s instructed to do so. Her freedom of speech is all but nonexistent, but she still speaks out against the Games and the Capitol.

3. Love is a tricky thing

We all know that Katniss loves the people around her. Gale. Prim. Peeta. Her mom. Probably Haymitch and Effie. Cinna. She does. But it’s a different reason for each person. And she still struggles with choosing either Gale it Peeta. Things like love don’t always have to be so black and white like we’re made to believe.

4. War doesn’t solve every problem

And we know this. But it is so evident in the series. They go through this brutal war between the districts and the Capitol and what changes after it all?

5. You control your own actions

During the Games and the war Katniss and company had to do some bad things. She was forced to kill. And she did. To survive. But at the end of the day, the Capitol and whatever you think its real-world equivalent is, can only make you do so much. You still control you.

What did you take from it all?