Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Review - The Art of Asking and More

This has been a busy month. I spent most of my time painting, so I didn't have as much time to read. It doesn't help that I'm in the middle of several books. But here are a couple that I loved this month.

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

On the exterior, it may seem that Amanda Palmer and I don't have all that much in common. But deep down, where it counts, we share quite a bit. (Including an adoration for Neil Gaiman. She's married to him, so I'll concede hers is the lion's share, while mine is more idol worship from a distance. Thanks to Amanda's gift for finding the beautiful, squishy center of a person and writing it in such an accessible way, after I finished the book, I told my husband, "I have a huge crush on Neil now." His response: "More than you did before?")

I have been a fan of Amanda's since The Dresden Dolls. Her song Girl Anachronism was on my recovery playlist and I listened to it often. As a performance artist and couch-surfing musician, Amanda perfected the skill of connecting with her fan-base on a human level, a skill that translated into a history-making, million-dollar Kickstarter. An expansion of her TED talkThe Art of Asking is part memoir/part self-help and exactly what I was looking for. It's about following your passion, valuing your contribution to the universe, and allowing others to help you build your optimal reality. Told in a series past and present vignettes and realizations, The Art of Asking sings with vulnerability, authenticity, and verve.

I'd like to thank Amanda Palmer in person for The Art of Asking, but for now, I'll just have to settle for recommending the book to people struggling with learning how to align themselves with their passion.

Highly recommended.

Warnings on: language, sexual situations.

The Graphic Canon of Children's Literature edited by Russ Kick

This gorgeous tome of children's stories illustrated in the graphic novel style is a must-have for any writer/illustrator. From the eerie retellings of Red Riding Hood and cut-paper illustrated fables to one-page cartoon synopses of Harry Potter and Oz novels, this book is a treasure trove of stories in every illustration style imaginable.

Highly recommended.

Warnings on: mature themes, nudity.

Also read this month: The Hobbit graphic novel, Through The Woods (again).

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