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The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family

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The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family Cover

 

Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

“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. Throughout, his optimism and amusing, self-deprecating sense of humor shine through. An excellent and uplifting story on accepting and coping with lifelong disabilities, of particular interest to librarians.” Booklist

Review:

“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….Reconciled with Tourette's, Hanagarne never let the disease get the upper hand.” Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A sumptuous read, as funny, erudite, and energizing as a chat with a conversational intellectual, as engrossing and moving as a medical detective drama….The book leaves all of us who've read it feeling a little stronger and brighter ourselves." Martha Beck, Author of Expecting Adam, Leaving the Saints, and Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

Review:

“Just like the library has every funny, beautiful, moving, wise story you'd ever need in it, so too does this book. This is not just your ordinary memoir: it is a soaring, inspiring elegy to the small and big miracles of parenthood and friendship and marriage and how they triumph over the not so small challenges of life. It is a perfect, perfect gem of a read, unputdownable, unforgettable, unmatchable.” Pam Allyn, author of What to Read When

Review:

"Josh Hanagarne inspires in his pursuit to break the shackles of Tourette's Syndrome and live his life to the fullest, as a husband, a father and a librarian. Insightful, heart-wrenching and delightfully humorous, The World's Strongest Librarian is a triumph!" Cory MacLauchlin, author of Butterfly In The Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and The Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces.

Review:

“As a gym rat myself, I can attest to the power of hurling one's sinews against heavy stuff that keeps wanting to slam you back into the floor. The difference with Josh Hanagarne is he has lifted much weightier impediments — Tourette's, loneliness, geekitude, and the calling to be a writer. That he is, and a talent to savor, to emulate, and to be inspired by.” Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The War of Art and Turning Pro

Review:

"Josh Hanagarne has an astonishing story to tell, and he does so with insight, humor, grace, and wonder. All human beings suffer and struggle. Through the lens of his own miraculous experiences, Mr. Hanagarne illuminates the path to joy and the infinite possibilities of transcendence." Melanie Rae Thon, author of Sweet Hearts

Review:

“A truly interesting, engaging, and fascinating memoir.” Joe Lansdale, author of Edge of Dark Water

Review:

“Josh's special struggles to deal with his own doubts, Tourette's and society give his journey a patina of honesty, resilience, and a flavor of humanity that truly inspires. Josh has a unique voice and I was privileged to read and be empowered by his story.” Stephen Abram, VP of Gale Cengage Learning

Review:

“A funny, profound, emotionally generous, and wonderfully human story.” Lou Schuler, author of The New Rules of Lifting

Review:

“Everything about this book is big: certainly it is the story of a 6' 7" librarian with Tourette's, but it is also the quest for how we know, how we feel and how we love...without reservation. I found it impossible to put down; save a day to read this.” Dan John, author of Intervention

Review:

“Josh Hanagarne is a giant of a man and a giant of a writer….This guy is the real freaking deal in a very fresh and exciting way." Larry Brooks, author of Story Engineering

Review:

“Witty and upbeat voice…fun (and inspiring) reading.” Library Journal

About the Author

Josh Hanagarne believes in curiosity, questions, and strength, and that things are never so bad that they can’t improve. He is a librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library and lives with his wife, Janette, and their son, Max, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

The Loopy Librarian, May 7, 2013 (view all comments by The Loopy Librarian)
Amazing and Inspiring! Josh is a natural storyteller with a quick wit that comes through in his writing. That he would choose to be a librarian (a place for quiet and stillness) when he struggles with one of the worst cases of Tourette's that one could have is a testament to his determination to master his disorder rather than have the disorder control him. He's 6 foot 7 inches tall but a self-professed bookworm. He's not at all what you would picture when you think of a librarian which makes him something of an enigma. His story is all the more fascinating for it.

He writes in a series of entries headed by Dewey decimal numbers designating the subject area. Very clever. Rather than a running narrative, the book switches back and forth through stories of library patrons (you may be surprised by the insanity with which librarians sometimes have to deal), growing up with Tourette's, and living out his Mormon faith. He also includes other interesting anecdotes about dating, becoming a father, strength training, etc. It was an unusual writing style, but it worked.

I stayed up until 2AM to finish this book. I was never bored. Josh has lived such a fascinating life and met some rather extraordinary people. He is also refreshingly and brutally honest. He does not make himself out to be a hero, and he gives his family most of the credit for where he is today. His battle with Tourette's rages on, but his strength training has helped him to cope. As a reader, I couldn't help but get caught up in his story. As a librarian, I related. As a bi-polar, I related. I've even taken some of the same medications that he has. But mostly, I felt a connection as a fellow human being trying to make sense of a sometimes nonsensical world. I think Josh says it well when he notes that not even libraries hold the answer to every question. Not every question has an answer.

Ideas to discuss:

Importance of Faith
Adoption
Dealing with Tourette's or other conditions

Words I liked:

Desiccated
Transcendent
Obelisk
Schism
Excoriate
Hoary Vassal
Disquisition

Conversations to strike up:

Hardships you've had to overcome
The value of libraries and literacy
The support of family

I highly recommend this book! It truly is an inspirational, educational, and humorous read.

In compliance with FTC guidelines, please note that I received a free advance reading copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781592407873
Subtitle:
A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family
Author:
Hanagarne, Josh
Publisher:
Gotham
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20130502
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.54 x 5.74 x 1.05 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » Biography
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General Disorders
Reference » Bibliography and Library Science
Reference » Bibliography and Library Science » Administration and Management

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.00 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Gotham - English 9781592407873 Reviews:
"Review" by , “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. Throughout, his optimism and amusing, self-deprecating sense of humor shine through. An excellent and uplifting story on accepting and coping with lifelong disabilities, of particular interest to librarians.”
"Review" by , “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….Reconciled with Tourette's, Hanagarne never let the disease get the upper hand.”
"Review" by , "A sumptuous read, as funny, erudite, and energizing as a chat with a conversational intellectual, as engrossing and moving as a medical detective drama….The book leaves all of us who've read it feeling a little stronger and brighter ourselves."
"Review" by , “Just like the library has every funny, beautiful, moving, wise story you'd ever need in it, so too does this book. This is not just your ordinary memoir: it is a soaring, inspiring elegy to the small and big miracles of parenthood and friendship and marriage and how they triumph over the not so small challenges of life. It is a perfect, perfect gem of a read, unputdownable, unforgettable, unmatchable.”
"Review" by , "Josh Hanagarne inspires in his pursuit to break the shackles of Tourette's Syndrome and live his life to the fullest, as a husband, a father and a librarian. Insightful, heart-wrenching and delightfully humorous, The World's Strongest Librarian is a triumph!" Cory MacLauchlin, author of Butterfly In The Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and The Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces.
"Review" by , “As a gym rat myself, I can attest to the power of hurling one's sinews against heavy stuff that keeps wanting to slam you back into the floor. The difference with Josh Hanagarne is he has lifted much weightier impediments — Tourette's, loneliness, geekitude, and the calling to be a writer. That he is, and a talent to savor, to emulate, and to be inspired by.”
"Review" by , "Josh Hanagarne has an astonishing story to tell, and he does so with insight, humor, grace, and wonder. All human beings suffer and struggle. Through the lens of his own miraculous experiences, Mr. Hanagarne illuminates the path to joy and the infinite possibilities of transcendence."
"Review" by , “A truly interesting, engaging, and fascinating memoir.”
"Review" by , “Josh's special struggles to deal with his own doubts, Tourette's and society give his journey a patina of honesty, resilience, and a flavor of humanity that truly inspires. Josh has a unique voice and I was privileged to read and be empowered by his story.”
"Review" by , “A funny, profound, emotionally generous, and wonderfully human story.”
"Review" by , “Everything about this book is big: certainly it is the story of a 6' 7" librarian with Tourette's, but it is also the quest for how we know, how we feel and how we love...without reservation. I found it impossible to put down; save a day to read this.”
"Review" by , “Josh Hanagarne is a giant of a man and a giant of a writer….This guy is the real freaking deal in a very fresh and exciting way."
"Review" by , “Witty and upbeat voice…fun (and inspiring) reading.”
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