Gypsy 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 The Gypsy Librarian (where, among other things, I read a lot of library literature so you don't have to, then I write about it) because a gypsy is a wanderer, and I am a wanderer at heart. As Tolkien wrote, "not all who wander are lost." I also keep a 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.

Saturday Public Library Haul: March 21, 2015

Etiquette for Outlaws - Rob Cohen, David Wollock The Radical King (King Legacy) - Martin Luther King Jr., Cornel West The 12-Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails. the Only Guide You Need for an Amazing Home Bar - David Solmonson, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

I have not done one of these posts in a while, mostly because life keeps happening. But I do enjoy my Saturdays browsing and finding new things to read at my local public library, so here are my latest findings. Once I read them, I will do my best to get the reviews up. I find that writing up the reviews, or at least taking notes to write the reviews, is the easy part. Putting them up online? Not as easy. Anyhow, here we go.


The Radical King. I recently read Black Prophetic Fire (link to my review if you are interested) which was written by Cornel West. In the book, West speaks of the radical nature of Martin Luther King, Jr., a nature that has been mostly sanitized from the history books. So when I saw The Radical King, which is an edition of King's works highlighting his more radical work, I knew I had to pick it up and read it as well to keep on learning.


The 12 Bottle Bar. I had requested this for review at Netgalley, and they actually turned me down. It does not happen very often, but once in a while I do get rejected for a request. I was slightly curious why I was not approved since I have reviewed bar and and drinking books before, but oh well. Maybe it was for the better since at least one review of it I saw (via Drinkhacker) seemed mixed. However, when I saw it at my local public library, I was curious enough to take a look.


Etiquette for Outlaws. One of the places I check when I go to the public library, after the new books shelf, is the returns shelf. This is the staging shelf the library uses for books that return that have been discharged and need to be reshelved. Not all libraries keep their staging/returns shelf in an area available to the public. For me, it gives me a small glimpse of what other people in the community may be reading, and once in a while I do find something to read from there. Etiquette for Outlaws was one such find. I will admit the cover caught my eye right away. The book claims to answer questions like: what to wear to a fetish ball? what to tip a tattoo artist, strip club etiquette, and a few other streetwise and a bit chaotic things that somehow you are supposed to know, but no one tells you. The library's copy is a bit tattered, so it has gotten some use. When I read it, I will post a review.


Happy reading.

Booknote: Zaya

Zaya HC - Huang-jia Wei, Jean-david Morvan

From my review:


"I have to say I had a bit of a hard time with this one. The art is interesting, to say the least. I would call it a little surrealistic at times. The plot is not totally clear as it starts in an art exhibit and moves to a man getting pursued and shot. Is it some espionage thing we may ask as the comic starts?"


Click on the link to read the rest of the review on my blog, The Itinerant Librarian. Comments always welcome.

The Best Books I Read in 2014: An Appendix to My Reading List for 2014

Not that I would tell folks what to read or anything, but this is the best I read for 2014. Links to reviews provided in most cases so you can check them out. As I mentioned in the post, I usually include this list in my annual reading list, but I had such a good year, I separated this into its own post. From graphic novels to nonfiction to erotica and even a kids' book or two, odds are good you may find something to read here.


Go ahead and click on the URL link to visit my blog and check out the post in full. As always, comments welcome. If you pick up something from the list to read, I would love to hear from you as well, positive or negative, it's all about the reading.

Booknote: Ash and the Army of Darkness

Ash and the Army of Darkness - Steve Niles

This volume collects issues 1-8 of the comic. The volume opens with a nice cover gallery; it features some very neat images of Ash, and this is a nice way to open the volume. Overall, this is a nice sequel to the films as Ash goes back to the Dark Ages where the Wise Man, not so wisely, read the book (you know the one), and so the deadites are unleashed once more. It falls to Ash to save the day. . . again. That is what happens when you don't pay attention and fail to say an incantation correctly. This collection is filled with enough action to satisfy fans of the series. The art was pretty good too, and it brings the story to life. I really liked this one, and it was a fast paced read. Fans of the series will want to pick this one up. It makes a good continuation of the story many love. I would certainly buy it for my library, and public libraries will probably want to get it as well.

I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure:  This is where I tell you that I read this via NetGalley; it was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. There, The Man should be happy now.



(Crossposted from my blog, The Itinerant Librarian.)


Joining the 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

I did this challenge last year, and I did pretty well. This is a challenge that works for me because I do read quite a bit from these services. Thus I am going to try again for this year.


This is the first of various reading challenges I will attempt this year. Stay tuned as I do the sign-up posts for the others. If you use Netgalley and/or Edelweiss, this may be a reading challenge for you as well. Click on the link so you can check out the details, and I already have two titles listed as completed (reviews will come soon).


Happy reading!



Falling For YA

My Reading List for 2014

New on my blog, my annual reading report and list of books read for 2014. If you see anything on the list you like and you decide to read it, I would love to hear from you and how you liked it (or not). I also add some numbers and some thoughts on reading in general.


So, click on the link. I would be delighted if you check it out. Also, if you find anything good to read off the list, and you read it, I would love to hear from you whether  you like it or not.

Short Booknotes on Graphic Novels 20, and a Bonus Item

The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 7: 1963-1964 - Charles M. Schulz, Bill Melendez The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 8: 1965-1966 - Charles M. Schulz, Hal Hartley, Seth Star Wars: Darkness - John Ostrander, Jan Duursema Year One: Batman/Ra's al Ghul - Devin Grayson, Paul Gulacy, Jimmy Palmiotti, Laurie Kronenberg X-Men: Deadly Genesis - Ed Brubaker, Trevor Hairsine Uncanny X-Men: The Extremists - Ed Brubaker, Salvador Larroca, Jason Keith Frank R. Paul Father of Science Fiction Art - Arthur C. Clarke, Jerry Weist, Stephen Korshak

New on my blog, some short book reviews of graphic novels and comics I have read recently, plus a bonus item. These are basically books that were quick reads, and I did not think needed long reviews.


Reblogged from Unapologetic Reviews:

Mine would be "Literary Onions Bi-Weekly."


This was amusing, go ahead, check it out.

Reblogged from Karen's books:

Definitely. In fact, it is a reason I like being a librarian (though these days, admitting a love of books does not always go with librarianship it seems)

Booknote: City: the Mind in the Machine, Vol. 1

City: The Mind in the Machine Volume 1 - Eric Garcia

In a very near future, surveillance is everywhere, yet it is not enough. Ben Fischer has helped design Golden Shield, which can be everywhere. Golden Shield has one problem: it still needs a human mind because you still need human intuition to do surveillance well (otherwise you end up sending a S.W.A.T. team to kill a bunch of kids playing cops and robbers instead of killing real robbers).


Read the rest of my review and check this title out. Just click the link above.

My result from the quiz "Which Roman Prose Author Are You?" found at BuzzFeed. The part about liking books is definitely true. Feel free to try it out and let me know who you get.

Booknote: Wolverine Classic, Volume 3

Wolverine Classic, Vol. 3 (v. 3) - Peter David

Click the link to read my short review of this classic Marvel title.

Booknote: Star Wars: Blood Ties

Star Wars: Blood Ties - A Tale of Jango and Boba Fett - Tom    Taylor

This was a good read with a pretty satisfying ending. And yes, even Boba Fett has his moments when it comes to honoring the legacy of his father and making a dead man proud.


Click the link above to read the full review. As always, comments are welcomed. This is one for Star Wars fans.

Booknote: The Public Library

The Public Library: A Photographic Essay -

This is a beautiful book, and it is one that will likely go on my list of best reads for 2014. For librarians, especially public librarians, and for fans of libraries, this is a book that will warm the heart.


Click the link above to read the full review. As always, comments are welcomed. By the way, I think it is very appropriate that I borrowed this book from my local public library.

Take a look at old time book advertisements

Read Me: A Century of Classic American Book Advertisements - Dwight Garner

A fascinating thing is that many of the ads are for writers who we know as classic, canonical, famous, etc. Even folks like Steinbeck, Updike, and Kerouac had to start somewhere.


Click on the link for the full review and check out a bygone time where books were sold via advertisements, long before bloggers and Amazon.

Reblogged from Bookloving writer:
"“I am not a book collector, and I am not fussy about particular editions. As long as the words are there I don’t mind.”

- Adam Foulds


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This is me pretty much. I do like and keep books, but I do not hold to the illusion or try to collect any for monetary value. I buy books to be read. If they have the text I want, I am happy.

Currently reading

March: Book Three
Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Lewis Gaddis
Blood Ravens: The Dawn of War Omnibus
Cassern S. Goto
Progress: 369/768 pages