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

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  20,527 Ratings  ·  2,134 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
Published November 11th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ksenia Anske
Oct 16, 2014 Ksenia Anske rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 17, 2015 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 11, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2014 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 any negative story on the subject, because I just didn’t
Debbie "DJ"
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
Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋
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
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
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 off a 5 star rating is an odd thing for me to give (unless we're talking about Harry Potter of course) 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, relaxing and inspiring that now any other audiob
Jul 05, 2015 kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
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
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
May 11, 2015 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Jan 03, 2016 Lily 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
Jul 13, 2014 Elizabeth marked it as read-in-manuscript-form  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2016 madamereadsalot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Keair Snyder
Nov 30, 2014 Keair Snyder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was completely, one hundred percent, Amanda Fucking Palmer. Her knack for honesty came through on every page, whether she was describing her time as a living statue, her greatest successes so far, her marriage, or her perceived short comings. I loved her mention of old blog posts I read on her site eight years ago as well as twitter or facebook posts I saw this spring. I loved her ability to make me laugh and to make me cry from one page to another. I loved that this book seemed to pro ...more
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 ( It's definitely not ...more
Gina Boyd
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
the golden witch.
I cried. Review to come.
Jon Huff
Nov 14, 2014 Jon Huff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's no secret Amanda Palmer can be a divisive figure. Most interesting people are. But, I think the thing that really shines through about Palmer is that she's genuine. Whether you like or dislike her, her work and/or her opinions I think by the end of this book it would be hard to argue that she isn't honest. I think there's a tendency to distrust "artsy" people on some level. The face makeup, the bohemian lifestyle, the way they dress... it can be easy to stand on the outside and wonder if it ...more
Oct 01, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it
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
In my darkest hours, I still go to my secret stash of medicine-music to comfort me, like a familiar childhood blanket, and cocoon myself in the songs of Kimya Dawson, Leonard Cohen, or Robyn Hitchcock, who seem to be expressing some inexpressable thing inside of me. And listening to those songs performed live, in concert, and sharing that blanket feeling with a crowd of strangers, gives me a feeling of humanhood that I don't often get to experience; it's the closest thing I have to church.

Pam Gonçalves
Em A arte de pedir, Amanda Palmer conta uma parte de sua vida em que construiu um relacionamento sólido com seus fãs e como se achou digna de poder pedir algo em troca da sua arte.

Eu tirei lições valiosas desse livro. Sou daquelas pessoas que tenta ao máximo não depender de ninguém, então as vezes acabo mergulhando no meu próprio orgulho e ficando frustrada e estacionada na vida.

Como o livro é praticamente uma biografia, apesar das lições interessantíssimas, passei boa parte da leitura entediad
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
Jul 19, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 08, 2015 Veronica 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
Oct 03, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, 2015
I am a huge fan of Amanda Palmer, but that isn't why I think this book is important.

It's part self help book - except it gets so personal, you get wrapped up in the story and taken along for an emotional ride.

It's part memoir - except there's an underlying theme to every part of it, rather than somebody simply self-indulgently reciting their life story.

It starts off simply as a tale about a street performer, which in itself is fascinating to discover how this thing is actually done; but then it
Patricia Nedelea
five stars for honesty
Jan 18, 2017 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My thoughts on this book are complex. It is far more of a memoir/autobiography than a book that is really about "the art of asking." It is how asking has worked in Amanda's life, not an in general Beene Brown-type of work.

But it's good. Really good.

I didn't fall in love with this book from the beginning. It was a slow build. I know who Amanda Palmer is. I follow her on Facebook, although I admit I heard of her after she married Neil Gaiman. I hadn't listened to much of her music. But I knew her
3.5 stars. This was the first giveaway book I have won on Goodreads. (However, I listened to the audiobook, read by the author, which I highly recommend doing if you read this.) It was on my TBR shelf because the title sounded interesting, and I have heard of the author who had piqued my interest when I saw her performing in her band a few years ago on one of the late night shows. Amanda Palmer is part of the punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls. While they are definitely not a mainstream band, th ...more
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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
More about Amanda Palmer...

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“The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of 'real' grown-ups who you believe - at some subconscious level - are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying:
We've been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING. You stand accused of the crime of completely winging it, you are guilty of making shit up as you go along, you do not actually deserve your job, we are taking everything away and we are TELLING EVERYBODY.”
“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.
More quotes…