Friday, August 15, 2014

In Which The World's Strongest Librarian Comes to Book Club!

Since it's Utah Book Month this month, our book club decided to read a book by a Utah author. The book they chose was The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne. Turns out, the library even had a book club set for this book! Which is always a plus for our book club.

We planned to meet next week on our normal third Thursday but after a fun turn of events due to a Twitter conversation I had, we met last night instead and Josh Hanagarne himself came and joined us!

I was so very nervous. Talk about doing something out of your comfort zone! So I rallied the book club and I said, hey, if you haven't read the book yet.. read it now! And bring guests (friends, husbands, kids, moms) to book club! And they did and last night, we had an awesome, interested and engaged crowd!

And Josh came and he was fun and interesting and willing to answer pretty much any question we had. In the end after we gave him a thank you gift that included a t-shirt from the library, he even modeled his book stack spine tattoo when he changed shirts. LOL!

Some of the things we talked about:

  • his relationship with his parents, particularly his mom who was featured so strongly in the book. 
  • how the book came about, which was sort of accidentally, when someone fell in love with his blog
  • how he learned to write? From reading! And practicing. "If you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write."
  • the difference between a memoir and an autobiography: a memoir is a certain slant on a life...there's a theme. An autobiography is the whole life of a person... beginning to end.
  • Did you get your Mark Twain set back? YES!!
  • "Everything is a story." Even math spreadsheets.
  • We talked a lot about honesty. His book is so honest and forthright, and yet, things in just the past few years have changed yet again. And now he's so different even from the person who wrote that book. There's another memoir in the works to talk about all the changes...I think.
  • One of the big changes.. divorce. I know many of us were curious about this one and he talked about it a little. 
  • Book crushes since Fern? The girl that appears only for a paragraph or two in Carols Ruiz Zafron's The Angel's Game. 
  • Some favorite books: anything by Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, Catch 22, Don Quixote. But the book he's read the most... Terminator 2!
Here's a few pictures: 

Josh Hanagarne with girlfriend Angela

A crowd shot
More of the interested audience!
Here's our posed picture... and even then a few people
didn't jump in.
Changing shirts and showing of the tattoo!
My husband handed him a phone book.
This was the result!

 Such a fun evening! It will go down as one of our best book club moments. Thanks to Josh for joining us!


  1. Don't I just look awesome in that one shot. *shudders* We need to get you one of these times in pictures like these.

  2. What a cool experience! I would love to meet more nonfiction authors :)

  3. Your meeting sounds like so much fun!! That book spine tattoo is awesome!

  4. That was a fun night! AND WE WERE NICE!

  5. How fun! You always seem to have the best time at your book club!!

  6. This is so amazing!!!! I really got to find a book club IRL so we can try something like this!



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