Review: The World's Strongest Librarian


  • Author: Josh Hanagarne
  • ISBN: 9781592407873
  • Publisher: Avery
  • Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir
  • Pages: 291

An inspiring story of how a Mormon kid with Tourette’s found salvation in books and weight-lifting.
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. – Goodreads synopsis

Awhile back, Audible was having a sale, and I got The World’s Strongest Librarian for less than $5.  Had I not been looking for inexpensive audiobooks to help me get through my daily commute, I might not have ever come across this gem of a memoir.
Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even picked this one up if it wasn’t about a librarian.  I’m not Mormon, or Christian for that matter, and though Tourette’s is an interesting disability, I didn’t think it was interesting enough to warrant reading a book about it.  Well, I was wrong.  First of all, his struggles with faith resonated with me because I was raised Catholic, and while I eventually found what I was looking for in Buddhism, the run of emotions, thoughts, and questions Hanagarne experiences throughout the book were similar to my own.  Secondly, I understood in a very clinical way what Tourette’s is, but I never thought about how it could affect every area of a person’s life.  While it’s a physical disability, it seems to have the same stigma attached to it as the majority of mental disabilities.  Just as many people ask those dealing with Depression why can’t they just be happy, I get the impression that the same people probably want to ask why can’t you just stop doing [insert physical/vocal tick here].
To me, this book proves that having a support network of family and/or friends is one of the most important elements in determining how well someone handles just about anything that life can throw your way.  It also proves that books and libraries are just as important because ultimately we each have to find our own way and what works for us.  What better place than the library to find the resources to do that?  If you need convincing, check out The World’s Strongest Librarian.

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