Book Review: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer pours her heart out about connecting to people and the strength required to allow people to help

artofasking The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

I took a while to finish reading this book because I didn’t want it to end. I’d been a huge fan of Amanda Palmer ever since I watched her TED talk, even though I’d never heard any of her music.

When I found out that she was writing a book, I knew I had to read it because there was so much I knew I could learn from her as a musician and a person who cares about her friends and her fans. When I finally got my hands on her book, I couldn’t put it down but at the same time, I didn’t want to read it too fast. 

There was so much in the book that resonated with me, and I found myself getting emotional over the stories she shares about her experiences as a street performer, a musician, a friend, a wife, and a regular human being. The way she poured out her heart into the book, the way she expressed herself in the book, she’s so real, and you can tell that she’s just so full of love for people.

This book is a sort of memoir of Amanda Palmer’s, but it’s also a great advice book for anyone who’s a street performer or musician. Case in point, Amanda recently shared an article on her Facebook page about this street performer named Ben MacSpadden, a unicorn-headed violinist who states that The Art of Asking was his motivation for busking.

I must admit that reading her book makes me want to take to the streets and sing my heart out too. Being a street performer means being able to connect to people, and that connection is what every human being yearns for, even if it’s only for a single minute in their busy days. Amanda Palmer takes that connection to a whole new level. She connects to her audience like they are all her personal friends, and that’s something that I can only aspire to.

There’s just so much inspiration in the book for artists of any kind. The community she has fostered is exactly the kind of community all artists dream of, and I believe, the kind of community that could achieve that elusive “world peace” people keep talking about, if only it was taken to a global level by all the artists and all the people in the world.

The copy I read is a library copy, but I loved the book so much, I’ve already ordered my own copy that I know I’m going to be marking all over with notes and my thoughts. I’m sure I will be reading this book many, many, times over.

Buy this book on Amazon.


About Haze Wong (28 Articles)
Hazellie Wong has been performing since the age of three, and started performing professionally at 21 years old. She is one half of the band, Dragon In Stilettos. She recently started teaching vocals and describes teaching as one of the most rewarding experiences she's had. She is also an avid book reader, in addition to being a tarot and numerology reader. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @hazelleevaughn, and on her personal blog at