Josh Hanagarne's memoir, The World's Strongest Librarian, is neither of these things. It is one of the other ones. It is the kind of memoir that should be written, the kind that needed to be written, and now, the kind that needs to be read. After all, how many books out there are about a 6'7" weight-lifting librarian with Tourette Syndrome struggling with his faith after being brought up in the Mormon church? And how many of those (of which I'd argue there are none, but to be honest, I haven't actually looked) are actually well-written and entertaining and emotional and heartwrenching and otherwise wonderful?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Which is all a long-winded way of saying READ THIS BOOK. If you love books and their power to shape lives, read this book. If you love libraries and believe in their continued importance in this world (that means not you, Mr. Rosenblum), read this book. If you like interesting people with incredible stories to tell, read this book. If you like memoirs that deal with all of the good bits of love and family and faith and passion and wellness without glossing over the sometimes-heartbreakingly-bad bits, read this book.
"The public library contains multitudes," Hanagarne writes, "And each person contains multitudes as well. Each of us is a library of thoughts, memories, experiences, and odors."
Suffice it to say that Hanagarne's particular library of thoughts, memories, experiences and odors is a fascinating one. Read this book.
If you'd like a chance to read this book sooner than later, today's your lucky day! I'm hosting a giveaway of one copy of The World's Strongest Librarian (Sorry, US and Canadian readers only). Enter by leaving a comment, with additional entries for following. Contest runs through Friday, and I will pick and announce a winner on Saturday after I run 13.1 miles at 7AM in the morning oh god why am I doing this to myself again.
(This is my first time using Rafflecopter, so please bear with me!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Also follow Josh on Twitter (@joshhanagarne) and/or on his blog, The World's Strongest Librarian.
Note: I received an e-galley of this title via NetGalley for review, and the publisher, Gotham Books, will be providing the copy to the winner of the giveaway.
The World's Strongest Librarian | Josh Hanagarne | Gotham | Hardcover | 288 pages | May 2013 | Buy from an independent near you