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

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
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3.5 stars

In his acknowledgments author Josh Hanagarne says, “When I finished the final version of this book, I thought, ‘This is a really weird story.’”

I couldn’t agree more.

Josh is a 6’ 7” librarian. Who also happens to be Mormon. Who also happens to have Tourette Syndrome. Who also happens to lift kettle balls weights to help manage his “tics” and symptoms.

That, my friends, is weird.

But interestingly enough…the weirdness actually works.

In his memoir, The World’s Strongest Librarian, we learn how Josh struggles with his disease, his attempts at traditional medication, his difficulty with school, his faith, his family relationships, and his job.

I appreciated how much he has overcome to try to live a “normal” life – the attempts at intense physical and mental training to keep “Misty” (the name he has given his tics) at bay. I enjoyed learning about his family and his marriage and their struggle with infertility; about his continued worry over his son, Max, and whether he too would inherit Tourette’s. I was especially touched by how honest he was with regards to his Mormon faith – and the struggles he has with “not knowing” where he is in life with his religious beliefs. I can totally relate.

The librarian side of me wished it had more librarian anecdotes – because libraries are zoos and the patrons are the animals and on any given day, you never know what is going to happen or what you might step in. Quite literally. So, I was desperate for MORE of those – because his scenarios were very funny!

But this wasn’t a “library” book – this was a book about illness and the strength to overcome.

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Reading Progress

April 23, 2013 – Shelved
April 23, 2013 – Shelved as: memoir
June 24, 2013 – Started Reading
June 24, 2013 – Shelved as: on-my-bookshelf
June 24, 2013 –
page 31
10.65% "I can tell almost immediately I'm going to love this book."
June 27, 2013 –
page 216
74.23% "Was expecting a librarian story, but it is really a faith, illness, relationship story. Would have preferred the former."
June 28, 2013 –
page 291
100.0% "Done. Odd...but I liked it."
June 28, 2013 – Finished Reading

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