Hidden Shelf Blog

9 Books to Give as Gifts This Year

9 Books to Give as Gifts This Year

Top 9 Books to Give as Gifts This Year  Hidden Shelf Gift Guide 2021 Books are always great options for gifts. Again this year people are spending more time at home, less time traveling, less time socializing; a perfect opportunity to grab a warm drink, a...

Top 5 STEM Books For Kids

Top 5 STEM Books For Kids

Top 5 STEM Books For Kids: A Granddad’s Guide to Great Books for the Curious Grandchild.

“Sure, I give my grandchildren cool toys. But I also send gifts that will last. My grandkids (ages 10, 8, 7) are probably a lot like yours – curious, creative, fun … and obsessed with books that spark their intelligence.” Here’s a short list of great books for bright kids (ages 7-12).

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Writing Wrongs– How My Family’s History Influenced My Novels

Writing Wrongs– How My Family’s History Influenced My Novels

I learned that my fate is indeed tied up with historical moments but that writing helps me understand it and right the wrongs of the past.

I took time to write two novels both involving three-year-old boys. Ironically, the Christy Award winning novel Stars in the Grass, centers around a family and the loss of their three-year-old son.

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The Heat Is On

The Heat Is On

Like many of you, I’m sweltering through a historic heatwave plaguing the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. By July 4th, my hometown in Montana  has already had more 90+ degree days than we used to have all summer. As the heat dries out forests, wildland fires will follow. We know the pattern. 

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National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day

We are a doughnut loving family! I love that the popular “national days” give us the excuse to indulge in these delicious treats! What better way to celebrate this sweet holiday than sinking your teeth into a tasty tale–featuring our favorite fried delicacy of course! 

Grab your favorite doughnut (and a cup of coffee) and start reading! 

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New Release – The Souls Of Clayhatchee

New Release – The Souls Of Clayhatchee

Fan readers of which authors/books do you think would enjoy this title and why? Walter Mosley fans would enjoy this book because it’s a mystery that’s steeped in black tradition and vernacular. Fans of Eric Jerome Dickey books would also enjoy this read because of its humor and accessibility.

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The Warden’s Son Book Release Party

The Warden’s Son Book Release Party

Mark your calendars for the release of The Warden’s Son, a posthumous memoir about growing up at the Idaho State Penitentiary by Jerry Clapp, son of Idaho’s longest serving Warden, Lou Clapp, and featuring an introduction by Anthony Parry, Old Idaho Penitentiary Interpretive Specialist.

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Bruce Smith Author Spotlight

Bruce Smith Author Spotlight

Bruce Smith is a wildlife biologist and an award-winning author of five books of natural history, conservation, and outdoor adventure, including Life on the Rocks: A Portrait of the Mountain Goat, which won the National Outdoor Book Award.

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Send Judah First Giveaway

Send Judah First Giveaway

Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Oluadah Equiano; all familiar names that have been readily adopted by American history. These Black history figures have been canonized for oratory skills, abolition work, or for being a first. While their exploits are worthy of consideration, our history books have ignored countless members of society whose exploits are not chronicled, remembered, or celebrated by many.

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Dr. Anthony Todd Carlisle on Family Legacy

Dr. Anthony Todd Carlisle on Family Legacy

When I think of family, I think of fragmentation. 

I was nurtured in the Pennsylvania mill town of Ambridge, raised by my maternal grandparents, Perry and Ellen Carlisle. My mother, Janice, moved down the road to Pittsburgh and my father, Butch, lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

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Hidden Shelf Gift Guide 2020

Hidden Shelf Gift Guide 2020

Books are always great options for gifts. Especially this year when people are spending more time at home, less time traveling, less time socializing; a perfect opportunity to grab a warm drink, a great book, and snuggle up at home. 

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Non-Fiction November

Non-Fiction November

As the spring blossomed into summer and assumptions of a temporary quarantine faded into a more dismal reality, I stacked my new books back on the shelf in favor of some old favorites. I needed the familiar cadence of pages I had turned countless times. I needed to know what to expect, what the ending would look like, and what emotions would surge.

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Author Spotlight Featuring Scott Ziemer

Author Spotlight Featuring Scott Ziemer

Basic info:
Full Name: Scott Ziemer
Printed works: Jiemba & Friends
Current Projects: Jiemba II, III,
Background, Growing up, and a little bit about yourself: Where did you grow up? Lakewood, (Southern) California
Describe your hometown in three words: Friendly, Scenic, Growing.

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Artist Spotlight – Mariah Ziemer

Artist Spotlight – Mariah Ziemer

Basic info:
Full Name: Mariah Ziemer
Printed works: Jiemba and Friends, written by Scott Ziemer, illustrated by Mariah Ziemer
Current Projects: Loose Chronicles, Bob Gaines

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Pandemic Comfort Reading: Our Top Picks

Pandemic Comfort Reading: Our Top Picks

Before we began our social isolation I had checked out several books from the library. Every spring I try to focus on reading Irish authors and books that are based in Ireland as part of my tribute to St. Patrick. This year I was excited about the stack of books I had selected.

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Boomerangs

Boomerangs

After reading Jiemba and Friends, I started thinking about boomerangs. I remember my cousin having one when I was a kid. I’m not sure any of us had much success getting it to fly back. Regardless, I always thought they were fascinating and I’ve realized a lot of people have questions about boomerangs.

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Free Printable Worksheets for Kindergarten!

Free Printable Worksheets for Kindergarten!

We recently released Jiemba & Friends and we are celebrating by giving away FREE printables to go with the book!
The worksheets are perfect for preschool and kindergarten kids, plus a few that are geared toward older elementary school.

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7 Earth Week Worthy Reads for Adults and Teens

7 Earth Week Worthy Reads for Adults and Teens

I consider myself a “part-time hippy”. I use essential oils, and I also vaccinate my kids. We eat a whole foods diet, but occasionally hit up the drive-thru. I eat a mostly vegan diet, but I eat eggs and honey. I use non-toxic, dye-free, scent-free …

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Literary Activities for All Ages

Literary Activities for All Ages

Books provide entertainment, education, and even escape for people of all ages. As many of us find ourselves spending more time at home than perhaps ever before, we want to present a few activities that fall “outside the pages”.

Share your book-related activities with us by tagging @hidden_shelf on Instagram!

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Hidden Shelf Revealed: Author Spotlight – Dan Moore

Hidden Shelf Revealed: Author Spotlight – Dan Moore

Basic info:
Full Name: James Daniel Moore 
Do you write under a pseudonym? How did you decide which name(s) to include on your books? No. I put the name I go by,  Dan Moore, simpler the better. 
Printed works: Promise Lost: Stephen Joyner, the Marine Corps and the Vietnam War. As well as numerous academic articles and book reviews. 
Current Projects: Author’s Expanded Revision of Promise Lost: Memoir of my year in Vietnam, 1967-68

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Black History Month: Adult Book List

Black History Month: Adult Book List

Earlier this month I talked about some of the things I look for when choosing picture books for my kids. I apply much of the same concepts when choosing books for myself, and that includes diverse representation.

• Diverse representation in characters
• Diverse representation in authors
• Diverse representation in content

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Hidden Shelf Revealed: Author Spotlight Series,  Featuring Brian C. Johnson

Hidden Shelf Revealed: Author Spotlight Series, Featuring Brian C. Johnson

Basic info:
Full Name:  Brian C. Johnson
Printed works: Send Judah First: The Erased Life of an Enslaved Soul; The Room Downstairs.
Current Projects : Caesar: Free Slave; Me, My Selfie & I: A Black Lives Matter Novel; Sintimacy: The Novel
Quick Facts About Me: I am the father of 4, and the grandfather of 8, and I am an avid kite flyer.

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Black History Month: Childrens Books

Black History Month: Childrens Books

Black History Month Book List
Featuring children’s books by black authors.

In our house, we try to make sure that the books we are reading to our kids, and the books they are reading to themselves, expose them to a wide array of diversity; racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, socio-economic, and thematic.

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New Year’s Resolution: Read More Books

New Year’s Resolution: Read More Books

Several years ago, I decided that I liked the idea of a “New Years Challenge” rather than a “New Year’s Resolution.”⁣ As a person with a competitive nature, a “challenge” was something I felt more compelled to work toward and “win”, rather than a resolution, which always felt like a change you made for January and then forgot about for the rest of the year. 

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Hidden Shelf Gift Guide 2019

Hidden Shelf Gift Guide 2019

Last year, I gifted books to everyone on our Christmas List. Young and old, near and far, everyone got a book. I loved the excuse to spend time in the bookstore; looking at spines, reading back covers, asking for recommendations.

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Top Ten Children’s Christmas Book

Top Ten Children’s Christmas Book

I loved to read as a child, (and still do as an adult). As a child, (and again still as an adult), we followed a pretty strict “No Christmas decorations or music until after Thanksgiving” rule. When it was finally time to bring out all of the Christmas tubs, my favorite one was the heaviest of all.

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Are You Up For A Challenge?

Are You Up For A Challenge?

It all began with a challenge. Brian C. Johnson emerged as a novelist through the NaNoWriMo Challenge. He is now working on his third novel. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge; a little challenge, to get started on something you were always meant to accomplish.

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7 Influential Slave Narratives

7 Influential Slave Narratives

For the longest time, I have been fascinated by slave narratives. Honestly, as a black man, just saying that makes me squeamish. In Send Judah First, I wanted to take the best of these books and tell a different story…

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Send Judah First – Apple Pan Dowdy Recipe

Send Judah First – Apple Pan Dowdy Recipe

In Send Judah First,author Brian C. Johnson not only opens a powerful and heart-wrenching door into Judah’s life, but also into Belle Grove’s kitchen where Judah served as head cook from 1817-1836. Today, we’re sharing one of the author’s favorite recipes: Apple Pan Dowdy. Ingredient quantities have been added for baking convenience!

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Send Judah First – Author Q & A with Brian C. Johnson

Send Judah First – Author Q & A with Brian C. Johnson

Author and advocate, Brian C. Johnson, has committed himself personally and professionally to the advancement of multicultural and inclusive education. His newest work of historical fiction, Send Judah First, is based on the life of of Belle Grove Plantation’s head cook…

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Wildflower Girl – Author Interview

Wildflower Girl – Author Interview

Idaho Author, Dana Stewart Quinney, recently took a few minutes to answer questions about her newest book, Wildflower Girl. Wildflower Girlis comprised of Dana’s childhood stories growing up in the mountain town of Ketchum, Idaho.

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Wild Flower Girl

Wild Flower Girl

Born to love the richness and magic of the wilds, Dana rode horses and learned to fly fish from her father, a legendary guide. She learned the names of flowers and trees, and the habits of animals that lived nearby . . .

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Top Ten Idaho Books

Top Ten Idaho Books

Fact: people love Idaho. For outsiders, the state holds a certain mystery and awe that spans far beyond potatoes. Idaho’s rugged and wild terrain attracts adventurers and wanderers from around the country.

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Hidden Shelf Trivia

Hidden Shelf Trivia

In 1952, Bernard Malamud’s first published novel was The Natural. The movie version starring Robert Redford came 32 years later.

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