A graphic says "Staff Book Picks: Zoe, Shelver" with a photo of Zoe and three book covers: "Women Holding Things," "All Adults Here," and "If You Come to Earth."
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Alison Gowans
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June 24, 2024 – The Cedar Rapids Public Library is made possible by our incredible staff. And we are staffed by book lovers. To celebrate the people who keep our library running, we're highlighting different staff members and five books they love. 

Zoe started working at the library as a shelver on Valentine's Day in 2022. She had volunteered as a Holds Hunter in 2020.  

"I love my job as a shelver because I get to do a lot of different things. I like solving problems that arise, finding books that may be mislaid, repairing a tear in a picture book," she said. "When I am out shelving books sometimes a patron will ask for help finding a certain section of the library. I love that the library is ordered and that the longer I work here the more my knowledge of that order grows."  

Browse Zoe's book recommendations below, and put them on hold in our catalog by clicking on their covers.

"Women Holding Things" by Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman treasures the beauty and humor in everyday moments. A collection of painted illustrations and handwritten observations, this book feels like a letter from a friend. I appreciate the way she connects her experiences with her family history and the history of our country.  

"The Rock From The Sky" by Jon Klassen

This book makes me laugh out loud. It also makes me feel less alone. In one panel, with just a few words Klassen is able to shed as much light on the nature of human relationships as any good novelist can. It's also about a stubborn turtle and a really big rock.

"All Adults Here" by Emma Straub

After picking up "This Time Tomorrow" on a whim, I proceeded to read every Emma Straub book in the catalog. Her writing is honest and compelling, funny and relatable. At times you feel like she is looking right at you, like she knows your friends and family. (Bonus points to Emma Straub for also writing a picture book about hats). 

"If You Come to Earth" by Sophie Blackall 

This book brings together the beautiful variety of life on earth, including things like war and homelessness. Not an easy feat for a children's book. Blackall is another artist whose work I deeply admire. She is able to create spaces in her illustrations that allow readers to see multiple layers and draw their own conclusions.  

"All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr 

What an incredible book! I haven't read anything else like it. Doerr quietly builds a complex structure for his characters to inhabit. Yet there is nothing cold or calculated about his work. It made me feel more human and more connected to other humans.