Itinerant Librarian on Books

Like others, I am trying this out after GoodReads sold out to Amazon. I am an avid reader, and I hope to keep track of what I read as well as share it with others who may be interested.


 A little more about me:


I have been an academic librarian since 2004, and I started blogging in 2005. Prior to this, I have been a high school teacher and a college adjunct instructor. One of my passions is to teach others how to know when they need information, how to find it, and how to make use of it in an ethical way. I have access to a diverse range of information sources, and I know how to use them. Plus, I arm people with facts and information. I am firm believer in teaching these very important skills.

I call my professional blog A Simple Scholarly Librarian (where, among other things, I read a lot of library literature so you don't have to, then I write about it. This blog is currently on hiatus). I also keep my book review and personal blog at The Itinerant Librarian.  Finally, I do have a commonplace/scratch pad blog at Alchemical Thoughts. Feel free to check my blogs out. Comments are always welcome.

Married to The Better Half, we have a daughter who reminds me innocence and wonder are great things. We also have two cats who keep life interesting.

Booknote: Pizza

Pizza : over 100 innovative recipes for crusts, sauces, and toppings for every pizza lover - Pippa Cuthbert

Link to my review of this book. If you are a home cook/baker and pizza enthusiast, this may be for you.

Booknote: Pherone

Pherone - Patrick Baggatta, Jim Sink

My review of this title over on my blog The Itinerant Librarian. Click to read more.

31 Days of Tarot 2020: Day 24

Some folks may know that I read and study Tarot and cartomancy. During the month of January, I am doing the 31 Days of Tarot challenge, and I have been posting the prompts over on my blog Alchemical Thoughts. I am sharing now the link to the Day 24 prompt because the prompt is: "Your Top 5 Tarot Books of 2010-2019." The list has the books and links to my reviews of those books. If this interests you, feel free to click the link and check it out. I will be adding the books to my shelf here on BookLikes later.


Also, if anyone else here does Tarot, oracle cards, or other cartomancy, feel free to comment and say hello.

Reading Challenges for 2020

After taking an extended break from doing reading challenges, I have decided to do a few for 2020. After I completed the 2017 Reading Challenges, I figured I would take a year off. I ended up taking two full years off. Anyhow, I am ready to try again, so here are the reading challenges I am doing in 2020.


Click the link to read more and see what I am attempting in 2020.

Brief Status Report-- a follow up

— feeling question


Taking a chance, and doing a little updating and cleaning up around here. I added in and updated what I am currently reading. I tend to read multiple books at a time, so the list is on the big side. Also, I am doing some reading challenges this year, which I will post about as well. Hope to gradually add reviews here again and get the shelves back on track. We'll see if things hold. On a side note, I had to add some titles as the BL database did not have them.

Booknote: Hell's Cartel

Hell's Cartel: IG Farben and the Making of Hitler's War Machine - Diarmuid Jeffreys

Updating the list of books I was currently reading (before the down times). You can click the link to read my review of this.

Booknote: The Hellbound Heart

The Hellbound Heart - Clive Barker

Came in to update the currently reading list to reflect what I am actually reading these days. I finished this one. Click the link to read my full review of this.

Brief Status Report

And it looks like we had another few days of outage with no updates or anything from the BookLikes folks. And do not even get me started on the fact they do not update their other social media like Twitter. I am seriously losing faith in this place. Was planning on making a go here again in 2020, but the uncertainty is just getting too much. Honestly wondering if this site is going to end up on death watch.


Anyhow, I will give it some thought and see from there.


In the meantime, you guys can find me on my blog and other social media (they are linked on my blog here).


Paz y amor.

Booknote: Battle Pope Presents: Saint Michael

Battle Pope: Saint Michael - Robert Kirkman

Link to my review of this.


This is a prequel to the Battle Pope series; I have reviewed the other titles of the series in my blog.


Click link above to check out this review.

Booknote: Appalachian Health and Well-Being

Appalachian Health and Well-Being - Robert L. Ludke, Phillip J. Obermiller, Richard A. Couto

Link to my review of this book. This review is a bit different. Since it is an academic text mainly to be used as resource, I am not rating it like I would other books. From my review:


"This note is a reference book review. We currently have this book in our collection at Hutchins Library; I saw it on our new reference books' shelf, and I decided to make this note both to help me better know this resource and to see if it can be helpful for our students here. In this note, I will mainly look at key features of the book, how it is organized, and why it may be useful and how."


Click on the link to read the full review and check it out.

Booknote: Browsings

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books - Michael Dirda

My review of this book over at The Itinerant Librarian. Check it out.

Booknote: Book by Book

Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life - Michael Dirda

My review of Book by Book by Michael Dirda over on my blog.

Reading about the reading life: June 9, 2019 edition

The latest installment of the semi-regular series "Reading about the Reading Life" I do over at The Itinerant Librarian. This is where I collect stories about reading and the reading life, items related to reading, writing, literacy, and a few other things I think may interest my four readers. Check it out. Feel free to comment.



My review of March: Book Three

March: Book Three - John   Lewis, Nate Powell, Andrew Aydin

This is one of the books I left as "currently reading" when I took my break from BookLikes.


You can find my full review of it here at The Itinerant Librarian.

Coming back a bit at a time (seems world did not end...yet)

Back in 2016 I turned out the lights here and walked out when BookLikes basically went unstable and no one was really sure if they were coming or going. I went on to other places, mainly my main book reviews and personal blog, The Itinerant Librarian.


On the one hand, I did miss the place, plus the Tumblr debacle meant one less place online (for those who may have missed it, here is a link). On the other, seems this place has managed to keep some stability (though I am skeptical as this is the second attempt at this post since it failed to post the first one just now), so I am going to make a go at it again here. We'll see how it goes.


As always, if you want to find me, you can also visit me in these other places:


As I mentioned, my main book reviews and personal blog is The Itinerant Librarian.


My Twitter is @bloodravenlib (yes, this has changed from @gypsylib, long story).


My commonplace blog at Alchemical Thoughts. This is mainly odds and ends and some cartomancy content (another thing that has happened since 2016 is I've taken up study of cartomancy, mainly Tarot and oracle cards. Some of that will likely appear here too in BookLikes here and there).


My "Tumblr refugee" blog at Alchemical Annex. This is where I exported my Tumblr before I took it down. Also odds and ends, mainly short things.


My newest experiment. This is one of the Tumblr alternatives recently available. I am still figuring it out. One of the features I like is their ability to rate posts by levels from family-friendly to explicit, which allows a degree of isolation (better effort to keep kiddies and busybodies out or at least out of certain areas). I did rate my blog on the X side (though I rarely post anything explicit if ever) just to try things out. So when you see blog without blogging in, it will show any content lower than X, of which I have plenty and prompt you to log in to see the rest. It is an interesting idea and effort to keep a bit of better control and allow better free expression. Want to check it out? My blog is Alchemical Annex on nT over at NewTumbl.


So anyhow that is some of what I've been up to since last I was here. I hope to get back to reviewing books here, keeping track of what I read, crossposting a bit from Itinerant Librarian, and slowly getting back into the book community here. If you followed me before, and you are still here, hope you will come along. If I am new to you, check things out, feel free to comment even if to say hello.


I've also updated my list of the books I am currently reading. You can find that on the right sidebar. Finally, in a bit of housecleaning, I slightly changed the title of the blog here (because. . . reasons). For me, I am likely going to find a few broken links in other places where I linked here; I'll just fix as I find them. For you, I hope the effect is minimal.


Paz y amor.


In case BookLikes goes belly up (or making sure things are backed up)

It seems BookLikes was a nice experiment while it lasted. I'd say for at least a couple of months, this site has been having serious technical and usability issues, as in it can barely be used. I am not even sure this post will get posted (as I type, the browser is still spinning to finish loading the page). So, in case this post manages to make it through, for my few followers, here is where you can find me and my book reviews: I am always on Twitter: @gypsylib My book review blog is The Itinerant Librarian ( My commonplace blog is Alchemical Thoughts ( I am also on Tumblr at Finally, my GoodReads profile, which I may have to go back to if I do not find a better option: Good luck folks.

Currently reading

Batman: Death Mask
Yoshinori Natsume
Red Hail
Jamie Killen
Llewellyn's Complete Book of Ceremonial Magick: A Comprehensive Guide to the Western Mystery Tradition
Lon Milo DuQuette
Bloodshot, Book 1
Tim Seeley
Captain Ginger, Volume 1
Stuart Moore, John Richardson, June Brigman, Veronica Gandini
Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey
Reid Mitenbuler
How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills
Seth Grahame-Smith, Wes Craven
Michel de Montaigne, J.M. Cohen
Progress: 38/406 pages
The Complete Fiction
H.P. Lovecraft, S.T. Joshi
Progress: 32/1098 pages