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

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Spectacular!  Note: I requested this book from NetGalley and re

    Spectacular! 

    Note: I requested this book from NetGalley and received it in exchange for an honest review.




    Warning: If you plan to pick up this book, do it when you have nothing schedule for the next day or two. I made the mistake of starting this one at midnight as a “going to bed” book and read until 4 am.




    That said, it’s pretty clear that I loved this book. I had heard great things about it on the blogger network but was a little put off by the weightlifting aspect. I knew that I would get around to it and its looming expiration date gave me the push I needed to finally get around to reading it.




    Now, of course, I’m asking myself the following: What was I thinking? Why didn’t I pick this up earlier? What is wrong with me for putting this off? Because this book is fantastic. And when I say fantastic, I mean really fantastic.




    To sum it up, The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne is about his own life struggling with his religious beliefs and battling severe Tourette syndrome while towering over everyone else (he’s 6’7″). Oh, and he works in a library, which is a struggle for someone who makes involuntary noises on a regular basis. But far from being clinical or scientific, the book is written in a way that made me feel as if the author were sitting in front of me telling his story. Holding nothing back, we take a life’s journey with Josh, from his Tourette Syndrome interfering with his love life to his doubts about his Mormon faith.¿




    ¿What I love about this book is that it’s so real. Unlike many memoirs, the author doesn’t take care to make his life seem anything other than what it is.  It isn’t painted with doom and gloom, nor is it glossed over and made into a self-help, optimism book. And, while I have no experience with Tourette’s on a personal level, I could relate to Josh. I could relate to his awkwardness and doubt about religion. I could relate to him not getting his college degree until he was older. I could relate to being the oldest of the kids in the family. And, I could relate to his faking confidence in social situations because he was embarrassed about something his body did without his permission.




    Ultimately, Josh’s story is about hope, family, determination, and redemption. And it’s fantastic. But don’t take my word for it – read it yourself!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I enjoy reading memoirs, but I wasn't sure what to expect from T

    I enjoy reading memoirs, but I wasn't sure what to expect from The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family. I viewed the book trailer, and Josh Hanagarne struck me as genuine, intelligent, and very interesting. That trailer was amazing, and definitely made me want to read the book.

    I'm so glad I did! I expected to like this book just fine, but ended up feeling blown away. I loved it! Weight-lifting, Tourette's, and the Mormon faith? Many readers (myself included) may not know much about these things. Josh Hanagarne has a way of giving readers the information they need in order to know what he's talking about, and just a bit more for interest and to realize why it's relevant to his story. He never bogs down the reader with too many details, which was one of my concerns, knowing weight-lifting was a part of his story. But even as much as I normally hate reading anything related to sports, I enjoyed reading every word of this book.

    I love Hanagarne's sense of humor, especially when confronted by "shrill athiests" or in a community council meeting, which I totally pictured as an episode of Parks and Recreation!. We're about the same age, and I was tickled to see references to Dragonball Z, MC Hammer, and - my favorite! - the Sweet Valley Twins. I think the majority of avid readers will identify with Josh's thirst for knowledge, that desire to learn "something about everything." I think they'll also appreciate his beautifully stated argument as to why "physical libraries always need to exist in some form."

    Before reading this memoir, I had very superficial knowledge of Tourette Syndrome. What an eye-opener! I had no idea how severe Tourette's could be. Hanagarne describes the way his tics took control of his body with such clarity, I found myself feeling tense and frustrated for him as I read.

    I took a lot of notes: I marked things I want to look into and learn more about, wrote down books I want to read, books I've already read long ago and want to rediscover, and quotes that inspired me. (Of course a book by a librarian is going to add to your to-be-read pile!)

    There are no dysfunctional family stories in this memoir; Josh Hanagarne has an amazing support system. You will love his parents! Even during its heartbreaking moments, The World's Strongest Librarian is full of love, hope, perseverance, and humor. This is an encouraging read you do not want to miss.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    Great story! Well written!

    I would recommend this book - it offers great insight to what an individual with Tourette's faces on a daily basis. The author also has a great sense of humor, which makes it an easy read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Josh Hanagarne has taken the lemons of life and made himself a t

    Josh Hanagarne has taken the lemons of life and made himself a tasty pitcher of lemonade. Extremely tall, skinny, and suffering from Tourette's,, Josh had a lot to overcome. But between his love of books and dedication to weightlifting, he conquered his demons. The book is filled with heartbreaking stories, but is also peppered with humor to keep the book moving at a good pace. Definitely recommended!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Thanks to Monika at A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall, I was able t

    Thanks to Monika at A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall, I was able to get a copy of The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne.

    Where has this book been all my life?  I loved loved loved it!  I am disappointed in myself that it sat on my bookshelf for this long.

    This is the true story of Josh Hanagarne.  Josh has a lot to deal with.  He's super duper tall and thin, with red hair and Tourette's.  He also is Mormon, but has some rifts in his faith at times.  Josh's Tourette's is extensive, and ends up controlling his life.

    He tries to control his tics by weightlifting.  But the tics interfere with a lot: his love life (or lack thereof), his schooling, and his jobs.

    Can Josh pull it together to become the weightlifting, Mormon librarian with controlled Tourette's?  Or is he destined to struggle with his disease and his patrons at the library?

    This book is must read!  It was funny, charming, and open, which all began with Josh's willingness to describe his struggles through faith and Tourette's.

    Have you checked this book out yet???

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2013

    Of course, being a librarian, I loved reading all of the stories

    Of course, being a librarian, I loved reading all of the stories about the strange and interesting situations Hanagarne encountered at work as well as his childhood memories about his love of books and reading. The Dewey Decimal classification subject headings at the beginning of each chapter were a nice touch! Beyond that, I was fascinated by the author’s experiences with Tourette’s and how it affected his education, career, faith, and family relationships. Hanagarne didn’t sugarcoat anything—he discussed the intimate details of his struggles and how he overcame some incredible difficulties to start a family and a career. At the same time, though, he maintained his sense of humor which made this book an entertaining, engaging read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Josh Hanagarne's World Strongest Librarian is a great book that

    Josh Hanagarne's World Strongest Librarian is a great book that really lets the reader know what its like to have Tourette's and how he personally battled the affliction with a dedication to strength training. Great book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Great book!

    I loved this book! I couldn't put it down--really, finished it in one day! I've been reading Josh's blog for awhile and I'm so glad the book is out. If you enjoy the book, check out the blog!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Hated for it to end

    Ending this book felt like saying good- bye to a friend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Fun to read... inspirational. one of the best I've read

    I loved this. A story about a young man who has Tourette's syndrome and learns to control some of his problem through weightlifting and other exercises. The cover reminded me of my younger days when I always carried a lot of books everywhere and my friends teased me about being a"walking library." It's nice and short for plane trips and other journeys where you may want reading matereial. Of course, the young man becomes a librarian.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Loved this book - couldn't put it down.  I have a 10 year old so

    Loved this book - couldn't put it down.  I have a 10 year old son with Tourettes and this was recommended to me by a friend who heard an interview with Josh on NPR.  Was a quick read - definitely recommend!  Look forward to another book by him!  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Fun read

    I loved this book. It was a very quick, fun read despite the very difficult journey Josh has had with Tourette's. Especially great for anyone with a loved one who has Tourette's.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Looks good

    I want o read this it sounds really good

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2013

    Hea-rtwrenching and hilarious! Couldn't put it down.

    Hea-rtwrenching and hilarious! Couldn't put it down.

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    Posted April 3, 2014

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    Posted February 7, 2014

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    Posted February 28, 2014

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    Posted August 2, 2013

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