This week’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks review is a book I loved so much I’ve gone topless for it.
This week’s cover recreation required me to shed my shirt, and I didn’t even care. That is how wonderful this book – and its author – is.
(It’s not hard to guess the book, because it is literally written on my chest).
You got it!
The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
Pages per day: 46
Let me start off by saying that I think maybe Amanda Palmer is my long-lost sister. Or best-friend-that-never-was.
Or something along those lines.
She is fabulous and fearless and everything I aspire to be. Long story short, she’s completely rad.
Amanda (I feel like we’re on first-name basis. I also feel like she would hate me calling her “Ms Palmer”) is a rock goddess, a TED speaker, a crowdsurfer, a couchsurfer, a truster and an asker.
The Art of Asking chronicles her difficulties and triumphs from signing to a major music label to struggling to accept financial help from her husband. From her amazingly successful Kickstarter to getting groped by an overenthusiastic fan-slash-stalker.
But most of all, it tells the honest truth: that asking is damn important.
Amanda has no qualms in asking her fans for food, for a place to stay, to be held, or simply just for a freakin’ tampon. And through all of her asking, she’s realised something incredibly important: that her fans want to be asked for help. They want to give back to the musician and human being who has provided them with so much. Case in point: Amanda Palmer holds the record of the world’s most successful music-related Kickstarter campaign. Because her fans jumped at the opportunity to help her. Because she helps them, too.
So why is everyone so afraid to ask for things? Because we see it as a sign of weakness. Because we are convinced that we are not good enough for whatever it is that we are asking for. Because the act of asking requires us to trust that the person we are approaching will not laugh at us/hate us/spit in our faces. And trust is hard sometimes, but it is also gloriously liberating. And maybe you will get that job, or that raise, or that hug.
The thing with asking, however, (and this is when it gets scary for most people) is that we have to prepare ourselves for a no. Because if you’re asking without accepting that your request may be declined, you’re not really asking. It becomes begging.
“Asking for help requires authenticity, and vulnerability.
Those who ask without fear lean to say two things, with or without words, to those they are facing:
I deserve to ask
You are welcome to say no
Because the ask that is conditional cannot be a gift.”
– Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking, page 303
Amanda Palmer is fantastically honest and real. Throughout The Art of Asking she discusses tricky topics like the Boston bombings, her best friend’s cancer, body image, abortions and being afraid. She doesn’t sugar-coat anything, because she is asking you to think and feel and love. And you’ll want to. And you will.
To be honest, I’m really struggling to write this review. Not because I don’t have much to say about The Art of Asking, but because I have too much to say. All I can ask is that you please, please read this book. (You can find it here on Book Depository with free shipping worldwide.) If I could hug and thank Amanda a thousand times, not only for this book but just for being, I would. Maybe I will one day when our paths cross and we share a wine together. For now, I’ll just listen to her crazy music, accept the fact that I’ve gone topless on my blog (it was only a matter of time) and read this book again.
take the fucking donuts.
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Next week’s book is All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman. The review will be posted next Monday – make sure to stop by! If you’ve got any other suggestions for book for my challenge, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below!
If you want to check out the other posts/reviews from the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge you can click here, to follow the Pinterest board click here, and to stay updated on Facebook click here!
~Some links in this article are affiliate links in that if you purchase something from them, it will not cost you any more, but I will earn a small commission. This does not influence my recommendation in any way, I would still use this product even if I were not an affiliate.~