Hidden Shelf
November 30, 2020
16 min read

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. 

There are many options to shopping for books safely, without the hustle and bustle of crowded stores: 

IndieBound and BookShop both offer options for searching and purchasing books online while supporting local indie bookstores. 

And of course you can also shop for books on Amazon (hey, remember when they used to just sell books?)

You can safely browse the Hidden Shelf, virtually read the spines, look at the covers, read the back of the books, and view our recommendations (or ask us!), and give the gift of books this season. 


Wildflower Girl    Dana Stewart Quinney

Winner of the 2019 Idaho Library Association Book of the Year Award 

Growing up in Ketchum in the 1950s, Dana Quinney found magic in the wilds of Idaho’s Wood River Valley – unplowed, unskied, untracked, and unpeopled.  Her memoir, Wildflower Girl, recounts the life of an adventurous woman born for wild places, leading her to a distinguished career in field biology. From tales of fishing with her father, who was a fishing guide for Ernest Hemingway; to a discovery of new species, each beautifully written chapter takes you on a nostalgic journey of mystery, adventure, and the magic of nature.

For Fans Of: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Wild by Cheryl Strayed 

To Buy For: Your Uncle who just retired from the U.S. Forest Service; your niece who you want to inspire to be brave, smart, bold, and adventurous; your brother who loves to fish; your cousin who is an environmental activist; the “hard to buy for” people on your list; your sister-in-law who is all about strong, no-nonsense, female empowerment.

One Christmas Lasts Forever   R.D. Gaines

Late one Christmas Eve, a father unexpectedly steps back into his childhood of parents and grandparents, only to realize his children are standing behind him . . . A unique and beautifully illustrated story of eternal bonds . . . with a wondrous twist.

A great book to gift, or add to your own collection, during the Christmas Season; a time filled with family and memories. 

To Buy For: Your grandparents or elderly neighbors/friends; your parents; the grandparents of your children; gifts for Sunday School teachers

Send Judah First   Brian C. Johnson

Amazon and Barnes and Noble Best Seller

Captured and sold into slavery, a young African girl faces a harrowing new life in 19th-century America… Meet Judah in a powerful historical novel that reveals the life of one of the many enslaved people at Virginia’s Belle Grove Plantation. Brian C. Johnson’s important work of historical fiction goes beyond what is recorded to portray the depth, humanity, and vulnerability of a beautiful soul all but erased by history.

For fans of: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, 12 years a Slave by Solomon Northrup.

To buy for: Your mother-in-law who loves to cook; your cousin who is a history buff; your neighbor who researches African American genealogy, your child’s teacher, anyone who is dedicated to listening to Black stories and taking action against racial injustice.

Promise Lost   Dan Moore

The true story of Lieutenant Steve Joyner, who carried all the traits of a “perfect Marine” – character, compassion, determination, patriotism . . .  an All-American football star. But then came the harsh and unforgiving realities of combat in Vietnam. How the two worlds he inhabited both connected and conflicted reveals the character of an extraordinary man gone far too soon. 

For fans of: The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien, Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes

To buy for: Your Grandpa who loves to read all the war stories; your cousin who is a history buff, your nephew who was recently sworn into the Marine Corps.

Jiemba and Friends Scott and Mariah Ziemer

Scott Ziemer, and Mariah Ziemer, a debut father-daughter team, bring a story set in the Australian Outback. The Beautifully hand drawn illustrations, Australian terms and glossary, and clever story of friendship; will launch this “Down Under” adventure to the top of your reading list. 

 For fans of: children’s picture books, books about animals and friendship

To buy for: kids, grandkids, your classroom, homeschool library, teachers and librarians.

Canadian Contraband Cameron Ventura 
Newest book in the Calvin Poag YA Series 

When Cal and James discover something terrible in the woods, their youthful curiosity unexpectedly leads them on a path that soon threatens their very survival. A fast-paced adventure requiring physical prowess, mental toughness, and unwavering trust . . . best friends caught in the most perilous situation of their lives.

For fans of: The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon, Up the Creek (milligan creek series), Kevin Miller, Summer of the Woods (The Virginia Mysteries Series), Steven K. Smith, The Last Kids on Earth, Max Brallier

To buy for: Your nephew who thinks he doesn’t like reading, baby boomers looking for a book rich with childhood nostalgia

Last but not least, a gift for YOURSELF,  because you want to curl up inside, by the fire, through the winter season!

Who is the hardest person to buy for on your list? 

Need a book recommendation? Ask us!



Written by Rachel Wickstrom 

Rachel Wickstrom coordinates marketing at Hidden Shelf Publishing house. She’s an avid reader, master party-planner, craft enthusiast, a mom to two young boys with wildly long hair, and is married to a hospital chaplain. As an Oregon native, Rachel’s childhood memories are scented with juniper berries and the crisp mountain air of Central Oregon. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho where her days are scented with lukewarm coffee, and spilled snacks.

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