Books from Amanda Palmer

The Recovering

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"An astounding triumph . . . Profound . . . Achingly wise . . . A recovery memoir like no other." --Entertainment Weekly (A)"Riveting . . . Beautifully told." --Boston Globe"An honest and important book . . . Vivid writing and required reading." --Stephen King"Perceptive and generous-hearted . . . Uncompromising . . . Jamison is a writer of exacting grace." --Washington PostFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Empathy Exams comes this transformative work showing that sometimes the recovery is more gripping than the addiction.With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Leslie Jamison deftly excavates the stories we tell about addiction--both her own and others'--and examines what we want these stories to do and what happens when they fail us. All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement, and at the complicated bearing that race and class have on our understanding of who is criminal and who is ill. At the heart of the book is Jamison's ongoing conversation with literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Billie Holiday, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and David Foster Wallace, as well as brilliant lesser-known figures such as George Cain, lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here. Through its unvarnished relation of Jamison's own ordeals, The Recovering also becomes a book about a different kind of dependency: the way our desires can make us all, as she puts it, "broken spigots of need." It's about the particular loneliness of the human experience-the craving for love that both devours us and shapes who we are. For her striking language and piercing observations, Jamison has been compared to such iconic writers as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, yet her utterly singular voice also offers something new. With enormous empathy and wisdom, Jamison has given us nothing less than the story of addiction and recovery in America writ large, a definitive and revelatory account that will resonate for years to come.
Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer
Actress
Leslie Jamison wrote a great book called 'The Recovering' about her struggle with alcohol and sobriety. There's long passages in the book dedicated to the ‘romance’ of the suffering artists and I get into some interesting arguments with people who point out that it's a lot easier to be motivated when you're upset.
Books from Amanda Palmer

We Are the Weather

Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know. Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response?In We Are the Weather, Jonathan Safran Foer explores the central global dilemma of our time in a surprising, deeply personal, and urgent new way. The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves—with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. We have, he reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic. Only collective action will save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat—and don’t eat—for breakfast.
Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer
Actress
these these these last two paragraphs (page 136). they slam-dunk a chapter that dribbles a few poetic themes down the court with one hand: the “overview” effect of the hubble space telescope’s photographs of planet earth on the environmental movement, the theft of the mona lisa in 1911 leading to the painting’s bonkers fame, kafka visiting the empty wall in the louvre where the painting had been hanging, the invention of reading glasses....from jonathan safran foer’s new book “we are the weather: saving the planet begins at breakfast”. highly recommended. it’s a very human book, intensely touching and mind-squeegee-ing. if you have ever felt overwhelmed and paralytic in the face of the climate crisis, it’s a balm of a read. a super sobering but non-alone-book. how’s that for a duck ton of blurbs.
Books from Amanda Palmer

All the Light We Cannot See

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller listFrom the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer
Actress
After that, about six months ago, I picked up a copy of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It’s historical fiction and follows two concurrent stories of the second World War. I don’t know exactly how or why, but it was the work of fiction I needed at the time. I loved this book so much I slowed down to five pages a night towards the end because I didn’t want to leave the world he created, and I ran to the bookstore the week I finished it to buy every novel he has ever written – there was only one, and I devoured that too. All the Light We Cannot See is just one of those perfect books, so searingly painful and beautifully constructed I hope they never make it into a movie.
Books from Amanda Palmer

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer
Actress
Another book that I gifted zillion times is actually by my favorite non-fiction author Bill Bryson. He wrote a book "A Short History of Nearly Everything". He can write about everything, I would read it.
Books from Amanda Palmer

Why We Sleep

'Astonishing ... an amazing book ... absolutely chocker full of things that we need to know' Chris Evans'Matthew Walker is probably one of the most influential people on the planet' Evening StandardTHE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERTLS, OBSERVER, SUNDAY TIMES, FT, GUARDIAN, DAILY MAIL AND EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life, health and longevity and yet it is increasingly neglected in twenty-first-century society, with devastating consequences: every major disease in the developed world - Alzheimer's, cancer, obesity, diabetes - has very strong causal links to deficient sleep.In this book, the first of its kind written by a scientific expert, Professor Matthew Walker explores twenty years of cutting-edge research to solve the mystery of why sleep matters. Looking at creatures from across the animal kingdom as well as major human studies, Why We Sleep delves into everything from what really happens during REM sleep to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep and why our sleep patterns change across a lifetime, transforming our appreciation of the extraordinary phenomenon that safeguards our existence.'Startling, vital ... a life-raft' Guardian'A top sleep scientist argues that sleep is more important for our health than diet or exercise' The Times'Passionate, urgent . . . it had a powerful effect on me' Observer
Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer
Actress
Well, there’s a book I’m absolutely obsessed with right now, so it’s hard to think of any other books because I’m having a passionate affair with this one. It’s called Why We Sleep, and it’s by Matthew Walker.
Books from Amanda Palmer

Dropping Ashes on the Buddha

The classic guide for Zen students pursuing the true way. “Somebody comes into the Zen center with a lighted cigarette, walks up to the Buddha-statue, blows smoke in its face and drops ashes on its lap. You are standing there. What can you do?” This is a problem that Zen Master Seung Sahn was fond of posing to his American students who attended his Zen centers. Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a delightful, irreverent, and often hilariously funny living record of the dialogue between Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn and his American students. Consisting of dialogues, stories, formal Zen interviews, Dharma speeches, and letters using the Zen Master’s actual words in spontaneous, living interaction, this book is a fresh presentation of the Zen teaching method of “instant dialogue” between Master and student which, through the use of astonishment and paradox, leads to an understanding of ultimate reality.
Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer
Actress
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha when I was 24, I think. My mentor, Anthony, gave me his copy, and he gave me a lot of books. It was one of those coincidences where, who knows? There was probably a pile of books. I was going on a trip to Australia as a street performer. This is before I was a musician, professionally at least. I remember being in Australia. It was a very difficult trip. I wasn’t making much money. That trip actually wound up being really catalyzing in a lot of ways that I wouldn’t fully realize until later.