What We’re Reading – It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

This book was read by Julie Humphrey, Assistant Director, Library.

It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War book cover

–It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

Why did you choose to read this book?

I really enjoy nonfiction, biographies, memoirs, and reading about women’s lives.  I am also interested in photography, photojournalism, and travel.  This book about a woman war photographer sounded compelling to me.

What did you like about it?

I especially appreciated the author’s honesty and the vivid details she shared of living and working in conflict and war zones around the world. She has worked in Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Libya, etc… and lived in Istanbul and London.  I was really glad the book included many of her photographs.  These striking, award-winning photos really enhanced her story and brought it to life. I also liked learning about the logistics of this work and what happens behind the scenes with support staff like local drivers and translators.  I have a new appreciation for everything and everyone involved in international reporting.   

What feeling did the book leave you with?

Addario deals with sexism so often while working in the heavily male-dominated profession of war photojournalism.  I felt really frustrated for her in many situations and admired her fight to be taken seriously.  I also felt extremely afraid and disturbed when she shares her accounts of being kidnapped, assaulted, and abused while working. I ultimately feel a deep appreciation for the work of journalists around the world who risk their lives every day in order to document and tell important stories.

Who would you recommend the book to?

Readers who like a gripping and intense personal story.  I would also recommend this to anyone interested in world politics and international conflicts.  This is a must-read for aspiring journalists and photographers.    

What would you pair this book with?

Fresh, cold water! She describes being severely dehydrated on some of her work assignments.  Also, a bottle of cold beer, which she describes having from time to time, in order to unwind with her fellow journalists after an intense or grueling day of work.

Interested in reading It’s What I Do? Check it out from the library!