Josh Hanagarne believes in curiosity, questions, strength, and that things are never so bad that they cannot improve. He is a librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library and lives with his wife Janette and their son Max.
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The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family
An inspiring story of how a Mormon kid with Tourette's found salvation in books and weight-lifting
Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn’t officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and on stage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was 20, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6 feet 7 inches when his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints.
Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimens to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in library science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman — a former Air Force technical sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison — taught Josh how to throttle his tics into submission through strength training.
Today, Josh is a librarian at the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library and is the founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting. He is also the proud father of 4-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 and navigate his wavering Mormon faith to find love and create a life worth living.
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