Books Take Us Places

Holding the fort has advantages.

Skipping appetizer and entrée to save room for dessert.

Playing a chick CD.

Reading while eating dessert and listening to music.

Alone at home last night, I enjoyed all of the above.

Strawberry shortcake: go home crème brûlée and mousse au chocolat.

The latest Carla Bruni: yes, she writes beautiful songs.

But le clou de la soirée or the high point of the evening: The World’s Strongest Librarian from Josh Hanagarne.

Books take us places.

I admit weakness and fondness for exotic settings, characters from foreign countries, speaking with an accent and searching for the meaning of home.

Stories from Jhumpa Lahiri, Khaled Hosseini, Chang-Rae Lee more than a memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength and the Power of Family are my kind of escape.

And yet, what a trip I took through the human brain, the Salt Lake City’s public library in the heart of Mormon country, the weight lifting arena, and the warmth of a very unique and loving family!

Yes, this memoir took me places. Although not away from the United States, I felt far from my home as I traveled the complex roads of Mormon faith. Although I have been to Utah many times and live in an area with a significant Mormon community, I learned a lot about the religious journey of the Mormon people. And about weight lifting, too. But mostly, I read an exceptional story that lifted my spirits.

Josh Hanagarne is larger than life. He’s 6’7’’ and weighs 260 lbs. If it weren’t enough Tourette Syndrome makes him very visible.

I found about him through my Internet wandering as I was researching Tourette’s, and then started following his blog. The tone of his posts matches the voice of his book: approachable, funny, and very human.

What struck me, initially through his posts and now in his book, is his unconditional love for others despite his tortuous and heart wrenching journey.

Really a lesson for bloggers and writers alike.

When I hold fort next time I know I can manage for dessert and music, but finding a book that will take me as far world's strongestlibrarianas The World’s Strongest Librarian will be my challenge.

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