About World’s Strongest Librarian

World’s Strongest Librarian is a blog for anyone looking to get stronger, healthier, smarter, and talk about books.

And I’ve got a book. The World’s Strongest Librarian waspublished by Gotham Books on May 2, 2013.

Actually, all you really need to know is that I have arm wrestled Stephen King (he smashed me!):



Here’s the trailer for my book:


A Promise*

My main goal  here is not to bore myself…or you.That’s the promise I’m making to you.  I’ll even try to keep it.

*I might still bore us both

What You Will Find Here:

Lots of people wind up here because of the Tourette’s series. I haven’t had much to say about it for a while because it’s been a while since I’ve made much progress worth talking about.

I also write about strength training, libraries, and books.

I used to write about the strength stuff more than I do now, but at this point I’ve had my say. There’s only so much to say about it.  I make the best progress when I’m lifting consistently, keeping it fun, and not worrying what anyone else is doing. I’m always happy to talk about it, though, if you’d like to send me an email.

I also answer questions that I receive on the reference desk here on the blog, so I never know exactly what I’ll be writing about, which keeps it interesting.

About Josh Hanagarne

The short answer: just some guy.

I’ve got a pretty simple philosophy of life.

  • Take care of your mind and your health
  • Protect your family and make sure they have what they need
  • Help who you can help
  • Laugh as often as possible
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Distrust the humorless
  • Nobody understood human nature better than Mark Twain
  • There’s always a way to be compassionate
  • Every situation can be improved

Not too profound, but it works for me.


Contact me

Contact me here

Comment Policy

Disclosure of earnings statement

57 Responses

  1. Joe D.
    Joe D. at · Reply

    Just read your article over on Darren’s site and was very impressed…great piece of writing. I just signed up for my WordPress blog last night, and am working on the first post and “About Me” page, and I will write in the same fashion…to enjoy it, hopefully offer some value, and write for “myself”. If the readers come great, if they don’t…I’ll still keep writing!

    Thanks for today’s bit of inspiration.

  2. Rosie
    Rosie at · Reply

    I just want to let you know that your philosophy “Don’t make anyone’s day worse” is fantastic. It’s so concise and to the point, I want to embroider it on a pillow, but first I’ll have to learn how to embroider.

    I’ll add you to my reader and visit any time you post.

  3. Lisa
    Lisa at · Reply

    I found your guest post on problogger and was so inspired! I have been threatening to start blogging for a couple of years and have always stopped short. I will press on and look forward to your posts.

  4. Ron - Heroic Nature
    Ron - Heroic Nature at · Reply

    “Refuse to deal with life. Make it deal with you.”

    Josh, I don’t know where you got that quote, but it’s perfect, I repeat, perfect. I think I’ll start tossing it about in my own head until that kind of attitude sinks in for good!

  5. Lori
    Lori at · Reply

    Hi Josh!

    I found you because, well, you found me and posted a comment to my site.

    So, I’ve been to your site three or four times today to read your posts, your about page, and other “stuff.” I love it!

    Your blog is easy to navigate, funny, helpful, and most of all, I love your writing style and content. I’m glad we ‘found each other.’

    Very simply – you had me at hello. 😛
    Keep up the great work! I know you’re going places – don’t forget us little people. 😉

  6. Beatrice
    Beatrice at · Reply

    Hey Josh,
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog, I hope I answered your question.. I didnt realise your such a funny guy, cant wait to see that dance youve promised everyone :)

    Kind Regards
    Beatrice (student at blogmastermind)

  7. Grace W
    Grace W at · Reply

    Love it, love it, love it. I follow Darren Rowse on Facebook and just happened to read “I came, I saw, I commented…” this morning. Funny. More importantly good. So I kept clicking links and ended up reading a couple more of your posts on Problogger, and then ended up here.

    Now understand this, I’m a relatively new blogger, overwhelmed by the amount of blogging advice, tips and shenanigans out there. So much so, I don’t read much of it. So the fact that I propped myself up on my elbows long enough, early on a Saturday morning, to read three of them in a row, is a minor feat.

    I love your writing style and love that you write about whatever the … you want to write about. I think that’s what makes you fun to read. Kudos. Really looking forward to the book.


  8. Grace W
    Grace W at · Reply

    I take them out, print them, and when I’m feeling
    insecure I roll around in them and say “there there,
    everyone loves you.”
    Try adding butter, it makes the compliments stick longer 😉

  9. akhlis
    akhlis at · Reply

    Hi, nice to read your about page…I saw your guest post on Darren’s Poblogger.com (I came, I saw, I commented). It’s true that bloggers no matter how celebrated or skillful or experienced s/he is, s/he still needs comments, responses, badly…It’s fine to say we keep posting even nobody visits or comments on our blog but eventually comment is something that we always long for. I just started blogging not more than a couple of months ago and finding a visitor voluntarily commenting on my blog posts is rewarding..I feel like I was doing something worthwhile for others and the feeling of being appreciated and acknowledged is unbeatable (though I sometimes know that’s only what I imagine). I don’t even care about spams, insincere comment, or irrelevant comment, or anything..Comment propels my spirit to stay on the track.

  10. John Huddy
    John Huddy at · Reply

    I thought I was the only librarian who weight trained! Open joke at Gold’s was that I was “world’s strongest librarian” as there, y’know, wasn’t much competition.
    Keep up the good work.

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    […] the Author: Josh Hanagarne writes World’s Strongest Librarian, a blog with advice about living with Tourette’s Syndrome, book recommendations, buying pants […]

  12. Married with Luggage » Who’s Doing it Right?
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    […] Hanagarne is the World’s Strongest Librarian.  Josh is a librarian, strongman, and “twitchy guy with Tourette’s Syndrome” who […]

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    […] it concerns an article I read about Josh Hanagarn’s–aka, the world’s strongest librarian–stint to write 42 guest posts in 7 […]

  14. Cooking on cold - the impact of Tourette's on a would-be cook | Make it and Mend it

    […] Get Smarter, Live Better…Every Day About the Author: Josh Hanagarne is the twitchy giant behind World’s Strongest Librarian, a blog about living with Tourette’s Syndrome, kettlebells, book recommendations, buying pants […]

  15. Twin Mom of 5
    Twin Mom of 5 at · Reply

    Josh – I love your attitude! Reading your story gives me hope… & some ideas to try with my son. He’s also named Joshua (great name!!), & when he was *finally* diagnosed with Tourettes, we got a few others – hi-fuctioning Autism & ADHD. He is an AMAZING kid with talents out the wazoo – the challenge is to help him manage himself so life doesn’t manage him. Hmm… sounds familliar, eh? Great minds think alike!
    I’ll be reading regularly! Thanks for sharing your struggles (not a strong enough word…) – you bless & encourage others to find what works for them. As a mom, I am so grateful.

  16. Stuart Atkins
    Stuart Atkins at · Reply

    I just saw this and thought of TS. Now this guy puts life in perspective:


    No arms, no legs, and no worries…

  17. Jerrie
    Jerrie at · Reply

    Just found your blog this morning. I’ve embraced my short attention span and hopped all over reading a bit of this and that. Nice writing! Loving it so far. Definitely subscribing!

  18. Michael Corley
    Michael Corley at · Reply

    Hi Josh,

    I thought I’d stop over to see what the World’s Strongest Librarian was offering and I like what’s going on. In fact, I find your About page to sound more like a manifesto … and I really appreciate it.

    Can’t wait read future updates.

  19. Emily January
    Emily January at · Reply

    I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. It seems to be the equivalent of a chain letter for blogging, but it seemed fun. You can see details here: http://emilyjanuary.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-versatile-blogger-award/
    You probably don’t need this “award” but you deserve it. I’m so impressed with everything you’ve done.

  20. Joe
    Joe at · Reply

    Just stumbled across your blog, seems like an interesting premise, I look forward to reading through the rest of it.

  21. Kelvin Smith
    Kelvin Smith at · Reply

    Hey Josh. My book is out on Amazon.com and doing well! The Unlikely Candidate: An Amazing Journey of a Heart Transplant Patient. I’m will be sending your copy out as we discussed a few weeks ago. Thanks so much for your blog.


  22. Bill
    Bill at · Reply

    Josh,I am 65,I have bi-polar,but doing well,on medication for life.
    It is a terrible disease.
    If any body out there has it,please get professional help.

  23. Andrew
    Andrew at · Reply

    Josh, hello – my journey to visit you started with Chris Guillebeau’s latest http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/end-of-year-giveaway/

    Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2013 :)

  24. Summer Bear
    Summer Bear at · Reply

    Hey Josh are you comming to Colville anytime soon

  25. Jane
    Jane at · Reply

    Thanks for the site. I found it because a friend with Tourette’s posted some links to episodes 1-3 of the “How to have Tourette’s” series. Apparently you made her laugh so hard I think she almost spat on her work computer. Or something like that.

    I am sitting at home recovering from a mastectomy. I really miss going to the gym and working out. Being very healthy (other than having cancer) has made this mostly a lot easier, but having major surgery is never fun and I was in pain today, waking up at 3:30 am unable to sleep anymore. So listening to your mellifluous voice on the podcasts was very pleasant. I was particularly moved by the one minute video. Right now I am having a really hard time doing nothing without being distracted, and yet that is my job right now. Resting. So thanks for the inspiration. Someday when I have the energy I will right a tell-all blog about breast cancer, maybe I will call it “how to have breast cancer,” because if I had known certain things ahead of time I would do them differently. I am not talking about major treatment decisions, I am talking about some little choices that would have improved my comfort. (not wanting to give away my stories quite yet.)

    1. another Jane
      another Jane at · Reply

      Jane: I appreciate your comment about your job being “resting” right now. Hang in there, it’s one of the hardest things in the world, to recover and endure.

  26. Marie
    Marie at · Reply

    I just received an ARC of your book and was shocked to find you lived in Spring Creek, Nevada. I’m from Elko, Nevada and also a librarian. My older sister probably went to high school with you. Crazy! Congratulations on making it big!

  27. Sharon Birdsong
    Sharon Birdsong at · Reply

    Josh, I just finished the audiobook version and enjoyed it tremendously. I just wish someone had taught the reader how to say “Nephites” correctly. Your story is very inspiring and educational and I look forward to your book tour on the East Coast. I am in a book club with a group of LDS ladies and am debating whether to recommend your book–a couple of them would refuse to read it because of the profanity, but not the former schoolteacher, psychologist, or Federal government employee. Anyway, I hope that you are able to work through your spiritual issues and continue to progress in your war on the Tourette’s. Your son has several fantastic role models.

  28. barb
    barb at · Reply

    I was intrigued by the article I read about you in the Atlanta AJC. I have dystonia — a neurological movement disorder. Do you know if weight training has been successful with anyone with other movement disorders (dystonia, blephorspasm, parkinson’s?) Your experience with remission is giving me some hope…

  29. Marilyn
    Marilyn at · Reply

    Hi, Josh: I have just finished your book, and I must say it was a real eye opener. Since I knew you during your growing up years, I must confess that your ‘tics’ didn’t bother me much, if at all. I was just always impressed with your abilities in some many areas!
    And now that I’ve finished the book and discovered that you used breathing to help your symptoms, I wanted to share with you a website I’ve followed for several years about breathing. http://www.breathing.com/articles/optimal-breathing.htm
    Although there is nothing on the site specifically about Tourette’s, I suppose even he (Michael White) would be greatly interested in what you accomplished with breathing!
    Good luck on the remainder of your book tour! It is so exciting to say that I know a published author. I can see why your parents are so proud.

  30. Eva
    Eva at · Reply


    Just finished your book and liked it a lot. Picked it up on account of a great title, and was pleasantly surprised over the warmth, width and general wisdom. I don’t do strength (physical), have no experience with tourettes, but still found your book very relevant. Your life lessons have something to teach everybody. Thank you.

    Love, Eva

  31. Pat Edwards
    Pat Edwards at · Reply

    Read your book this weekend. I will give it an excellent recommendation. You made me look up books and authors (I love that!). I learned things (love that, too!) and was challenged. I am going to read the chapter with Adam over again — it was wild.
    Your honesty and vulnerability when revealing your spirituality are commendable.
    truly enjoyed your book.

  32. Wendy
    Wendy at · Reply

    I now have “Invitcus” by William Henley on my fridge, and shared the last stanza with my 13 year old son. He has many co-morbid dx HFA, tics, speech disorder, OCD. My son is going through a though time, and the last stanza, plus my sharing parts of your book with him has been so inspiring. Your book even got him to finally start lifting weights. Thanks for making me laugh and keeping so engrossed in your story that I stayed up until 2am one night, and woke up at 3am the next to finish it:)

  33. KaceyT
    KaceyT at · Reply

    Interesting book. I went into it with zero expectations and found myself surprisingly captivated. By the time I got to the end, I wasn’t ready for it to be over.
    Well done.

  34. Jessica Olzak-McDonald
    Jessica Olzak-McDonald at · Reply

    Hi Josh!

    I just finished reading your book today, and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it! I am a Children’s Librarian, which, at first, is what attracted me to the book (along with the very intriguing subtitle)! I loved reading and relating to the patron encounters you have had inside the library, as well as learning more about Mormons and Tourette’s. Your memoir is a very fascinating and inspirational story that I have been recommending to many people! :)

    Toward the end of chapter 12, I found myself in the pages of your book. I, too, felt like attending church didn’t do anything for me when I was younger, and by my late teens, I found myself questioning religion and its place in my life. Since then, I have felt most comfortable identifying myself as agnostic. My husband, on the other hand, still holds onto his own religious beliefs (which is fine by me). A few pages of your book (270-73) helped me to think about how I will approach this topic (of a difference in religious beliefs) with my own children. So, I thank you for that bit of advice you gave me!

    I wish you and your family the best! :)

    Take care!

    Jessica Olzak-McDonald

  35. Saara
    Saara at · Reply

    Josh, we have nothing in common other than our love of books and being raised in a religious family. But that is enough for your book to draw me in. I am thoroughly enjoying your book!I’m not even finished yet ( on pg 227!) and I had to drop you a note and let you know.It is laugh out loud funny and I enjoy your tone. I have ready many,many memoirs and yours is in my top 20!

  36. Michelle
    Michelle at · Reply

    Hi Josh, I just finished your book and loved it! I love books about books and the people who love them. I am an indefatigable reader! I was delighted to read about your pursuit of strength. I have come to exercise, strength, and balance late. I am 53 and am the oldest in my gym by at least 15 years but I don’t care. I just want to be strong so I can age gracefully. Thanks so much!

  37. Kay McCormack
    Kay McCormack at · Reply

    Hello, Josh,

    My two best friends are librarians (one is a Director, the other works for the Library of Congress . . . I find their conversations fascinating!). When they both recommended your book, I knew I had to read it. Like many before me, I LOVED IT! It made me want to get in my car, pick up my two friends, and drive to Salt Lake City (from Colorado Springs) to take you out to lunch and tell you how much we all enjoyed it. Now my husband is reading it and I’m enjoying listening to him laugh out loud. Thank you for such a wonderful read.

  38. Chantal
    Chantal at · Reply

    I got your book from the library in Victoria,BC yesterday, and finished it today. I loved it. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  39. Suzie Tee
    Suzie Tee at · Reply

    I finally made it to the top of the waiting list at my library and devoured your book in one weekend. Thank you for sharing your gift! I look forward to being a regular visitor here.

  40. Sue
    Sue at · Reply

    Hi Josh et al,

    I’m facilitating this month’s White Rock book clubs discussion of “The World’s Strongest Librarian” because I chose the book when we picked books for the year last fall. I chose it because it is refreshingly different from anything else that I’ve read. Do you or any other bloggers here have some questions that would initiate a thought provoking discussion? If not, I can re-read and come up with some … I wish I’d done so right after I read it! Lesson learned.
    Thanks, Sue

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