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The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family | [Josh Hanagarne]

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

At first glance, Josh Hanagarne seems an improbable librarian. He stands 6'7", competes in strongman contests, and was diagnosed in high school with Tourette's syndrome. But books are his first love - Josh's earliest memories involve fantastic adventures between the pages of Gulliver’s Travels and a passionate infatuation with Fern from Charlotte’s Web. Everything in Josh’s life - from his Mormon upbringing, to finally finding love, to learning to control his tics through lifting - circles back to a close connection with books.
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Publisher's Summary

At first glance, Josh Hanagarne seems an improbable librarian. He stands 6'7", competes in strongman contests, and was diagnosed in high school with Tourette's syndrome. But books are his first love - Josh's earliest memories involve fantastic adventures between the pages of Gulliver’s Travels and a passionate infatuation with Fern from Charlotte’s Web. Everything in Josh’s life - from his Mormon upbringing, to finally finding love, to learning to control his tics through lifting - circles back to a close connection with books. Today, Josh is a librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library, founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting - and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette's.

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, navigate his wavering Mormon faith, spread the word about the wonder of books, and ultimately, find love and create a life worth living.

©2013 Josh Hanagarne (P)2013 AudioGO

What the Critics Say

“Forthright, affecting, and sometimes surprisingly funny.” (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (109 )
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4.1 (95 )
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4.4 (93 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 03-09-14
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 03-09-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
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    "Something Different, Something Wonderful"

    I love a book that takes me out of my world and plants me right into a new world, and teaches me something I didn't know that I needed to know. This book delivers, I'm so glad it was written and that I read it. Laugh out loud funny, poignant and truthful. Can't get much better than that.

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaui 02-06-14
    Kaui 02-06-14 Member Since 2009

    I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "wonderful memoir about having Tourette's Syndrome"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed hearing about living with Tourette's from the first person viewpoint. The Mormon aspect added a depth of faith, familial dynamics and introspection that I enjoyed.


    25 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Wozniak 12-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For All Book Lovers"

    This is such a wonderful memoir I read it first as a library book and I'm delighted to have it in my audible collection. Josh Hanagarne is 6 foot 7 inches, weighs 260 pounds, was raised Mormon, has extreme tourette's and tells a great story about love, family and more. Stephen R Thorne is an excellent narrator.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Elizabeth City, NC, United States 12-20-14
    Maureen Elizabeth City, NC, United States 12-20-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Informative and Entertaining"

    This was a recent daily deal and it was a jewel. The narrator was excellent. He always maintained the same pace and volume and never "hammed" it up. The story itself was engaging and provided insight into the life of someone with Tourette's Syndrome. The fact that author is a librarian made it that much more special for anyone who loves and values the printed word. It was probably not a book that I would have found if not for it being highlighted as a daily deal. I have found some of my most interesting "listens" this way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Jaspers 12-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Hilarious and Heartbreaking"
    If you could sum up The World's Strongest Librarian in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining and informative


    What other book might you compare The World's Strongest Librarian to and why?

    Like no other I've ever read.


    Have you listened to any of Stephen R. Thorne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you could give The World's Strongest Librarian a new subtitle, what would it be?

    A Mormon with Tourettes


    Any additional comments?

    Loved , loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gotta Tellya Santa Rosa, CA 12-19-14
    Gotta Tellya Santa Rosa, CA 12-19-14 Member Since 2013

    KEC

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    "Good story that falters towards the end."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, if the friend wants to learn about Tourette's syndrome, kettle bells, a bit about Mormon faith and libraries, as told by a man who has all of the above in his life. No, if the friend likes books that are written with consistent excellence from beginning to end. This book is graced with Josh's use of good grammar, his extensive vocabulary and a great deal of humor. But somehow, the flow of the story falters about 2/3 along the way and then peters out entirely towards the end. In fact, I can't say that Josh manages to construct any kind of satisfying end for his memoire. It awkwardly grinds to a halt. I was startled when the narrator ceased and the closing Audible remarks popped up. The book simply did not have a conclusion.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I thought Josh's personal experience of life with Tourrette's syndrome was the most interesting part. I was mildly interested in his experiences with kettle bells and his work as a librarian. I was least interested in his Mormon stories. I would have enjoyed the book more with fewer religion-specific references.


    What about Stephen R. Thorne’s performance did you like?

    Thorne read Josh's story with a realistic touch. I enjoyed listening to him.


    Did The World's Strongest Librarian inspire you to do anything?

    Thanks to this book, I have greater understanding of Tourette's Syndrome. I was inspired to look up the syndrome and then was saddened to discover that little progress has been made by science and medicine in understanding or dealing with this particular challenge. I was encouraged by Josh's improvement after personal coaching emphasizing perfectly smooth, relaxed movements, like controlled breathing. This process seemed to relieve his stress and decrease his tics, a message of hope for other people with Tourette's.


    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy "meeting" Josh Hanagarne and learning about his life, particularly his experience of dealing with Tourette's syndrome. My understanding of Tourette's was rather thin. This book helped broaden my knowledge of the syndrome and my compassion for those who live with it on a daily basis. it was worth wading through the Mormon religious commentary to read about the rest of Josh's life. The biggest challenge to my enjoyment was the way he let his story falter and then dwindle away without a more satisfying ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Doherty 12-15-14

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Compelling, warm, intimate, well written"
    What did you love best about The World's Strongest Librarian?

    As overwhelming as tourette's was in Josh's life, the book never felt depressing or hopeless. In fact, this book was inspirational!


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The strength, and acceptance of family,


    What does Stephen R. Thorne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Draws you into the story. Wonderful narrator.


    If you could give The World's Strongest Librarian a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The title says it better than anything I could think of.


    Any additional comments?

    I seldom read non-fiction. I am so glad not to have missed this book. It is one of the best reads this year!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 12-15-14
    Adam 12-15-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great book!!"

    Its a must read I loved listing to it. One thing I took from it is no matter what life gives you thers always help.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline CHARLES CITY, VA, United States 12-15-14
    Caroline CHARLES CITY, VA, United States 12-15-14 Member Since 2007
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    "A book-lover's book"
    Would you listen to The World's Strongest Librarian again? Why?

    Yes, and I will. A witty and both sad and uplifting book. A book-lover's story.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Mr. Hanagame's courage, resilience, wit and talent.


    What does Stephen R. Thorne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brought the story to life.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I practically did.


    Any additional comments?

    I will recommend this book to everyone I know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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