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It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War
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Archive: Other Books > It's What I Do - Addario - 5 stars

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message 1: by Jgrace (last edited Jun 30, 2018 02:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jgrace | 3097 comments June Decathlon - special event

I had some trouble selecting a book for this challenge. I had decided to focus on my early retirement which allows me to indulge my obsessive reading habits. I'm enjoying A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books, but I'm not going to finish it any time soon.

Then I started thinking about my brief trip to Washington DC last year. I'd been there many times before so it didn't immediately come to mind. But last fall was the first time I'd been to the Newseum. I was with my sister, her girlfriend, and my son's girlfriend. Before entering, my sister went across the street to take a picture of the first amendment carved into the Museums front wall. We went to the Pulitzer photographs exhibit first. We all left that wall of pictures shaken and shattered. Worth a thousand words? There are no words strong enough.

The museum has a wall listing the names of journalists who have died doing their jobs. Today I read a comment concerning yesterday’s shooting, to the effect that it is unusual for the deaths to take place on American soil. Just one more way that freedom isn't free.



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

I’m not usually a fan of memoirs. I find that they deteriorate into a tedious listing of events or a name dropping catalog. Neither is true of this memoir. It was interesting, compelling and terrifying from beginning to end.

In the very first chapter, Addario tells of her March 2011 kidnapping in Libya. At the point where she and her colleagues are bound, gagged and helpless, Addario breaks off this riveting first person account with a paragraph that asks the obvious question. Why was she there? Why did she chose the life of a conflict photojournalist?

“When I return home and rationally consider the risks, the choices are difficult. But when I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me. It’s what I do. I am sure there are other versions of happiness, but this one is mine.”

The rest of the book is devoted to answering that question. She begins with her early years, her loving family, her first camera. She describes how she grew as a photographer and developed her passion for photojournalism. Addario is direct about her competitive professional goals and her artistic aspirations. She is frank about her personal life; the difficulties of balancing her demanding and dangerous career with any kind of healthy relationship. She is passionate about the subjects she photographs. She is committed to the visual power of photographic truth telling.

“I became fascinated by the notion of dispelling stereotypes or misconceptions through photography, of presenting the counterintuitive.”

“Trying to convey beauty in war was a technique to try to prevent the reader from looking away or turning the page in response to something horrible. I wanted them to linger, to ask questions.”

“With my subjects—the thousands of people I have photographed—I have shared the joy of survival, the courage to resist oppression, the anguish of loss, the resilience of the oppressed, the brutality of the worst of men and the tenderness of the best.”


Booknblues | 6841 comments Jgrace wrote: "June Decathlon - special event

I had some trouble selecting a book for this challenge. I had decided to focus on my early retirement which allows me to indulge my obsessive reading habits. I'm enj..."


I loved this book and really wanted to read it. I kept voting for tags in which I might get to use it and they wouldn't win. Finally, I decided if you want to read it so much just do so and I was glad I did.

Great review, it makes me want to read it all over again.


Jgrace | 3097 comments Booknblues wrote: "Jgrace wrote: "June Decathlon - special event

I had some trouble selecting a book for this challenge. I had decided to focus on my early retirement which allows me to indulge my obsessive reading ..."


I gave you credit for recommending it over on the decathlon page. I forgot to add my thanks over here.


Booknblues | 6841 comments Jgrace wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "Jgrace wrote: "June Decathlon - special event

I had some trouble selecting a book for this challenge. I had decided to focus on my early retirement which allows me to indulge my..."


Did you listen to it?


Jgrace | 3097 comments Both.

I forgot to put that in my review. The reader was fine, but everything I listened to in the car, I read over again so I could have the photographs in context.


Booknblues | 6841 comments I also looked the pictures up on her website, because they were not all that good on kindle. She really has taken some incredible photographs.


Jgrace | 3097 comments Booknblues wrote: "I also looked the pictures up on her website, because they were not all that good on kindle. She really has taken some incredible photographs."

I've been looking at them. She's been to the Rohingya refugee camps since the book was published. And apparently Speilberg and Jennifer Lawrence are making a movie based on the book.


Booknblues | 6841 comments Jgrace wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "I also looked the pictures up on her website, because they were not all that good on kindle. She really has taken some incredible photographs."

I've been looking at them. She's ..."


It should be a great movie. I wonder if they will just do one part of her life. It would be a lot to include everything.


Jgrace | 3097 comments The only info that I've been able to find is that the movie rights were optioned in 2015. I can't find anything about when it might actually happen.

http://www.slashfilm.com/lynsey-addar...


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