Josh Hanagarne’s memoir has several stories that are told with real candor and humility. As a young boy he learned to love books and going to the library it was always a reward. His first crush was Fern, from Charlotte’s Web. His love of reading provided escape from the teasing by his schoolmates over his tics, spasms and blinking.
When he was in the fifth grade his mother, who had never interfered with his reading choices, was concerned over a Stephen King's novel Misery that he was reading. She asked him to not read that author for a few years. He found another book, "The Color of Her Panties, by Piers Anthony" the was the same size and he swapped the dust jackets, but the one he used was even more alarming to his mother and he got caught.
His parents were committed members of the LDS Church. Church has filled much of his life even to the point of going on a mission, but he has had a life long struggle with the religion.
His biggest problem is an extreme case of Tourette’s syndrome. His mission, his first love, and his desire for a college education, were marred with the need to blink, bark, and hoot. Independent tics still haunt him and trigger uncontrolled noises and disconnected movements, which can be distressing and painful. He has his own name for his problem and refers to the visits as being from “Miss Tourette’s” or from “Misty”.
Josh has a big body at 6' 7". Weight training was something that helped him get away from “Misty”. The more he lifted and harder he worked the longer she stayed away. The work in finding this solution was another sub story within his life.
He is a librarian at Salt Lake City’s public library, where "Misty" has little influence. Hanagarne is quite passionate about libraries and about his family. Since Tourette’s has a genetic component, he worries about his young son.
The book is filled with the way the writer copes and his often-imaginary discourse with “Misty” is inspirational. He life in the Mormon community offers some insights into the workings of the church. The book offers some hope and insight and hope into a life shared with Tourette’s.
Quotes by Josh Hanagarne,
“At its loftiest, a library's goal is to keep as many minds as possible in the game ...”
“The library has a robust collection of what I call non-cuddly hate lit. This is one of my favorite things about working here: If you believe censorship is poison, here lies paradise.”