[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1592407870″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41T0%2B9R0xJL._SL160_.jpg” width=”95″][simpleazon-link asin=”1592407870″ locale=”us”]The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family[/simpleazon-link] by Josh Hanagarne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amazing and Inspiring! Josh is a natural storyteller with a quick wit that comes through in his writing. That he would choose to be a librarian (a place for quiet and stillness) when he struggles with one of the worst cases of Tourette’s that one could have is a testament to his determination to master his disorder rather than have the disorder control him. He’s 6 foot 7 inches tall but a self-professed bookworm. He’s not at all what you would picture when you think of a librarian which makes him something of an enigma. His story is all the more fascinating for it.
He writes in a series of entries headed by Dewey decimal numbers designating the subject area. Very clever. Rather than a running narrative, the book switches back and forth through stories of library patrons (you may be surprised by the insanity with which librarians sometimes have to deal), growing up with Tourette’s, and living out his Mormon faith. He also includes other interesting anecdotes about dating, becoming a father, strength training, etc. It was an unusual writing style, but it worked.
I stayed up until 2AM to finish this book. I was never bored. Josh has lived such a fascinating life and met some rather extraordinary people. He is also refreshingly and brutally honest. He does not make himself out to be a hero, and he gives his family most of the credit for where he is today. His battle with Tourette’s rages on, but his strength training has helped him to cope. As a reader, I couldn’t help but get caught up in his story. As a librarian, I related. As a bi-polar, I related. I’ve even taken some of the same medications that he has. But mostly, I felt a connection as a fellow human being trying to make sense of a sometimes nonsensical world. I think Josh says it well when he notes that not even libraries hold the answer to every question. Not every question has an answer.
Ideas to discuss:
Importance of Faith
Dealing with Tourette’s or other conditions
Words I liked:
Conversations to strike up:
Hardships you’ve had to overcome
The value of libraries and literacy
The support of family
I highly recommend this book! It truly is an inspirational, educational, and humorous read.
Here’s a link to his blog: http://worldsstrongestlibrarian.com/
In compliance with FTC guidelines, please note that I received a free advance reading copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
*Josh will be in Decatur for a book-signing on Thursday, May 9th. http://www.georgiacenterforthebook.org/Events/show.php?id=578