The most recommended books set in Idaho

Who picked these books? Meet our 48 experts.

48 authors created a book list connected to Idaho, and here are their favorite Idaho books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of Idaho book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of Educated: A Memoir

Penny Lane Author Of Redeemed: A Memoir of a Stolen Childhood

From my list on people breaking from their pasts to claim their lives back.

Who am I?

I am an adult child of an alcoholic father and an abusive and dysfunctional stepmother who ran away from home at sixteen and fell into the wrong crowd in my search for love and family. Yet after years of hard personal work, I have overcome and triumphed over these obstacles to become stable, happy, and successful, in a good marriage, raising a great son in a loving, stable home. I’ve gone on to help and inspire others to do the same, including writing the book Redeemed, A Memoir of a Stolen Childhood.

Penny's book list on people breaking from their pasts to claim their lives back

Penny Lane Why did Penny love this book?

I identified with Tara Westover while reading her memoir because of her secluded and restrictive upbringing. Like her, my upbringing made me feel left out, “other,” different from normal kids, not allowed the usual activities that other kids could do and kept from learning and growing in my own way.

I didn’t understand how these rules affected me until I saw my angst in her own words of isolation, yearning, and rebellion. It gave me hope that our desire for self-fulfillment and actualization is universal and stronger than the people who try, for good reasons or bad, to keep us down.

It is an amazing book. I could barely put it down. 

By Tara Westover,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Educated as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

Selected as a book of the year by AMAZON, THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, NEW YORK TIMES, ECONOMIST, NEW STATESMAN, VOGUE, IRISH TIMES, IRISH EXAMINER and RED MAGAZINE

'One of the best books I have ever read . . . unbelievably moving' Elizabeth Day
'An extraordinary story, beautifully told' Louise O'Neill
'A memoir to stand alongside the classics . . . compelling and joyous' Sunday Times

Tara Westover grew up preparing for the end of the world. She was never put in school, never taken to the doctor. She did not even have a birth certificate…


Book cover of Before I Called You Mine

Sarah Hanks Author Of Mercy Will Follow Me

From my list on to give you all the feels.

Who am I?

The biggest compliment a reader can give me is to tell me my book made them cry. Yes, I love a great tear-jerker. I love writing them, and I love reading them. When we feel more deeply, we can live more fully. Books that evoke emotion can help us tune into our authentic selves and confront falsehoods that have held us back from full victory in our lives. Plus, reading is cheaper than therapy! I seek to bring hope, healing, and freedom through fiction. You have to feel to heal, so bring on all the feels.  

Sarah's book list on to give you all the feels

Sarah Hanks Why did Sarah love this book?

Before I Called You Mine truly brought me through the gamut of emotions with a plot that pitted the main character’s two deepest desires against each other: becoming an adoptive mother and true love.

As a mom who has adopted twice, my heart thrummed in time with Lauren’s as she pursued her passion of adopting, only to come up against an obstacle she never expected. This journey of the heart was so relatable and heartfelt, I couldn’t help but walk it with the characters. And wow! What characters.

A novel about tough choices and how following God’s path brings the sweetest rewards in the end. This is a lesson I’ve learned repeatedly in my own life. How encouraging for this book to remind me. 

By Nicole Deese,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Before I Called You Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there's only one match she's committed to now--the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency's requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day,…


Book cover of All Over Creation

Fran Hawthorne Author Of I Meant to Tell You

From my list on ordinary people drawn into social activism.

Who am I?

Was it the environmental movement, which burgeoned as I was growing up? Or remnants of Sunday School teachings? For whatever reason, I deeply believe that I have a responsibility to give back to the world more than I take. There are many ways to give back, as my characters Miranda and Russ explore in my novel I Meant to Tell You. In my nonfiction, I’ve investigated the healthcare and financial industries, and also suggested steps we can take in our everyday lives as consumers, parents, and investors. When I’m not writing, I’m organizing environmental clean-ups, collecting supplies for refugees, and phoning public officials.

Fran's book list on ordinary people drawn into social activism

Fran Hawthorne Why did Fran love this book?

This novel took me into a community that I rarely read about in fiction, to show the human impact of a controversial industry—in this case, GMO agriculture and Idaho potato farmers. From my research for two of my nonfiction books, I started with some understanding of the complex debate, and I appreciate that All Over Creation branches into more subplots beyond simply Big Agriculture versus family farms. In fact, I liked Will, the well-meaning local farmer who sincerely believes that GMO potatoes will save his ailing farm, far more than Yumi, the main character, a single mom who long ago fled potato country. She seems too caught up in her resentments against her father and hometown, to care about anyone but herself. 

By Ruth Ozeki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Over Creation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A warm and witty saga about agribusiness, environmental activism, and community-from the celebrated author of The Book of Form and Emptiness and A Tale for the Time Being

Yumi Fuller hasn't set foot in her hometown of Liberty Falls, Idaho-heart of the potato-farming industry-since she ran away at age fifteen. Twenty-five years later, the prodigal daughter returns to confront her dying parents, her best friend, and her conflicted past, and finds herself caught up in an altogether new drama. The post-millennial farming community has been invaded by Agribusiness forces at war with a posse of activists, the Seeds of Resistance,…


Book cover of Accounting for Love

Greta Rose West Author Of Burned

From my list on romance that make you want to move to a small town.

Who am I?

I’ve been a reader all my life. It started with books like Where the Red Fern Grows, and as I got older, I moved on to books like The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and Skipped Parts by Tim Sandlin. Whatever I was reading, it was taking place somewhere in the wilds of the mid and western United States. I’m from a small town, and growing up, everybody knew their neighbor’s business. These are the places I love to read and write about. Add some steamy romance, and I’m there! So when the MMC from my first book, Burned, cowboy Jack Cade, showed up in my head, I knew he was from a small town.

Greta's book list on romance that make you want to move to a small town

Greta Rose West Why did Greta love this book?

Stetson and Jennifer = Grumpy and Sunshine. There’s a forced proximity vibe but this small town ain’t big enough for the both of them! This book has laughs, a feisty housekeeper who puts grumpy Stetson in his place, and the descriptions of Long Valley are beautiful. It’s the first in a multi-book series with more than one spin-off series, so when you finish Accounting for Love, you’ll have plenty more to read from Long Valley.

By Erin Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Accounting for Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Enjoy this steamy cowboy series by USA Today Bestselling small-town romance author Erin Wright…

He’s a farmer, dammit, not a bookkeeper…
When cowboy Stetson Miller inherits his father’s farm in small-town Idaho, he’s too focused on crops and yields to pay attention to the financial side of things.
The next thing he knows, he’s got a stack of unpaid bills, the bank is threatening to foreclose…and the auditor who’s come to examine his accounts is the sexiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.
But she’s a city girl, just like the last one who left him at the altar. He'll…


Book cover of Cloud Cuckoo Land

Rachana Vajjhala Author Of Kinetic Cultures: Modernism and Embodiment on the Belle Epoque Stage

From my list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance.

Who am I?

I’m a music historian who loves to read novels. Most of my childhood was spent either playing the piano or devouring whatever books I could get my hands on. Now, I try to share my love of music and good writing with my students at Boston University. When not at school, you can usually find me exploring the trails of New England with my dog.     

Rachana's book list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance

Rachana Vajjhala Why did Rachana love this book?

A play within a play, a book within a book, may be one of the oldest tricks in the book. Doerr’s book (which also contains fragments of an ancient text of the same name by one Antonius Diogenes) infuses this familiar trope with new scope, pathos, humor, and profundity.

It is a story about the past, the present, the future, and two beautiful twin bulls named Tree and Moonlight; I think this book contains it all.

Doerr makes this narrative juggling act seem easy, shifting from fifteenth-century Constantinople to a world-containing spaceship as easily as he moved me from laughter to tears.  

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Cloud Cuckoo Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the New York Times bestseller list for over 20 weeks * A New York Times Notable Book * A National Book Award Finalist * Named a Best Book of the Year by Fresh Air, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Associated Press, and many more

“If you’re looking for a superb novel, look no further.” —The Washington Post

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, comes the instant New York Times bestseller that is a “wildly inventive, a humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences” (The New York Times…


Book cover of Dies the Fire

B.K. Bass Author Of What Once Was Home

From my list on ordinary people surviving the extraordinary.

Who am I?

I lived in small towns with “ordinary” people most of my life, so books where people from small towns contend with situations beyond the ordinary fascinate me. I also served in the US Army as a nuclear, biological, and chemical operations specialist and am a military history buff, so anything with a military spin is all that more engaging for me and I developed a morbid fascination for just how easy it would be for us to end civilization as we know it. Therefore, military science fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction are among my favorite genres. 

B.K.'s book list on ordinary people surviving the extraordinary

B.K. Bass Why did B.K. love this book?

Unlike the typical post-apocalyptic fare of nuclear war or other identifiable disasters, Dies the Fire posits an interesting question: What if everything just stops working? Everything we rely on to drive modern society, from combustion to electricity, fails. Against this backdrop, a cast of characters from varied backgrounds all must struggle to adapt to this new reality. Civilization falls apart, and new orders spring up in their place. What drew me most to this was the different ways in which the characters responded to this situation. Some seek simply to survive, while others seek to exploit this new reality for their own gains at the expense of others.

By S. M. Stirling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dies the Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

S. M. Stirling presents his first Novel of the Change, the start of the New York Times bestselling postapocalyptic saga set in a world where all technology has been rendered useless.

The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable—and plunged the world into a dark age humanity was unprepared to face... 
 
Michael Pound was flying over Idaho en route to the holiday home of his passengers when the plane’s engines inexplicably died, forcing a less than perfect landing in the wilderness. And…


Book cover of Waiting

Patricia Marcantonio Author Of Misbehaving at Cactus Lanes

From my list on taking on a second chance.

Who am I?

I love to tell stories, a love I discovered ever since I was a kid listening to my family who love to tell stories. Mine defy genres because the voice and characters guide me into how their tales should be told. I've written mysteries, YA and middle-grade books, a graphic novel, and courtroom drama. My newest book is driven by the character of Margaret Adams, who's seeking a new life after years of being buried alive with sometimes hilarious results. I just had to listen...

Patricia's book list on taking on a second chance

Patricia Marcantonio Why did Patricia love this book?

Three generations of the Foster women, Grandmother Maxine, Mom Grace, and granddaughter Abbie, share not only blood but also waiting for love, for adventure, for life to start. They are all very human in their follies, hopes, and virtues.

I especially love Maxine and her obsession with getting to Graceland. You laugh and cry with them, despair and find joy with them, and in the end, you have become a member of the family. 

By Bonnie Dodge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Waiting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three generations of Foster women–senior citizen Maxine, attention seeker Grace, and aspiring artist Abbie–think they are nothing alike. But they all share a secret. They wait. For love, for attention, for life, for death, for Idaho’s warm, but promising summer to return. In their journeys between despair and happiness, they learn there are worse things than being alone, like waiting for the wrong person’s love. With sensitivity and humor, WAITING carries readers into the hearts of three women who learn that happiness comes from within.


Book cover of A Glimpse of My Heart: One Nurse's Story

Cheryl Dellasega Author Of Toxic Nursing: Managing Bullying, Bad Attitudes, and Total Turmoil

From my list on wellbeing for nurses.

Who am I?

Juggling roles as a professor, nurse practitioner, author, mother, and grandmother would seem to limit my reading time but instead, I always have a book in my car, on my phone, or in my hands. I read broadly and enjoy all genres, from fiction to nonfiction, poetry to medical comics, as well as the creative essay columns nursing journals are beginning to embrace. In particular, I gravitate toward resources that help nurses create a positive relational workplace where their best efforts can be even more effective. Whether it’s ending the RN-RA (relational aggression) Rut, using poetry to express feelings about caregiving, or writing creatively about the many aspects of nursing, I am ready to read! And of course, the best part of reading is having a discussion with colleagues or friends about what exactly that book was about…

Cheryl's book list on wellbeing for nurses

Cheryl Dellasega Why did Cheryl love this book?

Television has offered movies and series with nurses as the primary protagonists, but few books narrate the gritty lived experience of RNs. A Glimpse of My Heart is one that does, sharing her story in a light but informative tone that makes the book very readable despite the grim realities of cancer nursing. 

By Delraya Anstine RN OCN,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Glimpse of My Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Having worked as A Registered Nurse certified in the area of oncology (taking care of cancer patients) for 23 years, Delraya has learned to face tears and stress, but along the way has discovered much joy. She is a native of North Idaho where she continues to live with her husband of 38 years. She has two grown children and five amazing grandchildren. She enjoys the outdoors, the changing seasons and also loves to travel.

10 percent of the proceeds from this book are donated to Sarcoma Research.


Book cover of Maggie Moves On

Cat Johnson Author Of Between a Rock and a Hard Cowboy

From my list on feel-good romance when the world is a dumpster-fire.

Who am I?

I was a romance reader long before becoming an author. 89 published books later, including 2 New York Times and 9 USA Today bestsellers, I feel justified in claiming some knowledge on the subject. I believe you must be a book lover, an avid reader, to be a successful writer. That said, everyone has diverse tastes, and I think taste and what a person needs in a book, changes with time and circumstances. Luckily there have never been more books available. You just have to find them. Whether you read my recommendations and said, “Yes!” or “Hell, no!”, I hope you're one step closer to your next best read.

Cat's book list on feel-good romance when the world is a dumpster-fire

Cat Johnson Why did Cat love this book?

Did you ever read a book so immersive that you were sad when it was over because it felt as if you were saying goodbye forever to your new best friends? That’s how I felt at the final page of Maggie Moves On

With a reluctant down-on-love heroine and a hot hero who falls hard and fast and refuses to give up on her, the romance was both steamy and swoon-worthy. Add in the laugh-out-loud moments with a comical but ill-trained dog, an old house under renovation and full of secrets, a small town, and a large cast of characters and this book hit all my hot buttons.

By Lucy Score,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maggie Moves On as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?

House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.

The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But…


Book cover of Walk Two Moons

Rachel Bithell Author Of Brave Bird at Wounded Knee: A Story of Protest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

From my list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers.

Who am I?

Teachers and children’s writers are some of each other’s biggest fans, and I have been both, so I couldn’t resist putting a teacher in my book. Besides that, teachers are very useful characters because they can make kids in books do things like write reports or keep a journal. Initially, my main character, Patsy, doesn’t especially like her teacher, Miss Ashman. Patsy thinks she’s too strict. But by the end of the book, she realizes that challenging students and having high expectations are some of the things that make a great teacher. If you’ve ever had a teacher you loved, you’ll want to check out the books on this list. 

Rachel's book list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers

Rachel Bithell Why did Rachel love this book?

This book had me alternating from laughing out loud to holding back tears (or sometimes not holding them back).

Two parallel stories about loss and hope unfold from the perspective of main character, Sal Hiddle. Populating the two stories is an impressive cast of quirky characters, including Mr. Birkway, a gem of an English teacher who shows that believing the best about his students helps them be their best, a lesson that has been valuable to me as a teacher, friend, and parent. 

By Sharon Creech,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Walk Two Moons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins.

What is the meaning of this strange message left on the doorstep? Only Sal knows, and on a roadtrip with her grandparents she tells the bizarre tale of Phoebe Winterbottom, Phoebe's disappearing mother and the lunatic. But who can help Sal make sense of the mystery that surrounds her own story . . . and her own missing mother?