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  • The Art of Asking

  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
  • By: Amanda Palmer, Brené Brown (foreword)
  • Narrated by: Amanda Palmer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,837
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,627

In The Art of Asking, Palmer expands upon her popular TED talk to reveal how ordinary people, those of us without thousands of Twitter followers and adoring fans, can use her principles in our own lives to "let people help".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reading it in your own voice would be missing out

  • By Tzachi on 10-16-15

Love the book. Palmer reads and sings here!

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-01-14

What made the experience of listening to The Art of Asking the most enjoyable?

Amazing to hear Amanda Palmer read this to me, play music, sing her songs. The book is potentially life-altering without these additional courtesies ... with them, it's magic.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art of Asking?

The things that hurt, are sad, are powerful. In one example, someone claims to have lost her family in a disaster to get Amanda's attention. And her response, that it's a tragedy either way, is the wisest possible.

What about Amanda Palmer’s performance did you like?

It feels very real and immediate to me, not that I'm an expert on this -- I feel like we've been on a journey together. Palmer and I are different, and my life isn't, couldn't be, much like hers -- but I am inspired, grateful, and changed.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

This book has so many things in it. I'll remember the way autobiography frames, and makes relevant, the citation of research. I'll remember the call to love and be loved, and admonition to ask for what I need, the advice that there isn't always a crowd who can hear and deliver on any given request.

Any additional comments?

The profanity in the book is not obnoxious, but it means I don't feel comfortable giving it to, for example, Mom.

64 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • The Rithmatist

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,091
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,491
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,496

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings - merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beware of the chalk!

  • By Brandon on 05-17-13

Slightly disappointing for Sanderson

4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-08-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Rithmatist to be better than the print version?

The audio edition of The Rithmatist is good, but not really better than the print version. It's best as a quick read, not an extended listen, and the illustrations actually help the book.

Would you recommend The Rithmatist to your friends? Why or why not?

I recommend Brandon Sanderson early and often, but this isn't his best work. There are a few great ideas here -- "wild chalklings" -- so it's worth it for Sanderson fans. It does demonstrate another of his magic systems. In the end, though, it never really seems to soar in the way that Elantris and many others do. Maybe this is because it's expressly intended to be for young adults, and that is only incidentally characteristic of the best young adult fiction. The Rithmatist has many of the elements common in young adult genre fiction: the orphan, a magic academy, the lower class outsider at school, a kind mentor, dangers that only the protagonist can see and that he is uniquely suited to address, the love interest/friend who is a girl. The body count is also lower than in, for example, Warbreaker, and the magic is, perhaps, simpler to understand than that in Elantris or the Mistborn books. These are neatly connected together. These other books really manage to become more than the sum of their parts, greater than their tropes, and the Rithmatist does not. I would have been riveted to Elantris if I'd had it as a teen (I am older than Sanderson himself, so I've read all of his work as an adult) but breezed through the Rithmatist without pause or emotional investment in it. I think I would recommend Steelheart, maybe, or another Sanderson work instead of The Rithmatist.