Friday, May 17, 2013

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I think I just picked it because the title sounded interesting - something my husband often accuses me of - and he is right.
Anyway, Josh tells his story of growing up with Tourette's in a Mormon family. I did not realize that he was Mormon when I got the book, I was more interested in the Tourette's aspect of it, but it was fun to learn some things about the Mormon religion. One story that Josh shares from the book of Mormon is about some guy who chops off a bunch of bad guys' arms and dumps the arms at the king's feet. As a child, Josh thought that was a really interesting story. I find it disarming that this was done to the enemy army. I would think they would be up in arms about that. I wonder if the shepherds ran to the king to bring the arms to him. If so, would that be an "arms race?"
After that, those guys probably needed a hand.
This is now my favorite story from the book of Mormon - it is the only one I know too, but it is totally my favorite. Josh tells a bit about the Mormon religion and his struggles with God and religion in a real and refreshing way.

I also love that Josh was reading Stephen King and everything that he could get a hold of in elementary school. I did that too. I loved Edgar Allen Poe when I was in elementary school. I would check out the maximum number of books allowed at school - 5 or 6 a week and then have to walk home carrying a stack of books that was nearly bigger than I was. Josh's love of reading lead him to become a librarian. I became a middle school reading teacher. I would like to go back to school some day and become a librarian. Josh tells some interesting stories about dealing with the public in the library - from sad to funny. When our house was on the market and we had tons of showings, we spent a lot of time in our local library and we found out that there are homeless people who hang out there (I did not think that would happen in the neighborhood we lived in, but it does) which is one of the issues about library patrons that Josh discusses.

Josh tells about his wife's miscarriages, their failed attempt to adopt and the wonderful child they now have. He worries that his son may also have Tourette's, but he is sure they will be able to work through it if he does.

I learned a lot about Tourette's from this book, which was not difficult since I knew very little about it before I read this. I have only met two people with Tourette's that I am aware of - both when I was working customer service at a dept. store. One woman had been waiting in line and when she got to the counter she just randomly shrieked. It actually did not even startle me. She apologized and told me that she had Tourette's and I told her that I substitute teach during the day and that after that, random shrieking didn't really faze me. We had a good laugh about that. She seemed like a nice lady.

Anyway, Josh has suffered a lot with his Tourette's and due to that it took him 10 years to get through college. I was surprised at the physical problems that Tourette's can cause in addition to the mental and emotional anguish. Josh has learned how to reduce his tics by body building and breathing techniques and he is willing to give advice to other people who also have Tourette's.

This is a funny and interesting book and I highly recommend it.

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