The World's Strongest Librarian Summary and Reviews

The World's Strongest Librarian

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

by Josh Hanagarne

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
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  • Published in USA  May 2013
    288 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

An inspiring story of how a Mormon kid with Tourette's found salvation in books and weight-lifting

Josh Hanagarne couldn't be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn't officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6'7" when—while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints—his Tourette's tics escalated to nightmarish levels.

Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman—and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison—taught Josh how to "throttle" his tics into submission through strength-training.

Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City's public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting—and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette's.

The World's Strongest Librarian illuminates the mysteries of this little-understood disorder, as well as the very different worlds of strongman training and modern libraries. With humor and candor, this unlikely hero traces his journey to overcome his disability— and navigate his wavering Mormon faith—to find love and create a life worth living.

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Media Reviews

"Wildly quirky memoir of facing down his ferocious Tourette's tics…Hanagarne's account manages to be very gag-full and tongue-in-cheek…highly engaging." - Publishers Weekly

"Josh Hanagarne is a remarkable man…. In this moving memoir, Hanagarne shows his readers what it is like to live with a severe form of Tourette's and how, with patience, love, and support from his family, he was able to build a rich, full life. . . An excellent and uplifting story on accepting and coping with lifelong disabilities, of particular interest to librarians." - Booklist

"A clever, affable story of one Mormon, his family, his vocation and his implacable ailment. " - Kirkus Reviews

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Josh Hanagarne fell in love with Fern from Charlotte's Web at the age of six. Every day since, he has enjoyed reading more than eating, sleeping, and breathing. Today the 6'7" Hanagarne is an author, speaker, performing strongman, and, despite having an extreme case of Tourette Syndrome, he works as a public librarian in Salt Lake City Utah. His memoir, The World's Strongest Librarian, is his first book.

Also: He wants you to read everything by Mark Twain.

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