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It's What I Do
It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War | Lynsey Addario
38 posts | 31 read | 53 to read
"A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir."--Kirkus (starred review)War photographer Lynsey Addarios memoir Its What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. Its her work, but its much more than that: its her singular calling.Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 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 makingnot to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself.Addario finds a way to travel with a purpose. She photographs the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.Addario takes bravery for granted but she is not fearless. She uses her fear and it creates empathy; it is that feeling, that empathy, that is essential to her work. We see this clearly on display as she interviews rape victims in the Congo, or photographs a fallen soldier with whom she had been embedded in Iraq, or documents the tragic lives of starving Somali children. Lynsey takes us there and we begin to understand how getting to the hard truth trumps fear.As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boys club of a profession. Rather than choose between her personal life and her career, Addario learns to strike a necessary balance. In the man who will become her husband, she finds at last a real love to complement her work, not take away from it, and as a new mother, she gains an all the more intensely personal understanding of the fragility of life.Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. Its What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.
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Acoleman
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Pickpick

Wow!! What a story. She has led an amazing life. Unbelievable bravery as a women in areas of the world where women are treated much differently. This is a very different read then what I usually choose and not sure a fully understood some of the references to geography and politics of war, but I‘m glad I picked it up. Feeling grateful for the luxury of the US.

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booksaremyfavorite
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Pickpick

Reading about war zones through the eyes of a photographer is quite eye opening. Quite the read.

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TheDrew
Pickpick

It‘s a very good book and explains the information as you read it so you don‘t need a basic understanding of various places or events. It‘s an easy read but makes you think about the rest of the world.

Chelleo Welcome to Litsy! Hope these #Litsytips by @RaimeyGallant http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU are helpful. #LitsyWelcomeWagon 7mo
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 7mo
TheDrew Thank you Michelle and Raimey! 7mo
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Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🌷 7mo
ProfReader Welcome to Litsy!!!💜💙♥️💙💜 7mo
TheDrew Thank you Sherri and Prof Reader! I‘m always up for suggestions on what to read next. Are there any good books you read lately? 7mo
3 likes6 comments
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mrozzz
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Pickpick

As someone who studied photography & briefly considered pursuing a career as a war photographer- I'm in awe of the casual fearlessness Addario displayed when obstacles got in the way of her job. When threatened or held hostage she‘d worry about how the stress her predicament was going to put on her family, but her next concern was for her memory cards. They could take her equipment but she must above all save those cards and proof of her work.

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Cconnolly
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Pickpick

I always wanted to travel, see things, document with photos. This book made me realize how REAL it gets out there, in war zones, unfamiliar territory. I want to check the book out from the library to see her photographs now that I‘ve heard her story. She has incredible strength, resilience, and passion.

8little_paws Did you do audio? I loved this so much I plan to buy a copy. I listened to it and it was captivating. 14mo
Cconnolly @8little_paws, yes I did the audio. Someone on here reviewed it, and I borrowed it from my e library. 14mo
8little_paws @Cconnolly that's what I did too. I actually listened while biking through Thailand. I'll never forget that experience of listening while biking in new country. 14mo
28 likes3 comments
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Cconnolly
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Saw that someone here recommended this audiobook, and it was available from my e-library. Enjoying some audio puzzling tonight!

41 likes3 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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It‘s in the 4th of July audiobook sale! I highly recommend this one, very good on audio, just make sure you check out the book in passing at the library or bookstore sometime too and flip through to look at her beautiful and heartbreaking photographs.

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Erynecki
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Pickpick

I read a lot of news, but it‘s the power of images that always stick with me. My earliest exposure to documentary photographers included Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Lewis Hine. I found It‘s What I Do on a library shelf. I‘d never heard of the author/photo journalist. I couldn‘t put this book down. This candid memoir of her passion for photography and telling stories (including her own very personal experiences) makes for a compelling read.

8little_paws This is one of my favorite memoirs ever. I love it on audio. 1y
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haileybean
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Mehso-so

The things I liked: hearing about the different countries and cultures. Her talking about what it‘s like to work in a rather male dominated profession. I didn‘t like that I felt like the reader is kept at an arm‘s length away. You get to say “how cool is it that you did that thing in Afghanistan,” but it‘s just answered with “well, whatever.” I feel weird rating a memoir 3 Stars, but I feel like parts could have been paced better

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haileybean
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1.) knitting/crochet, at work, cleaning
2.) I had an audible subscription but I wasn‘t listening to them as quickly and cancelled. Now I mostly use the library through Libby
3.) Sped up to 1.25 speed
4.)I like when the author narrates their own books - Neil Gaiman
5.) Trevor Noah‘s Born a Crime
#audiobookinquiry @Chelleo @Penny_LiteraryHoarders

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haileybean
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“Did we just assume they were miserable because our lives were so different?”

Regarding her assignment in Afghanistan after 9/11 - her thoughts on the women in the country.

Suet624 Great question. 2y
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haileybean
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I‘m about an hour in and so hooked. For a random “well, this is available!” pick from Libby, it was such a good choice.

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kamoorephoto
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#friyayintro
1 - I can think of everything from The Muppets, to the A-Team, to watching He-Man with my bro on Sat mornings. And yes, I loved the Cosby Show. A bit later, I loved the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I love books but I‘ve always loved TV.
2 - Tagged book: about the most amazing female war photog/photojournalist. So amazing. As a photographer, Lynsey is an inspiration.
3 - No to meat, MUSHROOMS, OLIVES, PICKLES
(answers cont‘d)
Tagging...

kamoorephoto 4 - Photo conference on Amelia Island in FLORIDA; I actually get to leave town!!!! 📸🏝 2y
tammysue YAY!! 😊 2y
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MidnightBookGirl I watched all those shoes too! Have a great time in Florida! 2y
MarriedtoMrT A-Team! I used to watch it with my dad and have such fond memories. Does that mean you get my handle and tag line? If so, you might be the only one. I am literally married to Mr. T but I also have a thing for flight-fearing tough guy Mr. T. 2y
kamoorephoto Yeah, that‘s hilarious, @MarriedtoMrT! I have been dying to show it to my son but I doubt he will get it like I did... the show was awesome. 2y
kamoorephoto @MidnightBookGirl @whatshesreadingnow You have no idea... I never get out of town, let alone by myself. The last photo conference I ended up canceling because my ‘partner‘ didn‘t want to deal with my son and pets alone. This time my folks in England (who paid for the trip) wouldn‘t accept that, and said GO. 2y
ephemeralwaltz Mushrooms and olives are two of my favorite things!😂😋 2y
Alicia 😱😱😱 no pickles!!?? 😂😂 2y
kamoorephoto @Alicia I can‘t get pickles off my plate quick enough - they contaminate everything!!! 🤮 @ephemeralwaltz Mushrooms‘ texture just is all wrong...and omg mushroom soup? Who does that?!!!! Olives???! 🤭 2y
HOTPock3tt The Cosby show and Fresh prince of bel air!!! ❤️👏 I don‘t like most meat either 🤢 I absolutely refuse to eat sausages, hot dogs, meatloaf, briskett.. actually there is very little meat I do actually eat 😐and it is never my first choice. (edited) 2y
kamoorephoto @HOTPock3tt I sat down religiously with my dad after The Muppets on Sunday evening to watch The Cosby Show 👍🏼 And the Fresh Prince...I think I‘ve seen every episode like, five times over! My brother and I were crazy mad fans about it, and I‘m still in awe of Will Smith to this day 💓💓💓💓 2y
59 likes12 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Great article in NatGeo by the author of this great book. What she wishes she could do over and her #Metoo moments made me reel! Great read, and excellent book if you haven‘t read it yet!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/12/lynsey-addario-sadr...

ralexist Loved this book! Was one of my favorites from last year. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @ralexist Me too, great book. I still recommend it often. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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There are some great non-fiction books that I just adored on audiobook in the audible sale today. But if you are looking to try a good non-fiction audio here‘s my 2nd recommendation!

#2 It‘s What I Do - The author is a photojournalist, & in this book you‘ll find out about her life, how she balances work her personal life, all while she takes you through conflict zones around the world, all told from her on the ground perspective.

BarbaraTheBibliophage Aaarrgghhh. You are so mean. I have so many books in my cart and you‘re #lifluencing me to add more! ❤️💙💜💚📚📚📚📚 2y
mhillis I hadn‘t heard about this book! It looks interesting 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @mhillis Balancing relationships while traveling all over in conflict and war zones to photograph the story. Working with a pregnant coworker while hiking through the Afghan mts on embed with the troops, work in the Congo, Palestine, etc, McArthur Genius Award winner. Her photos in the book are great, if you get a chance to see them, but I also loved the story on audiobook which is where I first experienced it. I looked up the photos later, LOL 2y
mhillis @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great recommendation, I‘ll see if I can borrow it from the library! 📚 2y
53 likes5 comments
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Moonchild_booknerd89
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Pickpick

Loved it inspired!

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rjnellie
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"Photography has shaped the way I look at the world; it's taught me to look beyond myself and capture the world outside." Lynsey Addario

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Well-ReadNeck
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I totally do this! 😆

TheLibrarian Me too!!! 2y
Chasing_Pages I do this a lot on Litsy! Oh look I read that book their reading....let's be friends! Lol 2y
mcctrish Yep 2y
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Jess_Read_This I so do this too.... @Chasing-Pages 💕📚💕 2y
Purrfectpages Love this! 2y
batsy Oh yes me too! This is perfect. 2y
EllieDottie So true!! 😂😂 2y
156 likes7 comments
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WanderingBookaneer
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Pickpick

Photojournalist Lynsey Addario recounts the triumphs, trials, and tribulations of her career. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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kiminreverse
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Pickpick

I love a good awesome woman memoir, and this one delivers. Addario tells stories from her career as a photographer in war zones, from her first assignment to receiving the MacArthur grant, with two kidnappings, several failed relationships, and plenty of commentary on international politics and being a woman in a patriarchal world inbetween.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I loved this one too! Still one of my favorites!!! 2y
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WanderingBookaneer
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#CurrentRead : Fascinating memoir by the photojournalist. Special thanks to @gibblr for the gift!

gibblr 😊❤ 2y
BooksForEmpathy One of my favorites of all time. The audio is spectacular! 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Some of my favorite #AwesomeAudiobooks of the non-fiction variety. All four of these will have you looking at the world from a new and interesting perspective, and even while you learn something new, you'll also start to feel like you know the author on a more personal level too. Whether it's science, globe trotting, personal strife, war, or wry humor all of these "serious" audiobooks had a little something extra that made them top picks for me.

60 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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meltedsquirrel
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we had an agreement today that we wouldn't get more books from the library than what could fit in my Nancy Drew totebag. we were just...right on the line. #libraryhaul

valeriegeary I don't know. Looks like you could have squeezed one more in! 😄 3y
meltedsquirrel @valeriegeary not without incurring dirty looks from the librarian. 3y
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mirenbflores
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"On the sidewalk where I stood a French photographer I knew from Iraq and Afghanistan deliberated his next move with several French journalists. They spoke in low, serious voices tinged with the sarcasm journalists use to temper their nerves. French journalists, in general, are known for being fearless and crazy. The joke was that if the French left a combat zone before you, you were screwed."

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Mel
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BooksForEmpathy
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I bought this book for my mother last Christmas because she has always loved photography. I decided to give it a try.

I am drawn to the power of paintings. And sculpture. Majored in art history. Photography never moved me or imprisoned me the way I wanted.

Boy was I wrong. I just needed to see through different eyes. This book is soul-expanding; reminding me that photography is just as emotional/intense/brave as my beloved paintings 📸💕.

BooksForEmpathy Any books change your perspective?? 3y
WanderingBookaneer Photography is another passion of mine. I've had this on my shelf for a while. It has now been bumped way up. 3y
Notafraidofwords If you like this book give Hold Still a try. By Sally Mann. 3y
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BooksForEmpathy @WanderingBookaneer Yes. If it's a passion of yours, don't walk... Run to this one! I loved it and it also taught me a ton about how much I don't know about the world and what's going on inside of it. We live in a beautiful bubble but not everyone is as lucky. Not even close. 3y
BooksForEmpathy @Notafraidofwords Thank you! I had this on my to-read list and bought it the other day after seeing Ann Patchett speak. It was one of the books she recommended reading immediately. 3y
Notafraidofwords @BooksForEmpathy it's a huge book, but I read it quickly because it was so good! 3y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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I can honestly say that about two years ago, I read almost no non-fiction, but I hit a few good ones then and was hooked! I love a good bit of history, learning something new, science, social issues, intense personal stories, and just putting myself in someone else's shoes for a good life story. Besides the six above, I could recommend a bunch more. #nonfictionlove for #somethingforsept

Tav One of my all time top 10 favorite books I have ever had the privilege of marketing 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Tav That's great! It was a wonderful book! 3y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Tav I'll have to check that one out too! 3y
Kathrin Same for me... At times its 50:50 for me between fiction and non fiction. 3y
Suzze Oh, I forgot Lab Girl in my picture! 3y
angrylilasian I just started Lab Girl! So good! 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Suzze as soon as made the picture I thought of a ton more I should include! 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @angrylilasian Yes it is! I loved it! 3y
raelaschoenherr How is It's What I Do? That one is on my list! 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @raelaschoenherr It was excellent! I really enjoyed it. 3y
68 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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JenP
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"Trying to convey beauty in war was a technique to try and prevent the reader from looking away or turning the page in response to something horrible. I wanted them to linger, to ask questions."

Riveted_Reader_Melissa That's a great book! 3y
JenP @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I agree. I just finished it 3y
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JenP
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Stunning photos and an interesting memoir!

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Just a small quote from my TBT pick.

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Pickpick

TBT! My first war correspondent book & still my favorite. Where else can you go from one hot zone and war to the next all while trying to build her career, maintain relationships, & have a family life. She speaks with great candor about both international conflicts & personal ones. Where else...

Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...can you read about trudging through the Korengal Valley, lugging equipment, while balancing your needy boyfriend back home by sat phone, and the medical questions of your very pregnant co-worker. Who yes, is also hiking in the Afghanistan mountains with the troop embed. 3y
JennaRoot So glad to see that someone else has read this! I loved it too! 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @JennaRoot I loved it so much I bought the audiobook first and then bought the hardcover too so I could see all the wonderful pictures! 3y
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ramyasbookshelf Sounds like a great read!! I don't think I've read any war correspondent books! 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @ramyasbookshelf This one is just excellent. She's a photojournalist, so she takes you with her from war corresponding to the stories she's covering for humanitarian reasons in places like the Congo, Darfur, India, and of course the Middle East. Plus, she covers all the issues with being a ... 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...single woman and trying to date and keep relationships alive as she travels. It's a great read! 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @raelaschoenherr Here's more of my review of just this book. 3y
raelaschoenherr Wow, sounds so fascinating!! I may have to get the audio of this one. Thanks for the full review! 3y
43 likes6 stack adds8 comments
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Adinutza
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Lynsey's work is amazing. So powerful! I feels so lucky I found out about this book!

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Christy2318
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Pickpick

Highly recommended. Made my best list for 2015. "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."

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I really enjoyed that book too! 3y
TheBookHippie I liked this too. 3y
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GabrielleMRO
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Amazing memoir. I'm half way through but cannot stop reading it.

todd We should have featured this! Looks amazing. 4y
4 likes3 stack adds1 comment