Hidden Shelf
Nov 23, 2020
24 min read

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. I didn’t want any surprises. I felt overwhelmed with the state of our world—pandemic, virtual school, racial injustice, elections, the global warming crisis, and on and on—I just couldn’t delve into any books that incited a call to action. So I settled in for some re-reads. 

 Now, eight months later things aren’t necessarily looking a lot better; in fact in regards to the pandemic, it could be argued that things are even more dire now than they were in March. However, since I was a child I have felt inspired by the changing of the seasons. As the crisp fall air sweeps in and the autumn leaves crunch under foot, as the nation welcomes new leadership and hope, I feel a renewed sense of desire to engage in intellectual challenge, to emotionally invest in other people’s stories, to fully re-engage in the discourse surrounding racial, social, and environmental justice, and to move out of the fog of 2020 and embrace some personal growth. 

 “Non-fiction November” revealed itself as a perfect jumping off point to start up a new TBR list


20 Book Suggestions for Non-Fiction November: 



Wildflower Girl, ILA Book of the Year, by Dana Stewart Quinney

Truth be told I have already read this one, but Wildflower Girl was just awarded the Idaho Library Association Book of the Year honor, so it really earned it’s place on this Non-Fiction November list!  A beautiful and fascinating read, Dana is a wonderful storyteller and it is easy to get lost in her adventures.

Making Our Way Home, Blair Imani

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Mattersby Kate Murphy

I have a few specific people in mind that I’d like to recommend this title to…


Native Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God, by Kaitlin B. Curtice



Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murth

This feels like an especially important read right now


An Indigineous Peoples’ History Of The United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Always working on unlearning the lessons I was taught in school, and making sure my kids know the truth the first time around. (There is also a “Young People’s version of this book)


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson

I have heard this book referenced on several social media platforms and articles and  I am very interested to dive in.



Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet—One Bite at a Time by Dr. Mark Hyman

I became a vegetarian after reading several books about the environmental impact of the meat industry. I am always interested in learning more about how our food affects more than just our stomachs.



The Answer Is… by Alex Trebek

I love jeopardy but I don’t know much about the man behind the answers



Separated by Jacob Soboroff



Two Trees Make a Forest: In Search of My Family’s Past Among Taiwan’s Mountains and Coasts by Jessica J. Lee

This sounds like a fascinating read…but also judging this book by its cover… LOVE IT!



Calm the H*ck Down by Melanie Dale

In all honesty quarantine has brought out the worst in me as far as parenting, and has revealed a whole host of parenting triggers. I need this title and book to speak some peace and life back into my parenting rut.




Ask a Philosopher: Answers to Your Most Important and Most Unexpected Questions by Ian Olasov

If you are familiar with the enneagram, I am a 6 with a strong 5 wing. I spend a lot of time thinking. I also like collecting knowledge and facts and more things to ponder, so naturally I was intrigued by the premise of this book.




A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, David Attenborough

Our family loves Planet Earth, and the soothing sound of David Attenborough’s voice. I haven’t read any of his other books, I thought I might start with his newest and work my way back through the years.




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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