Review: The Art of Asking

I don’t know why I started following Amanda Palmer on Twitter.

I’d never heard her music.

I’d never seen her show.

I’d never read her name in the news.

I only knew she was the wife of Neil Gaiman.

Amanda Palmer HuffPo
When I saw she had written a book, I thought “yeah, I’ll add that to the list and read it someday.” Then, it started to take over my Twitter feed. One Saturday I decided to see if my small-town library even had a copy; they did, and it was available. I tweeted about it, and much to my surprise, Amanda Palmer herself retweeted me. Twice:

Amanda Palmer Retweeted Me

I used her book for my second-ever Teaser Tuesday and almost couldn’t put it down:

Here's the thing: all of us come from some place 
of wanting to be seen, understood, accepted, 
connected.
 
Every single one of us wants to be believed.

Artists are often just . . . louder about it.

Art of Asking is also the first book in a long time I received flak over. Apparently, the cover “isn’t appropriate.” Really, people? Ulysses and Lolita were fine, but AoA needs to be hidden away? Perhaps you forgot the phrase

"Don't judge a book by its cover."

And what a book it is. Amanda recounts her early artistic career as a Living Statue, the growing pains of the Dresden Dolls, her falling-into-love with Neil Gaiman, the backlash of a successful Kickstarter campaign, her current tour, and many personal relationships. Through it all she delves into the basic human need to be seen and understood without being judged, to ask without fearing the possible – inevitable? – rejection, to trust unconditionally.

Amanda lets us into her world and barew her own fears and faults and foilables. She does not claim perfection, far from it. What she offers is light.

A flashlight on a dark path, keeping others from stumbling.

A spotlight on an exit ramp, showing the way.

Track lighting on fine art, highlighting beauty and grace we might have missed.

The best books reach inside and change the very essence of our being. They change how we see ourselves, those around us, and the world we live in. They are unavoidable catalysts for change in a static world. In my last twenty-nine years, only three authors spoke to me in such a way:

J.R.R. Tolkein

C.S. Lewis

Dante Alighieri

Now the Triumverate becomes a Tetrarchy:

Amanda Palmer has arrived.

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Art of Asking

  1. Yep – just heading out to grab a copy now (ok, not right now, but pretty soon). I didn’t know a lot about her until I watched her TED talk. I knew of her from a TV show here in Australia she used to appear on occasionally when she was still with the Dresden Dolls, but not much other than that. This book sounds really good though – will definitely be reading it…eventually. Thanks for the great review 🙂

    Have you read any Paolo Coelho? His books will reach in and jumble your insides, especially The Alchemist.

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