Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A Conversation With The World's Strongest Librarian

The World's Strongest Librarian

During this program, Chérie Newman talks with Josh Hanagarne about "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.

From the publisher:

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 onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6’7” when—while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints—his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels.

Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes 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—and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison—taught Josh how to “throttle” his tics into submission through strength-training.

A review in the New Yorker

A review in USA Today

A review at

Noted by BookRiot

Josh Hanagarne
Josh Hanagarne

Josh Hanagarne is a dad, husband, writer, speaker, and librarian at the main branch of the library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The World's Strongest Librarian Web site

The Write Question blog

The Write Question on Facebook

(Broadcast on MTPR: June 20, 2013 and March 9, 2017)

Chérie Newman is an arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. Her weekly literary program, The Write Question, is broadcast on several public radio stations, and available online at and