Amanda Palmer


Sage enlightenment and moody fantasy, chosen by a riveting performer.



Writer, singer, performer, and ringmistress of the "Brechtian punk cabaret" act The Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer blends tongue-in-cheek theatricality and artful musical craft in her arresting stage act. Her 2008 solo record Who Killed Amanda Palmer proved a cult hit and her book of the same title -- a collaboration with photographer Kyle Cassidy that staged Palmer as an appropriately exquisite corpse -- also enlisted the prose of bestselling novelist Neil Gaiman. She shared with us three books that illuminate her unique aesthetic.


Music by The Dresden Dolls
Who Killed Amanda Palmer-- CD
Who Killed Amanda Palmer -- Book




How Proust Can Change Your Life

By Alain de Botton


"There are some writers out there, like Bill Bryson, who can write about any subject and you'll simply want to read it. It takes a great writer to write a book about Proust, his bloody boring book, his crankiness and his relationship with his mother and make it fascinating reading about the nature of life, art and existence."




Dropping Ashes On The Buddha

By Seung Sahn


"A collection of letters between a crazy buddhist teacher and his students.Every time somebody comes to me with an existential crisis or an interest in meditation, I give them a copy of this book. My mentor gave me this book before I went on a street-performance trip to Australia when I was about 21 years old, and the mind-blowing revelations and practices that sprang off its pages actually saved me from getting arrested in a Woolworth's. Long story."



Smoke and Mirrors

By Neil Gaiman


"Short stories. I've recently been delving into the collected works of Neil Gaiman (he's also cute), and this book is by far my favorite. His imaginative and disturbing concoctions lie somewhere near the planets of some of my favorite short story writers (Kurt Vonnegut, JD Salinger, Ray Bradbury), but he manages to be so bizarre that I luckily can't compare him to anything without feeling like it’s doing his work an injustice."

July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).