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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

Title: The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
Author: Amanda Palmer
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: November 11, 2014
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

"The Art of Asking" is a book by Amanda Palmer, artist, singer of the Dresden Dolls, and wife of Neil Gaiman. I was only vaguely familiar with her through her singing career but I am so glad that I picked up this book. This book is part memoir, part self-help book of sorts. Palmer talks about her career and how even those that seem really successful may need help sometimes and how that help shouldn't be seen as shameful.

This was a cathartic read for me. I know that no one is expected to do everything on their own but there is something about me that makes it really hard to ask for help even when I know that I need that. I don't think that I'm alone at all in that. Almost all of us don't want to feel vulnerable. We don't want to feel like we can't make it on our own. We feel like we want to be free and independent and we feel that the only way to do that is to simply do everything on our own, even when things seem impossible, even when it would make more sense for someone else to step in. Palmer talks about all of those things in such a real, raw way. She also shows how important it is to say when you need help, to show that vulnerable-ness. It really resonated with me!

I really liked Palmer's style in this book. You feel like she's talking to you as a friend. She's allowing herself to show her true colors. It's this candor that pulled me in and didn't let go until the last page. This would be a great pick for those that are struggling with the same sorts of things.



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