The "World's Strongest Librarian" On Tourette Syndrome, Weightlifting, and Mormonism

May 26, 2014

Josh Hanagarne is the author of The World's Strongest Librarian.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The story of Josh Hanagarne isn't necessarily funny. He was born with Tourette Syndrome, a poorly understood neuropsychiatric disorder which inflicts on Josh a blizzard of tics, flinches, whoops and yelps.  Most disconcertingly, he frequently hits himself in the face.

Josh's first refuge was books, and that led to a career as a librarian. His second refuge was playing the guitar, which somehow distracted his mind from the triggers producing the tics. And his third refuge was exercise, specifically strength and weight training. 

His book, now out in paperback, is called The World's Strongest Librarian and is IS funny. But it's also heart breaking. It's the story of Josh, his disorder, his wife and son, and even his struggles with his Mormon faith.  Meet Josh on today's show. 

Leave your comments below, email colin@wnpr.org or tweet us @wnprcolin. This episode originally aired on July 17, 2013.