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The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop…
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The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help (2014)

by Amanda Palmer

Other authors: Brené Brown (Foreword)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This was one of the most beautiful books I think I've ever read. I didn't know anything about Amanda Palmer before reading this besides that she was married to Neil Gaiman and she made music. I'd heard one or two of her songs in passing, but never more than that. I picked this up on some internet recommendations and because I was simply intrigued. It was so worth it.
It was heartfelt, and honest. I got an insight into strangers, but I really felt connected to them and to her. I can't wait to reread this and find what I missed on the first pass, and I'm looking forward to continuing to follow her, see where she goes and what happens.
I would really recommend this one for artists of any type, for people who work with people and for people. Really I'd recommend this one for just about anyone interested in it. ( )
  Adilinaria | Aug 11, 2017 |
The Art of Asking I was not prepared for what I got in this book. I knew it was a memoir, but it really does focus on asking and all ways we ask people for things and all the things we don't ask for until it hurts too much. It's a beautiful book and made me realize that  I really need to work on asking more.
I absolutely loved this book. I'll be honest, I hadn't actually heard of Amanda Palmer before seeing this book. I'm not as big into music as I am books and I've rarely gone to Kickstarter, so it's not much of a surprise either. I listened to her TED talk (and I do love TED!), which covers many of the same bases as her book. I'd consider it a really condensed version. Here it is:
[ted id=1682]
The art of asking is really rather genius, though it's not exactly foreign to my life. There's a connection between what Palmer refers to as the art of asking and my husband's work in the church. Churches don't make people pay for their services, they ask. But churches are dying off and Kickstarters are getting more money every day. They seem to have lost the art to it. I have recommended the book to him and I hope he reads/listens to it.
I listened to it, which was definitely the way to go. Palmer narrates the book and she even sings a song between chapters occasionally. For me, it did just as promised in the blurb. It made me rethink some things, specifically what it means to ask instead of demand and to share the process of creating art with those around us.
I hate Twitter but I understand her love of it. I've never been good at starting conversations with people in front of me. I've never been good at being seen or letting others know that I see them. With these in mind, the book has created a degree of fear that I will never get to where I want to be. But then it always comes back in a haunting sort of way. I can get there, but I have to grow first and I have to do the things that need to be done.
Plus, I want connection when I get there, not adoration or whatever. It made me pay a bit more attention to the Twitter feeds of the artists I do admire. It makes me want to connect with them on some small level. I'm working up to it. I followed a few more since reading this, mostly comic creators that I love. Reaching out for connection is a little terrifying. But I think about standing on that box, trying to give someone a flower. I want to try something like that one day.
I loved that the book began with a introduction by Brene Brown. Some of you may recall my love for her and her work. Their messages share that connection can only happen after the risk of vulnerability. It only happens when we've reached out to someone who can reject us, but doesn't. If they are forced, it's not connection.
There were plenty of adorable anecdotes, but the meat of the book rests on just what the title implies. There is an art to asking. The book also dives pretty deeply into the art that can be present in giving. Some give, and some do so artfully. There is a difference. My mother has been one of those who give artfully. She has a way of not making the recipient feel shame, which is also important to connection. Palmer sums it up in "take the donut" or "take the flower". I love food, so I prefer "take the donut". I will also have to work on taking to donut in the future. I tend to be the bashful sort that prefers people keep their donut but totally appreciates the offer.
Has anyone else read this book? Did it make you take another look at asking, giving, receiving, connection, vulnerability.....? ( )
  Calavari | Jul 16, 2017 |
A beautiful look at an artist's life, learning how to share, to trust, and striving for art. Also a bit about indulgence and connection to people. It's very difficult to express certain things, art is both amazing, and worthless, depending on who experiences it, and when in their lives. Ultimately, Ms. Palmer shows us that art is about the connection with others, and that can be worth everything. ( )
  Pepperwings | Jun 17, 2017 |
Being a huge fan of Amanda's, I had to read her book. Since I'm poor, I got it from the library as soon as I could and read in pretty quickly. If you're a fan of Amanda's or saw her TED Talk, you may already know a lot of what she wrote about, but she obviously delves deeper into each subject. Her book is very personal (duh) and talks about her career from before forming The Dresden Dolls to where she was at the time of the books release. At the end of each chapter, she has song lyrics and pictures - which is a nice touch. I once read in a review (before I read the book) that "she wrote this book in three weeks and it shows" but I would disagree, but that may be because I'm a fan (my judgement could be clouded). You can form your own opinion if you choose to read it. ( )
  MadelynJackson | Jun 6, 2017 |
Someone recommended this to me about five years ago. When I started listening to the audiobook recently, I still had NO idea who Amanda Palmer is. And now I love her.

I really recommend the audio version, which she reads herself like she's just telling you a story. ( )
  KimMeyer | Nov 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Review by: Mark Palm
Full reviews at: http://thebookendfamily.weebly.com/bl...

I first became aware of Amanda Palmer as the lead singer/songwriter of The Dresden Dolls, a duo most often called punk cabaret, but really just unclassifiable. Labels and categories drive me crazy, but whatever you called them I recognized that Ms. Palmer was an excellent songwriter with a distinct and unique voice. Writing a song and writing a book are two very different things, and not a whole lot of people have been good at both, but after reading The Art of Asking I can definitely say that Ms. Palmer has got the act down cold.

Like most of her songs, this book doesn’t fall easily into a category, but instead moves effortlessly through a several different genres; autobiography, self-help, and a treatise/meditation on art, artists, and not surprisingly, the Art of Asking, which in the author’s eyes lies at the heart of the most important human endeavors, particularly matters of art, and of the heart. What makes this book so successful is Ms. Palmer’s skill at moving between the different styles of the book, while always writing with talent and deep emotion. As the story unwinds from her early days as a street performer to the creation of the Dresden Dolls, to her current life, it skips back in forth in time and place, a technique that could be confusing in lesser hands, but one that Ms. Palmer pulls off effortlessly. Ms. Palmer does an exceptional job at mixing the particulars of her private life with her musings on the nature of art, and using examples of one to highlight the other. It certainly helps that she has led such an interesting and varied life, and is so able to write about it with such open-ness and sincerity. I could probably hook you in even more by telling you the details, but I really dislike being a spoiler, so I‘ll just let you find out for yourself what an interesting book this really is.

One thing I haven’t done yet, but am going to as soon as I am able, is check out the soundtrack that is available on- line to augment this book. Ms. Palmer is, after all, a musician first and foremost, and I expect that the music she has picked will be a wonderful compliment to this work. Either way it stands just fine as it is, alone. If Ms. Palmer has any doubts left about her ability to write a book, she should jettison them. I was both surprised and moved by The Art of Asking, and I look forward eagerly to see what she will do next.
I see you, Amanda.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amanda Palmerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brown, BrenéForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to my Mutti, who, through her love, first taught me how to ask
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A decade or so ago in Boston, Amanda performed on the street as a human statue--a white faced, eight-foot-tall bride statue to be exact.
Who's got a tampon?  I just got my period, I will announce loudly to nobody in particular in a women's bathroom in a San Francisco restaurant, or to a co-ed dressing room of a music festival in Prague, or to the unsusepcting gatherers in a kitchen at a party in Sydney, Munich, or Cincinnati.
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Book description
Rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world's most successful music Kickstarter.

Even while Amanda is both celebrated and attacked for her fearlessness in asking for help, she finds that there are important things she cannot ask for-as a musician, as a friend, and as a wife. She learns that she isn't alone in this, that so many people are afraid to ask for help, and it paralyzes their lives and relationships. In this groundbreaking book, she explores these barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of THE ART OF ASKING.

Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. THE ART OF ASKING will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.
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