Lynsey Addario never dreamed of becoming a famous photographer. Photography started out as a hobby for her. Soon, however,  her hobby became the reason she used to travel abroad. Her journeys took her to Afghanistan  (both before and during the U.S war there), Sudan, Iraq, Libya,  Somalia, Turkey, Argentina, and various other places around the world. Her photographs have won her many accolades including a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize.

22571757I saw this book on the new release shelves at my library and thought the book sounded decent. I was so wrong. This is by far the best non-fiction book I have read this year! Addario ‘s account of her career is a pulse pounding, tear jerking narrative that had me riveted from the first page. Her writing style thrusts you into what she experienced. I felt my heart beating faster as she embedded with U.S soldiers in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan and later when she was kidnapped in Libya. I cried when the soldiers she had been embedded with were wounded and killed and her chapter on the rape of women in the Congo was heartbreaking.

A lot of times when you read a non-fiction book, the writer will include a dozen back and white photos of the subject usually in the middle of the book. Addario and her publisher go above and beyond this.The book is full of her beautiful and at times tragic photos and they are all in color on glossy paper as they are meant to be seen.

Addario also tackles the subject of what it means to be a woman in a  fast paced traditionally male dominated field. She struggles and fails at love as she attempts to balance her career with her personal life until she meets her husband. Addario discusses how she put off having a family because of her career and how when she finally became pregnant,  she felt a disconnect with what her body was undergoing. She writes of her fear of never working again because she is a mother and how hard it is to leave her family.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in current events or who enjoys memoirs. Addario will pull you into her world and leave you with an unforgettable book hangover.

Reviewed by Candy

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About the Book:

Title: It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

Author: Lynsey Addario

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: February 15, 2015

Category: Nonfiction, Memoir, Current Events

Source: Borrowed from Library

Book Summary:

Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a photographer when September 11th changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making—not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to risk her life, to set out across the world, and to make a name for herself. It’s What I Do follows a course unavoidable for Addario—from her first camera and the pictures it inspired, to early years as a street photographer and the inspiration she found in the work of Sebastião Salgado. Photography becomes a way for her to travel with a purpose—a singular ambition that shapes and drives her.


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