Amanda Palmer's favorite books

  • The Hotel New Hampshire

    The Hotel New Hampshire

    John Irving

    “The first of my father’s illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels.” So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times encountered by the family Berry. Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, they “dream on” in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Son of the Circus and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

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    I love this book, love this family, love this man's writing.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • How to Be a Woman

    How to Be a Woman

    Caitlin Moran
    Biography & Autobiography

    “Caitlin Moran is the profane, witty and wonky best friend I wish I had. She’s the feminist rock star we need right now.” —Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother “Caitlin Moran is so fabulous, so funny, so freshly feminist. I don’t want to be like her—I want to be her.” —Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter Caitlin Moran puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of women’s issues today with her irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious How to Be a Woman. “Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary,” (Elle UK), Moran’s debut was an instant runaway bestseller in England as well as an Amazon UK Top Ten book of the year; still riding high on bestseller lists months after publication, it is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Now poised to take American womanhood by storm, here is a book that Vanity Fair calls “the U.K. version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants….You will laugh out loud, wince, and—in my case—feel proud to be the same gender as the author.”

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    The new feminist manifesto.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • Steppenwolf


    Hermann Hesse

    Thomas Wayne presents a fresh new translation of this classic that is a particular favorite of young adults confronting life's deepest questions and equally liberating for readers facing a mid-life crisis. Basil Creighton's 1929 version (revised in 1963 by Joseph Mileck) is the best-known version in English; it skips words, smoothes out long, involved passages, unnecessarily "improves" the text – all things Thomas Wayne refuses to do. As with his already published translations of Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, Ecce Homo, and The Antichrist, he emphasizes a strict adherence and reverence for the literal – a Hesse for the 21st century, meaningful and faithful to the original.

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    I've re-read and re-read this sucker every five years since then, and I always read a different book.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • Dirty Plotte

    Dirty Plotte

    Julie Doucet
    The Complete Julie Doucet

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    I only read one comic when I was young. It was this. It changed everything.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • Dropping Ashes on the Buddha

    This was one of those life-changing books that finally popped the light off in my little brain

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • Blood and Guts in High School

    Blood and Guts in High School

    Kathy Acker

    A masterpiece of surrealist fiction, steeped in controversy upon its first publication in 1984,Blood and Guts in High School is the book that established Kathy Acker as the preeminent voice of post-punk feminism. With 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of her birth, as well as the 10th year since her death this transgressive work of philosophical, political, and sexual insight--with a new introduction by Chris Kraus--continues to become more relevant than ever before. In the Mexican city of Merida, ten-year-old Janey lives with Johnny--her "boyfriend, brother, sister, money, amusement, and father"--until he leaves her for another woman. Bereft, Janey travels to New York City, plunging into an underworld of gangs and prostitution. After escaping imprisonment, she flees to Tangiers where she meets Jean Genet, and they begin a torrid affair that will lead Janey to her demise. Fantastical, sensual, and fearlessly radical, this hallucinatory collageis both a comic and tragic portrait of erotic awakening.

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    This book made me want to write, to write more honestly than I had ever written before.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • Not the End of the World

    I read it as a teenager and completely related to the discovery of Trauma In Suburbia.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • A Collaboration with Nature

    Just open it, I'll shut up.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • The Velveteen Rabbit

    The Velveteen Rabbit

    Margery Williams
    Juvenile Fiction

    "Here was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy's stocking, with a sprig of holly between his paws, the effect was charming." First published in 1922, Margery Williams's beloved children's tale of a toy rabbit's quest to become real has enchanted adults and children alike. After accompanying the Boy on many adventures, the Rabbit learns of his tragic fate—and upon being set outside on the eve of his destruction, magic happens. Originally illustrated by William Nicholson, this beloved story has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times since its publication. Be it mystery, romance, drama, comedy, politics, or history, great literature stands the test of time. ClassicJoe proudly brings literary classics to today's digital readers, connecting those who love to read with authors whose work continues to get people talking. Look for other fiction and non'fiction classics from ClassicJoe.

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    A classic, but oh man. As I age, every time I read this aloud I cry a little harder.

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source

  • Voluptuous Panic

    Voluptuous Panic

    Mel Gordon
    The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin (Expanded Edition)
    Social Science

    This seductive sourcebook of rare visual delights from pre-Nazi, Cabaret-period “Babylon on the Spree” has the distinction of being praised both by scholars and avatars of contemporary culture, inspiring hip club goers, filmmakers, gay historians, graphic designers, and musicians like the Dresden Dolls and Marilyn Manson. This expanded edition includes “Sex Magic and the Occult,” documenting German pagan cults and their often-bizarre erotic rituals, including instructions for entering into the “Sexual Fourth Dimension.” Mel Gordon is professor of theater at the University of California, Berkeley, and is also the author of Erik Jan Hanussen: Hitler’s Jewish Clairvoyant (Feral House).

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    We take so much for granted

    Feb 23, 2017 — Source