You know when you have a crush on someone and you decide you need to become more aware of their hobbies so you have something to talk about? Yeah… That’s me. I have a crush on a man who just happens to be into Photography. Do I know anything about photography? Nope… but I like him enough to buy my Dad’s DSLR camera, in the process of learning to use it, and began reading books and memoirs about photography/photographers in order to gain a better understanding of the photography world. It’s ok if I talk about him because there is a 99.9% chance that he doesn’t read my blog, so this will go completely unnoticed by him. He also isn’t a very avid reader, which is shocking because I am (Hello! I have a blog about books), but he is other qualities that just make him the best thing since sliced bread. During this phase of trying to understand his life and passion is when I stumbled upon It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario, and bought it immediately.
Before I read the book, I began dreaming of what it would be like to follow a famous photographer around and become their writer; that I would be able to write what we experienced and the countries we went to. This seemed like a great idea until I read the book…. Yeah, I think I am ok staying in California writing about books. Lynsey’s memoir is about her life as a photo journalist and how she shot and experienced the most dangerous events in the past 10 years; now do you see why I am not going with her. Lynsey was there photographing, capturing life and events of the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars, the liberation of Libya, the genocide in Darfur along with many other countries during their times of struggle. She has been threatened, captured, held hostage, and feared for her life for the sake of her passion; photography. Her story is strong, inspiring, petrifying, and ground breaking to see a woman willing to go beyond her personal limits to pursue something beyond her world. I would suggest you do not read this at night otherwise you will dream about being captured by the Taliban; speaking from experience here.
I can’t go into the main bits of the book without talking about the book itself. The book is a beautiful piece of artwork. The cover is hard back with her silhouette holding a camera in the foreground, shadowed by a blue clouded sky and snowy mountains in the background; it’s just heavenly. The pages are thicker, with a glossy finish, and are soft to the touch. The book is laced with photographs of her travels (taken by her), which are simply beautiful, exquisite, and breathtaking to see. The photographs emphasized her story and were paired well with the each chapter/destination she was in. I didn’t have to read the book to know that it was already book porn, I would tell just by holding it and turning the pages. I really should buy more photography books, they are just lush.
Even though this book was diffidently out of my comfort zone and pushed me emotionally as a reader and writer, I was enchanted by Lynsey’s story. The stories are gripping, transforming, and inspiring to read. She passion for photography just oozes off the pages, saturated with the desire to be places people are unwilling to go and photograph people and events in the Middle East and Africa. Lysney doesn’t shy away from the dangers of her job, but is open to show the inner struggles she faces when choosing her career over a much safer life. Even though she knows that her life is in danger, it was her persistence to show others a life outside of their own. Her job was to shed light where there wasn’t light, and bring truth to events/people who would otherwise be cast aside. She is an inspiration to photographers, people, and women alike. It is her drive that encourages and inspires me to travel more, read more books and go after the things that I want. It seems that I have gotten into a rhyme of reading books by powerful, inspiring woman who are ultimately changing how I see my life, my passion and my world. They are there to help me see beyond my little bubble of life and go into a world that demands to be explored. Mind you, I do not have the luxury to travel and go where I please… yet… but I will some day because it is a passion of mine to go to lands my feet haven’t touched. My heart yearns to travel and Lyndsey, and Kristen Newman (author of What I did while you were breeding) just confirmed that the passion to travel is natural, and I should follow that passion.
It may never work out with my photographer crush, but he inspired me to find books that I necessary wouldn’t pick up in the first place. Books that would change, and mold me for the better. So I can’t be that mad if it never dawns on him that I love his laugh, the freckles on his nose, or being around him and he may never ask me out, but I wouldn’t have read this book if it wasn’t for him. I loved this book!! I will probably never lend it to anyone with the fear I may never get it back. This is one book I will keep in my library forever. If the rest of the books that come out this year are as good as this one, then I feel sorry for my bank account. Books of 2015… I am ready for you!
Who inspires you to read different books? What is a genre that you are willing to explore even though it is out of your comfort zone? How have books changed you as a person?
Buy on Amazon: It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War
2015 Reading Challenge Stats:
# of Books on the List: 50
# of Books Completed: 11 ( I finished three, but haven’t written posts about it.. Don’t worry I will get around to it soon!)