Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review -- The World's Strongest Librarian


The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of FamilyThe World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne
My enjoyment rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Book hangover: 0
Source:   I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I received no other compensation, and my thoughts are 100% my own.
Genre: Memoir
Objectionable material:  language including the F bomb.


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 ball 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.
 
Josh in his own words:
 

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3 comments:

  1. I loved this book! It could have been hundreds of pages longer and I would have still wanted to devour every anecdote and story he had. Fun read!

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  2. I was also inspired by everything he has (and continues to) overcome. I definitely related to his feelings of religious doubt and insecurity but didn't love the tone of his writing (I've had a hard time pinning down exactly what bothered me about it). I also wish there had been more library anecdotes...those are the parts of the book I've been sharing with everyone! :-)

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  3. This does sound quite interesting, actually. I will have to put it on my list.

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