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The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  29,772 ratings  ·  3,179 reviews
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). A ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing
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Jill
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
I see you, Amanda Palmer constantly repeats, in this book and on her social media. I see you. We are exchanging. There is meaning to every interaction. There is meaning to the artist-fan relationship. I see you.

I was a massive Dresden Dolls fan ten years ago. I remember waiting in an autograph line with a friend after a Dolls show -- a line just like the ones she describes in The Art of Asking, with amazing people on either side of us, chatting about music and cheerfully clutching CDs to our ch
...more
Ksenia Anske
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Asking. It seems like such a simple thing. We do it every day. We ask, “How are you?” and “Do you mind if I sit down?” and “Can you please hold this?” and “Do you remember that song?” We ask and ask and ask and most of the time don’t think much about it, until it comes to asking for big things. Money. “Can you loan me $1,000?” A place to live. “Is it okay if I camp out at your apartment for a couple months?” Transportation. “May I borrow your car?” Fundraising. “Please contribute to our cause?” ...more
Ariel
Aug 20, 2018 added it
Anyone who is an artist sharing any of their work online should read this. It took me a few times to get into it, but if you stick with it, you'll fall into Amanda's powerful story and insights. I'm really glad that I read this, and I think reading it right after graduating was the perfect moment to take in her story. I'm honestly going to miss listening to Amanda's voice speaking wisdom to me. (I listened to the audiobook and it was excellent.)
Heidi The Reader
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Amanda Palmer is an extremely talented artist who has done it all- from performing in a punk rock band to posing as a statue on the streets.

I can see why readers are passionate about this book and the author. She just didn't strike a spark for me.

Memoirs can drag on and become self-indulgent and ridiculous. I feel like that was a problem with The Art of Asking.

The tipping point for me was when she formed The Dresden Dolls with her friend and said (I'm quoting from memory here since I was listeni
...more
Jessica
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was sort of inclined not to like this book from the beginning; Amanda Palmer's "stop pretending art is hard" thing has always rubbed me the wrong way, and then when she decided to write a book it seemed like just another manifestation of that ("what, like writing a book is hard?"). But the book itself? Is really good.

That's not to say it isn't problematic. It is. But the problems are in the concept, not in the execution. Palmer's a really good writer, and her stories are all raw and interestin
...more
kat
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I wouldn't call myself a fan of Amanda Palmer. The Dresden Dolls was never really my jam; when she ended up on my radar it was because she married Neil Gaiman -- of whom I definitely *am* a fan, and whose blog and Twitter I've followed for years and years.

The vast majority of what I know about her is what I've learned through the words of a fantastic writer who loves her. Thus, I already want to like her... but while I don't dislike her, I'm not sure I like her. It's complicated.

What I think of
...more
Michael
Nov 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
While Amanda has a few decent points, which are easy enough to grasp within the span of the first chapter. Her anecdotes are so remarkably self-centered it becomes hard to bare. When this book isn't Amanda bragging about how she has asked people for things and returned the favor with her majestic presence (i.e. "I asked people on twitter if I could stay at their house, and in return they got to hang out with me") it is indignant narcissistic drivel about being treated poorly by her label. If it' ...more
Leah
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4/25/2018
Still all the fucking stars...


11/10 - 11/26/2014

5 Fucking Stars and Hugs For All


A little background, because I feel like I need to put this here: I love Amanda Palmer’s music. I received a burned copy of The Dresden Dolls my senior year in high school (late 2005/2006). I fell in love with her lyrics and their music back then, and I’ve continued to support both Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione whenever I can.

That has included supporting AFP’s Kickstarter. Honestly, I pretty much ignored
...more
Debbie "DJ"
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Won through Goodreads Firstreads, Thank you!

Big confession. I entered this giveaway because I'm at a point in my life where I need to learn to ask for help. I truly thought this was more of a self-help book, and had never heard of Amanda Palmer. Turns out, Amanda Palmer is a pretty big deal, and she really did help me learn to ask for help, just not in the way I had expected.

Palmer is true artist. Beginning her profession as a statue in a wedding dress, standing on a box at various street corner
...more
Mariah Roze
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
One of my favorite ways to learn is by picking random autobiographies of people I have never heard of and reading them. That is what happened in this situation. This book was suggested to me through Overdrive because I like "strong women." I didn't have to put it on hold, so I thought, why not? This is the second book this year that I read a book about someone I had no idea who they were.

I rated this book a 3 out of 5, because it was an easy read and somewhat entertaining. The book definitely co
...more
Kristin
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok, so this isn't my type of book, but it's Amanda Palmer, so I'm naturally curious as hell to read this. Please come through Netgalley.

I mean, if not the book, I'll take the coin-operated boy that I have been waiting for...





2015 {YES I AM BEHIND...stuff it} PopSugar Challenge with my fellow crustaceans Karly, Jess, Heather, and Nenia

A memoir - The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help - Palmer, Amanda


Attempt 1: Netgalley sucks
Attempt 2: Started by my Library loan
...more
Gabrielle
I have very strong, sometimes mixed feelings about Amanda Palmer. I adore the Dresden Dolls. I still listen to their stuff all the time, I have a gorgeous framed poster of their reunion tour hanging over my desk. Their music is so unique, so raw and so wonderful, and it inspires me very much. While I really enjoy Amanda Palmer's solo work, I don’t think it ever quite reaches the highs she hit when she was teaming up with Brian Viglione. I’m happy to buy her new records and I was delighted to hea ...more
Swaroop Kanti
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
"a passionate stew of human connections..."

A one-line takeaway from this book can be - "If you love people enough, they will give you everything..."

The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer is not one of those 'How To' self-help books. This book is a memoir, a profound and close account of an artist, and about her experiments, the failures and successes.

I have never heard of Amanda Palmer and just happened to stumble upon this book during one of
...more
Laura Roberts
Amanda Palmer is a pretty polarizing person. Some love her crazy theatre-girl ways and commitment to a bohemian lifestyle of art at any costs. Some think she's a poseur, a sell-out, a scammer. I'm somewhere in the middle, curious about what she does, interested in her artistic output, but not particularly keen on following in her footsteps.

When I heard she had a book coming out, I definitely wanted to read it. So I grabbed a copy, and tore through it in a couple of days. It was one of those book
...more
Annamaria
Asking for help with shame says:
You have the power over me.
Asking with condescension says:
I have the power over you.
But asking for help with gratitude says:
We have the power to help each other.


First of all, a 5 star rating is an odd thing for me to give since it basically means that this book has entered the realm of my favourite books of all time, but it was the realest rating I could think of when it comes to The Art of Asking. Listening to Amanda's voice on the audiobook was just so calming,
...more
Bradley
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I should be too old, too jaded, too well-read, and too involved to get sucked into book that MAKES ME WANT TO BE A BETTER PERSON.

But...
well...
It happened anyway.

So before I get into the review, I just want to thank the writer for her openness and honesty. I want to thank her for revealing such heartbreaking intimacy to us. I was already a fan, but I wasn't part of the fen. That has changed. I saw something that spoke to me and revealed a level of courage that was more compelling than practically
...more
Lily
Dec 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: indie artists; grad students; people in relationships
It's been a while since I felt quite so conflicted over a book, so consider those three stars to be an average between a squished heart and a raised eyebrow.

Prior to reading this book (which is the first celebrity memoir I've ventured into), all I knew about Amanda Palmer was what could be gleaned from the blog posts of her husband, Neil Gaiman. I had a vague awareness of a few of the storylines, so I welcomed the chance to get a more complete picture in Palmer's own words. She narrates the aud
...more
Richard Butchins
This book started off being pretty much what I thought it would be. A book to appeal to Palmer fans and indirectly to Neil Gaiman fan's (her marriage doing much to increase her online reach). A book about being a piano thumping, underwear flaunting indie rocker. It is that book and it's something else as well. I have an interest in crowd funding having run a reasonable campaign myself in 2011 or so. I have never been a lover of Ms Palmers music but I am aware of her careful nurturing of a fan ba ...more
Vanessa
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Divisive, unashamed, uninhibited, fascinating, inspiring and absolutely fearless. Amanda is a punk rock star in every sense of the word, she lives a true bohemian artists life, designing her own set of rules and isn’t afraid to change the status quo by trusting in her loyal fans connecting with them in such a way that is truly inspirational, she really is an artist that needs her fans as much as they need her, her boldness allows for a show of extreme vulnerability, by doing this she gathers and ...more
Gina Boyd
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
She's a fine writer, and talented in other ways, and I agree with a lot of what she says about asking for help. "But asking for help with gratitude says/We have the power to help each other." This is true, and I think it's something worth talking about and trying to convince people of.

That said, I didn't finish the book because I was often bored, annoyed, or a little of both.

These hangups are purely my own, and I don't want to trash Palmer--she is who she is--but she's hard for me to spend time
...more
Elizabeth
Jul 12, 2014 marked it as read-in-manuscript-form
Someone I know apparently knows Amanda Palmer and had a draft copy of this and offered it to me to read and do big-picture level edits. I thought but did not say, "Amanda Palmer is really problematic, so I don't want to be involved in supporting her in any way." The second time I was offered the manuscript, I said yes, because I was curious.

It opens with a tampon story and ugh, not all females menstruate and not everyone who menstruates is female. Amanda, I'm sure you have trans* friends ... be
...more
Lavinia
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
People! This is the best nonfiction book I've read this year, and if you're the creative type and making art in any form* you must read this. You know how you don't have to like tennis to enjoy Agassi's Open** ? Same thing. You don't have to be a fan of Amanda's music or music in general (though, honestly, who doesn't like music?) to enjoy Amanda's memoir. I had no idea how her music sounded or who she was before watching her TedTalk a while ago (http://youtu.be/xMj_P_6H69g). It's definitely not ...more
madamescozycorner
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
So tbh, I went into this book without really knowing about Amanda Palmer. I was just interested in reading memoirs from women I might find inspiration from for my own life. Reading 'Yes, Please' and 'Year of Yes' had me left wanting to read more from strong, independent women who made their way. What perked my interest in this book was the title 'The Art of Asking'. The reason for that is simple... I haaaate asking others to help me. Even as I struggle (and sometimes realize I'll fail without he ...more
Vanessa
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I would have picked up this book if it wasn't for the lovely Jen Campbell. I've never particularly been a fan of Amanda Palmer before, not because I disliked her but because I never really knew much about her. Of course I knew of her, and I'd heard a couple of Dresden Dolls songs years ago when they were still around, and of course I was aware of her marriage to Neil Gaiman. Anything else though was a mystery to me, and I mainly picked this up as it had been billed as a kind of sel ...more
Simon Sweetman
Feb 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
As ghastly as her music, and therefore likely to be lapped up as being so soul-pleasing and profound as her music apparently is by her psychofan-sycophants. It's full of the worst kind of false modesty, "'No, Amanda, my friend said, 'you're brilliant, you're the queen of the internet, you're so wise and talented'..." - that sort of shit. You didn't hear it from her, but you heard all about it from her friends through her. Fucking atrocious really.
usagi ☆ミ
I cried. Review to come.
Veronica
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle
The only reason I have heard of Amanda Palmer is because of her hilarious riposte to the Daily Mail when it tried to make a scandal about her breast popping out of her bra (anyone familiar with AP knows it's not at all unusual for her to show more flesh than that). Someone recommended this book, based on her famous TED talk, so I thought it might be worth a read.

Well, if you are one of the many unconditional fans of Amanda Palmer, which many reviewers here appear to be, you'll love it. I found i
...more
Kaitlin
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is one which I never truly planned to pick up because, although I knew who Amanda was because of her marriage to Neil Gaiman, I never really had followed her or her career. This doesn't really matter when you read this book though because even if you don't know her at all, you can connect and be inspired by elements of her story, her life and the ideas she lives by.

The format I read this in was audiobook, which was definitely a good choice. It meant that it was narrated by Amanda herse
...more
Maria
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Amanda Palmer is, first and foremost, human. As such, she is bound to say, in our opinion, the wrong thing at, also in our opinion, the wrong time.

It’s not a matter of mistake-making, even if, as a human being, she’s also bound to board that particular train, at least every now and then. She might simply be looking at things from a perspective that happens to stand on the exact opposite side of ours. It doesn’t mean she wants to harm us, though; it doesn’t mean she’s out to get us or fight us. S
...more
Casey Kiser
Amanda Palmer is absolutely fearless in sharing her deepest thoughts and emotions. As an artist and a human being, she is just infinitely interesting. Her writing kept me wanting more and I felt like I was at a sleepover listening to exciting stories, experiences and insight. This book goes above and beyond its job of teaching you that it's okay to ask for help sometimes without feeling shame. It's funny, personal, refreshing and will leave you satisfied. And there are plenty of details of her r ...more
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1,866 followers
Amanda Palmer is a performer, director, composer and musician who is best known for her role as front woman and keyboardist for internationally acclaimed punk cabaret band The Dresden Dolls. In 2008, Amanda released Who Killed Amanda Palmer, her debut solo album which was produced by Ben Folds. Current projects include a fine art photography book on which she is collaborating with esteemed author ...more

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“Asking for help with shame says:
You have the power over me.
Asking with condescension says:
I have the power over you.
But asking for help with gratitude says:
We have the power to help each other.
116 likes
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