This sounds like a fascinating story. It’s only been out in print for a few days, but there are already many, very positive reviews online. If you’re looking for a well-written, inspirational, non-fiction read, this might be a good choice.
This is from the publisher’s website, at penguin.com:
"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 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 6ft7in 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.
Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourettes.
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."
and part of the review in The New Yorker:
“…Though he attended classes, he often had to drop out because of his Tourette’s. Desperate, Hanagarne turned to a regimen of strength training centered on the kettlebell (essentially a cannonball with a handle). He sold his complete set of the Oxford Mark Twain to help defray the cost of attending the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, a three-day certification event. “Progress in strength training gave me control over the rest of my life,” Hanagarne writes. Eventually, he sought out the strongman Adam T. Glass, a former Air Force tech sergeant who lives in North Dakota and has all sixteen lines of William Henley’s poem Invictus tattooed on his arm. Under Glass’s tutelage, Hanagarne developed a breathing and training regimen that allowed him to control his Tourette’s much of the time.”
Edited May 5.