The World's Strongest Librarian

The World's Strongest Librarian

A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family

Book - 2013
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Traces the public librarian author's inspiring story as a Mormon youth with Tourette's Syndrome who after a sequence of radical and ineffective treatments overcame nightmarish tics through education, military service, and strength training.
Publisher: New York, New York : Gotham Books, [2013], ©2013
ISBN: 9781592407873
1592407870
Characteristics: x, 291 pages ; 25 cm

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m
marjorie_2013
Jul 19, 2017

This is a wonderfully honest memoir. Moving, funny, and inspirational! It is unusually well-written, and serves as a reminder that there is more to fitness than attainment of a desired physique.

s
shayshortt
Jan 19, 2017

The World’s Strongest Librarian is an interesting and well-rounded memoir, with aspects that may appeal to a variety of readers, whether you are looking to read about a fellow book lover, or to understand Mormonism or Tourette Syndrome better. Hanagarne tackles all these subjects with humour and self-deprecation.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2017/01/19/the-worlds-strongest-librarian/

d
DorisWaggoner
Oct 24, 2014

Humorous, poignant memoir of a man who was bullied as a kid for his size and clumsiness, to say nothing of the fact that he was a Mormon. In high school his clumsiness and tics were diagnosed as Tourette's syndrome, but he was given no way of dealing with it. This stretched his faith to the breaking point, which he tried to hide from his pious mother. He went on his Mission, but it made him physically ill, and he was sent home. This failure lost him his girl. Somehow, libraries became his refuge, and a career as a librarian gave him hope. So did a loving Mormon wife who accepted his wavering faith, and a son who gave him something to live for. Weight lifting, and an autistic weight lifter teaches him how to breathe through his worst tics. He's able to avoid self-pity, and comes to understanding and self acceptance.

a
AdoreBooks
Jul 09, 2013

This is one of my (new) favorite books of all time. I have loved the library since I was a kid and this book celebrates libraries. Also an endearing story of Josh's life with Tourette's.

c
countdonkula
Jun 21, 2013

I related to Josh in so many ways, I started to think the book was written just for me. Very uplifting story.

hgeng63 May 30, 2013

Hanagarne can write, especially movingly about being a librarian & about his disability. But a whole section about his struggles when he's stuck could have been cut shorter. His taste in reading--Stephen King, Vonnegut--is typically male. The weightlifting parts just flew over my head.

j
JCLRachelSH
May 20, 2013

Josh Hanagarne is a librarian and a lapsed Mormon, which made me feel like we were destined to be spirit-animals right off the bat. But the similarities dwindle from there. Josh suffers from Tourette Syndrome so severe that, in its darkest moments, has caused him to punch himself repeatedly in his own face. In The World’s Strongest Librarian, Josh writes about turning to books and strength training to cope with his crushing challenges. This is a moving and enjoyable read, and Hanagarne is a totally lovable bookworm — consider: his adorable childhood crush on Fern from Charlotte’s Web, his adolescent binge reading sessions of Sweet Valley High, and his enduring obsession with the non-Mormon-approved Stephen King. Books were Josh’s friends when friends were tough to come by, and that love shines through in a bubbly and heartfelt way throughout all his struggles and soul-searching. The World’s Strongest Librarian is also a fascinating read about faith — what it means to have it, question it, lose it, reclaim it, and ultimately make peace with it.

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s
shayshortt
Jan 19, 2017

Librarians come in many stripes, and a 6’7” weight lifter with Tourette Syndrome is just one of them. Raised Mormon in Utah, Josh Hanagarne was a bookish kid who developed uncontrollable tics when he was in elementary school, though it would take him many years to get a proper diagnosis. The World’s Strongest Librarian chronicles the many ways that Tourette Syndrome interrupted his life. It cut short the mission he was expected to serve for his church, dragged out his university career so that it took him ten years to graduate, and kept him from holding down a job for very long. But the book is also a paean to libraries, and an examination of family and faith, as Hanagarne finds his calling, gets married, and comes to question the church in which he was raised.

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gogocarol
Jun 19, 2013

This non-fiction book is amazing! Hanagame explains what it is like to have Tourette's, and describes his journey of learning to live and control it, while exploring his faith, as well as his place in this world. I learned so much! His humor, and how he uses it to describe painful experiences, is inspiring

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shayshortt
Jan 19, 2017

I finally had verification of something I had long suspected—there was a daily intensity quota that had to be met. I had to expend a certain amount of energy on tics each day. It could be meted out over many small tics, or a few dozen huge ones.

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