Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review - The World's Strongest Librarian, Josh Hanagarne

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


Josh Hanagarne

Category: Nonfiction: Memoir: Disabilities & Diseases (Tourette’s); Religion (Mormonism)

Synopsis: Hanagarne, a librarian, takes up weightlifting to deal with his Tourette’s Syndrome.

Date finished: 30 July 2013

Rating: ****½  

I can see why all the bookish librarian-types I know have read this or have put this book on their reading list. There aren’t nearly enough books out there about librarians. And funny Mormon weightlifting librarians with Tourette’s should be writing books, in my opinion.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I enjoyed the horrendous stories of manning a library. Who knew Salt Lake City had so many crazies? Our university library deals mostly with men looking at porn and confused middle-aged women going topless—and being on third floor, I see none of it.

I also enjoyed the discussion of Mormonism. There seems to be a hush rule in Mormon Temples. Mormons never talk (write) about the details of their religion. Perhaps it’s a “pearls before swine” fear. But here, our author discusses the Book of Mormon, the two-year mission that young men go on, giving blessings, and even a bit about the marriage ceremony. He’s “lost his testimony,” or suffered a crisis of faith, and he discusses this in a simple and heartfelt way, and the elders seem to deal with the news lovingly and without judgment.

I enjoyed the way he talked about his parents. They were real and exceptionally caring people. There aren’t enough books that deal with parents this way.

I even enjoyed his adventures in weightlifting and his herculean efforts to control his Tourette’s tics.

The humor and honestly with which he approached all of these subjects as well as infertility, his wife’s miscarriages, and becoming a father, was refreshing and uplifting. I would recommend this book to most anyone.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

You might also enjoy:
Heaven is Here, Stephanie Nielson

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