May 2013 Indie Next List
“Resplendent with the intelligence that comes from accumulated experience, seasoned with sudden and delightful humor, and written with great sensitivity, Josh Hanagarne's The World's Strongest Librarian is one of this Spring's best surprises. It's not simply a love letter to anyone who's built a life around books, but the moving autobiographical work of a gentle giant who refuses to let his sense of wonder about the world be displaced by his challenges, and an insightful and informative exposition of what it's like to wake every morning, and navigate life with Tourette Syndrome.”
— Aaron Cance, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
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.
About the Author
Josh Hanagarne believes in curiosity, questions, and strength, and that things are never so bad that they can t improve. He is a librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library and lives with his wife, Janette, and their son, Max, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Stephen R. Thorne is a member of the resident acting company at Providence s esteemed Trinity Repertory Company, where his favorite productions include "Hamlet", "Henry V", and "The Cider House Rules". He lives with his family in Lincoln, Rhode Island.