10 books like It's What I Do

By Lynsey Addario,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like It's What I Do. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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How to Avoid Being Killed in a Warzone

By Rosie Garthwaite,

Book cover of How to Avoid Being Killed in a Warzone

Most books about the military are written by men. But I was fascinated by this practical tip-based book by journalist Rosie Garthwaite. Wonderful anecdotes amongst real gems for staying safe in dangerous places. I also used it as research for one of my novels about a female war correspondent in Afghanistan.

How to Avoid Being Killed in a Warzone

By Rosie Garthwaite,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Avoid Being Killed in a Warzone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone needs this book if they want to know how to get out of difficult situations whether at home or abroad. Written by Rosie Garthwaite, whose career as a journalist started in war-torn Basra, this book combines practical advice with contributions from many journalists and commentators including Rageh Omar and John Simpson, who share their own experience and advice on surviving in difficult and dangerous situations. Topics include how to avoid being misunderstood; how to avoid bombs and booby traps; how to escape from a riot; how to deal with frostbite and heat exhaustion; how to avoid trouble in sex,…


You Don't Belong Here

By Elizabeth Becker,

Book cover of You Don't Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War

Becker writes vibrantly about three intrepid journalists who covered the Vietnam War and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia: Pulitzer Prize-winning magazine writer Frances Fitzgerald, photojournalist Catherine Leroy, and combat reporter Kate Webb, whose insistence on getting close to the action led to her capture. Their individual stories, including traumas and injuries are set in relief against wider history.

You Don't Belong Here

By Elizabeth Becker,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked You Don't Belong Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The long buried story of three extraordinary female journalists who permanently shattered the official and cultural barriers to women covering war.

Kate Webb, an Australian iconoclast, Catherine Leroy, a French dare devil photographer, and Frances FitzGerald, a blue-blood American intellectual, arrived in Vietnam with starkly different life experiences but one shared purpose: to report on the most consequential story of the decade.

At a time when women were considered unfit to be foreign reporters, Frankie, Catherine and Kate paid their own way to war, arrived without jobs, challenged the rules imposed on them by the military, ignored the belittlement and…


On the Front Line

By Marie Colvin,

Book cover of On the Front Line: The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin

On the Front Line is an award-winning collection of stories by veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin. Prior to being targeted for assassination by the Syrian government in February 2012 while she covered the civil war there, Colvin's career and writing showed peerless courage in the pursuit of stories that revealed the inhumanities of war and civil strife. The book contains insightful accounts of interviews of Arafat and Gadaffi as well as her intimate reporting of fighting in Kosovo, Chechnya, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the chaos of the Arab Spring uprisings. Blinded in one eye shrapnel while reporting on the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers, Colvin's style and legendary courage live on in this select collection of her work.

On the Front Line

By Marie Colvin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Front Line as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Veteran Sunday Times war correspondent, Marie Colvin was killed in February 2012 when covering the uprising in Syria.

On the Front Line is an Orwell Special Prize winning journalism collection from veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin, who is the subject of the movie A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan.

Marie Colvin held a profound belief in the pursuit of truth, and the courage and humanity of her work was deeply admired. On the Front Line includes her various interviews with Yasser Arafat and Colonel Gadaffi; reports from East Timor in 1999 where she shamed the UN into…


Disappeared

By June Carolyn Erlick,

Book cover of Disappeared: A Journalist Silenced

June Carolyn Erlick, editor-in-chief for ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America, casts a seasoned journalist’s eye on the 1980 abduction of  Guatemalan journalist Irma Flaquer. Returning home, Flaquer was pulled from her car and was never seen again. Flaquer, a popular and respected journalist with an influential column, Lo Que Otros Callan or "What Others Don't Dare Write",  was also the founder of the first Guatemalan Human Rights Commission. Throughout her career, Flaquer survived beatings, car bombs, and drive-by assassination attempts that did not daunt her from doing her job as a reporter to expose Guatemalan suffering at the hands of their corrupt U.S.-backed government and the cost the Guatemalan people paid as Cold War pawns.

Disappeared

By June Carolyn Erlick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Disappeared as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If I die, don't cry for me—because I was fighting for what I love."—Irma Flaquer

On a quiet October evening in 1980, Guatemalan journalist Irma Flaquer, returning to her downtown apartment after a visit with her four-year-old grandson, was dragged from her car, never to be seen again. Founder of the first Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, she was a crusading reporter who did not tolerate corruption or repression. Best known for her weekly column that ran for over twenty years in various Guatemalan newspapers—Lo Que Otros Callan or "What Others Don't Dare Write"—Flaquer criticized presidents, politicians, and the heads of…


The Daughters of Kobani

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon,

Book cover of The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice

The Daughters of Kobani follows a group of women in northern Syria who are driven to defeat the Islamic State and change the lives of women there forever. This powerful tale, told beautifully by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, is a stark reminder of the fighting spirit women show when faced with extraordinary circumstances. During my time in Rwanda, I met many women whose lives had been torn apart by genocide. By necessity and sheer grit, they have rebuilt their lives, sometimes quite literally, brick by brick. The Daughters of Kobani is an important and compelling read.

The Daughters of Kobani

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Daughters of Kobani as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The extraordinary story of the women who took on the Islamic State and won

"The Daughters of Kobani is an unforgettable and nearly mythic tale of women's power and courage. The young women profiled in this book fought a fearsome war against brutal men in impossible circumstances-and proved in the process what girls and women can accomplish when given the chance to lead. Brilliantly researched and respectfully reported, this book is a lesson in heroism, sacrifice, and the real meaning of sisterhood. I am so grateful that this story has been told." -Elizabeth Gilbert, author…


The Moment of Lift

By Melinda Gates,

Book cover of The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

“When you lift up women, you lift up humanity." These words from Melinda Gates’ book resonate deeply with my own story and experiences. Melinda gives several examples of women driving change on different levels in their families, communities, and societies. Similar to the pages in my book, Melinda shares heart-rending conversations she’s had with women all over the world and offers practical solutions for how we can get involved to make the world a better place.

The Moment of Lift

By Melinda Gates,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Moment of Lift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings―and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels…


Girly Drinks

By Mallory O'Meara,

Book cover of Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol

Mallory O’Meara’s book, Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol, has become my new bible.

I spent years working to advance women around the world before taking on a new challenge – starting a new craft distillery in Rwanda! You might be wondering how women's rights and alcohol intersect, but O’Meara sums it up best in her book: “If you want to know how a society treats its women, all you have to do is look into the bottom of a glass.”

For an amusing and eye-opening look at the history of women alcohol producers and drinkers around the world, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Girly Drinks. Best enjoyed with your favorite beverage in hand.

Girly Drinks

By Mallory O'Meara,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Girly Drinks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2022 James Beard Book Award

Nominated for the 2022 Spirited Awards

This is the forgotten history of women making, serving and drinking alcohol. Drink has always been at the centre of social rituals and cultures worldwide-and women have been at the heart of its production and consumption. So when did drinking become gendered? How have patriarchies tried to erase and exclude women from industries they've always led, and how have women fought back? And why are things from bars to whiskey considered 'masculine', when, without women, they might not exist?

With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly…


In Pursuit of Disobedient Women

By Dionne Searcey,

Book cover of In Pursuit of Disobedient Women: A Memoir of Love, Rebellion, and Family, Far Away

Dionne’s book speaks to me on such a personal level. The story follows her journey of uprooting her family to West Africa and shares the stories of the women she meets along the way, navigating extraordinary circumstances and hardship. I, too, did this.

In 2012, my three sons and I landed in Kigali, Rwanda, where we lived for a year. Having experienced firsthand the resiliency and tenacity of women, such as those Dionne encountered, I can’t recommend In Pursuit of Disobedient Women enough to learn more about the challenges and triumphs for women across Africa.

In Pursuit of Disobedient Women

By Dionne Searcey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Pursuit of Disobedient Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a reporter for The New York Times uproots her family to move to West Africa, she manages her new role as breadwinner while finding women cleverly navigating extraordinary circumstances in a forgotten place for much of the Western world.
 
“A story you will not soon forget.”—Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award–winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty

In 2015, Dionne Searcey was covering the economy for The New York Times, living in Brooklyn with her husband and three young children. Saddled with the demands of a dual-career household and motherhood in an urban setting, her life was in…


Sweet Caress

By William Boyd,

Book cover of Sweet Caress

I loved the ambitious concept behind William Boyd’s novel. Take seventy-five ‘found photos’ and construct a life around them.

At the age of seventy, Amory Clay is reflecting on her long photographic career, which took her from London, where she photographed the smart set, to Berlin where she captured its nightlife. Like Lee Miller, Amory Clay transitioned from New York fashion shoots to photojournalism, reporting on war-torn Normandy, and, much later, in the Vietnam war. Now, she’s about to embark on a personal mission—to track down her daughter, Blythe.

Boyd seamlessly weaves fact with fiction. This was one of those books that had me Googling the names of characters, thinking that there must be two photographers I had overlooked, only to conclude that they were fictional. (I shan’t give the game away and tell you which!)

Sweet Caress

By William Boyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweet Caress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER Amory Clay's first memory is of her father doing a handstand - but it is his absences that she chiefly remembers. Her Uncle Greville, a photographer, gives her both the affection she needs and a camera, which unleashes a passion that irrevocably shapes her future. She begins an apprenticeship with him in London, photographing socialites for magazines. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi-monde of 1920s Berlin, New York in the 1930s, the Blackshirt riots in London, and France during…


Self-Portrait with Boy

By Rachel Lyon,

Book cover of Self-Portrait with Boy

Lyon’s protagonist, Lu Rile, is a struggling, ambitious young photographer, living in a derelict Brooklyn warehouse that might soon be destroyed by real-estate developers. In order to somehow pay the rent while at the same time take care of her ill and aging father, she desperately juggles three jobs. When not at work, Lu is in the midst of creating a series of self-portraits of herself in the window of her loft, when she accidentally captures the image of a young boy, the son of her upstairs neighbors, falling to his death. (Shades of Antonioni’s famous film, Blow Up, which also features a key but inadvertent photograph.)

She recognizes at once that it is the best picture she has ever taken, but instantly understands that it poses a major moral dilemma. Should she pull every string she can to get it shown, in an effort to initiate and stamp…

Self-Portrait with Boy

By Rachel Lyon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Self-Portrait with Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

“Fabulously written, this spellbinding debut novel is a real page-turner. A powerful, brilliantly imagined story” (Library Journal, starred review) about an ambitious young artist whose accidental photograph of a boy falling to his death could jumpstart her career, but devastate her most intimate friendship.

Lu Rile is a relentlessly focused young photographer struggling to make ends meet. Working three jobs, responsible for her aging father, and worrying that her crumbling loft apartment is being sold to developers, she is at a point of desperation. One day, in the background of a…


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