It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and WarIt’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario
Published by Penguin Press

As a war photographer, Lynsey Addario has experienced some of the most amazing and terrible things imaginable. She has made it a point to travel with a purpose, to get the photographs most photojournalists won’t or can’t get, to show the world the truth through her photographs. This memoir is a peek into the years she’s spent all over the world, documenting some of history’s scariest and most important moments.

I’m not really into photography myself, but I love and appreciate how great photographers can tell a story with a single image. I also enjoy reading about the incredible and terrifying experiences of journalists (as I learned when I read Lisa Ling and Laura Ling’s memoir). It’s What I Do is a perfect combination of these two things, as it’s a memoir of Addario’s many experiences in the decade plus she’s spent photographing many parts of the world, peppered throughout with photographs from these experiences.

I’m not sure I could have enjoyed this book any more than I did. Not only is Addario an incredible photographer, but she’s a fantastic writer too. Her book is informative and rich with detail, yet she still maintains a friendly tone throughout that made me feel like I truly got to know her. Some of the things she’s experienced in her life were downright terrifying – many, many times she wondered if she’d survive – and she tells these stories with seriousness but also sprinkles in moments of lighthearted humor. Other things she’s experienced were simply beautiful – the humanity of the world, all the different people she’s met and various cultural experiences she’s had, it’s just incredible to read about. And see via her photographs.

I don’t really have much to say about this one, I guess, other than I really think everyone should read it. There’s nothing NOT to like in It’s What I Do so please check it out for yourself. What an inspiring, beautiful book – one that is entertaining, educational, and enlightening. Highly recommended.