Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

The title of The World's Strongest Librarian seemed weird to me.  And it wasn't until a long way through the book that I found out that this is the name of the author's blog.
And the subtitle 'A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength and the Power of Family  seemed a bit earnest as well.
But putting the title etc to one side, in fact the book is a fascinating and engrossing read (well almost all of it).
It is the story of the author, Josh Hanagarne's own life – he is a Tourette's sufferer.  I didn't know much about Tourette's before reading the book – like most people I thought it was about people who couldn't help using swear words at inappropriate times.  But in fact the sort he had caused him to move involuntarily – often even injuring himself.  He is 6 foot 7 tall.
But his account of the situation is not at all sentimental or weepy.  Hanagarne is a Mormon and I also found his insights into that religion really interesting. 
At different times, different things helped him manage his condition – his faith, playing heavy metal on the guitar, reading and perhaps most of all intensive working out/strength training in the gym.
Each chapter in the book starts with one or more Dewey classifications – the author is a librarian after all.  The book jumps around in time quite a lot but in an understandable way.
His description of what the public library in Salt Lake City was like felt a bit exaggerated to me – but maybe that is what it is really like.  I'll leave you to judge that for yourself.


  1. Sounds like a great read, Carole.

  2. I have always wondered what this book was about. THANKS for your great review.



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